21 June, 2006

My Heroes: (1) Andres Segovia

The last time I saw Segovia play was in the early eighties, a few years before he died. He was around 90 years of age at that time; he had fingers like a bunch of bananas. He was brilliant, spellbinding and charming.
Segovia was virtually single-handedly responsible for the transition of the classical guitar from a gypsy instrument to the elevated position it now enjoys in the world of serious music. He even encouraged the design of the instrument that we know today so that it became more suitable to play in the larger concert halls.
He commissioned many composers to write for the guitar or to transcribe their existing works. He transcribed many famous piano works himself, notably J S Bach's Chaconne.
His self-declared mission was to see instr
uction for the guitar established in every music school and university and he was a dedicated teacher himself.
The Australian-born guitarist John Williams was his pupil. Segovia famously said of his brilliant student, "God has laid his finger on his brow".
He was generous, modest and eloquent.
To me he is a hero of the first magnitude.


Blogger jim said...

DM,J. man, this guy is everywhere! Go read my blog dude.
LOL, This is a great post Bazza, you made me remember the name, but I didn't know all that, Williams I heard of too. I will pay more attn and maybe hear some of their music.

I like gypsy style classical, but I can't find my tapes and can't remember the name of the composer that I listened to so much, getting old I guess.

Thanks for the education.

Friday, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

I have a double disc of his playing. An excellent guitarist!

Friday, September 01, 2006  

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