In order to adequately understand the music composed by Andrés Segovia, it is important to remember his life trajectory. Segovia was the greatest guitarist of the twentieth century and his person towers over the history of the instrument with the grandeur of an undisputed monarch. He was the concert performer most admired by the public, most praised by critics and most continuously sought after by promoters. He was also the catalyst for the production of a new and original guitar repertoire: composers (both European and Latin-American) readily and enthusiastically wrote for him.
His quality of life, however, was significantly affected by the exorbitant number of concerts he gave around the world. Few other virtuosos could sustain the burden of a full agenda for seventy-eight years (he gave his first recital in Granada in 1909 and his last in 1987, in Miami, at the age of 94). He dutifully took it upon himself to endure the fatigue and discomfort of his continuous travels, which forced him to spend most of his time in hotels rather than at home. A holiday was considered a luxury that he could concede to only in rare circumstances.
This nomadic and precarious lifestyle gave rise to a curious contradiction. On the one hand, he continued to commission new works from composers, promising performances and recordings.On the other hand, lacking the time to properly dedicate himself to the pieces that arrived, he was often forced to apologize to composers, complaining that he could not study and perform what he wished. We have, thus, two Segovian repertoires: what he could assimilate, play and record (the repertoire he made famous); and what he kept in the shadows, works that were only discovered and published after the start of the new millennium.
How he was able, within such constraints, to write his own brief compositions is a question that can only be answered in light of his inexhaustible creative impetus. It did not matter that the number of works written for him by composers was abundant: something in him demanded a more direct and personal expression.
Among Segovia’s own compositions are the Estudios, the Preludios, the Anecdotes, and the Canciones Populares. Among them is also a curious and recently discovered work entitled Fandango de la Madrugada, written while he was exiled in Montevideo during the Second World War. In this piece, he evokes his distant Andalusia: it is a piece that vibrates with memories of the flamenco that seduced him as a boy, of the sound that struck him even before the discovery of the talent and musical verve that would make him the king of the guitar.
(English translation: Joe LoPiccolo, revision: David Molina)
Idealization: GuitarCoop Recorded at: Camilleri Hall at the Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA, USA. Dates: August and December, 2016 Sound Engineering: Kai Narezo Musical Production: John Dearman Editors: Everton Gloeden, Ricardo Marui Mixing: Ricardo Marui Mastering: Homero Lotito Texts: Angelo Gilardino, David Collett Translator: Joe LoPiccolo, David G. Molina Graphic Desing: Eduardo Sardinha, Patricia Millan Photos: Felix Salazar Violão / Guitar: 1969 Ramirez “A.M.”, ex Segovia Strings: Augustine Regal, Red Microphones: Norbert Pape / Stephen Paul AKG C12, AEA R44CE, Neumann U87, Neumann TLM170r, Pair Neumann KM84, Pair AKG 451 w/ ck28 capsules Recording System: Apogee Ensemble Interface Preamplifier: AEARPQ500, Radial PowerPre and Neotek Series 1e
Acknowledgments: Special thanks to: Ivan Zawinul (Camilleri Hall); Max Brenner; David Norton; Angelo Gilardino; Michael Lorimer; David Collett; Tara Stewart; Stephen Griesgraber and Augustine Strings.