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Andrès Segovia (1893-1987)
Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968)
1-3. Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra [18:57]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)

4. Two Studies [ 4:43]
Federico Moreno TORROBA (1891-1982)

5. Madronos [ 2:51]
6. Dos Canciones Catalanas [ 3:12]
TORROBA (arr. Segovia)

7. Arada y Danza (from Suite Castellana) [time not given]
Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909) (arr. Segovia)

8. Sevilla (from Suite Espanola) [ 4:01]
9. Torre Bermeja (from Piezas Caracteristicas) [ 3:44]
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) (arr. Segovia)

10. Danza Espanola No.5 in E Minor [ 3:51]
11. Tonadilla (La Maja de Goya) [ 4:14]
Manuel PONCE (1882-1948) (arr. Segovia)

12. Sonatina Meridional [ 8:33]
13. Rondo on a theme by F. Sor (from Sonata Classique) [ 3:12]
Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) (arr. Segovia)

14. Fandanguilla [ 3:56]
TORROBA (arr. Segovia)

15. Arada & Danza (from Suite Castellana) [ 4:49]
Robert de VISEE (c1660-1725)

16. Entrada y Giga [ 3:14]
17. Bourée y Minuet [ 2:40]
Andrès Segovia (1893-1987) (guitar)
New London Orchestra/Alec Sherman (track one)
REGIS RRC 1158 [73:37]


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Segovia was born in the mining town of Linares in southern Spain in 1893. Growing up in Granada he taught himself to play the guitar, and made his debut, aged 16, in 1909. To begin with he was criticised for being self-taught, especially by those who received their instruction from Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909), and they refused to grant him access to Tarrega’s manuscripts. This lead him to vow that he would "free the guitar from such jailers by creating a repertoire open to all". The identity of his detractors is unclear but Segovia’s name will live on as perhaps the supreme exponent of his instrument to whom such guitarists as Julian Bream and John Williams acknowledge a huge debt of gratitude. Indeed by the time of his death, aged 94 in 1987, he had vastly increased the guitar’s repertoire having commissioned and had works written especially for him by Villa-Lobos, Manuel Ponce, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Rodrigo, Roussel and many others. Rodrigo’s "Concierto de Aranjuez" was written for him, though he preferred his "Fantasia para un gentilhombre".

This disc of Segovia favourites is of works recorded between 1949-1952, though his recording career spans an incredible fifty years or more. The disc’s opener is the Castelnuovo-Tedesco concerto with the New London Orchestra from 1949. This is a fine account, apart from the fact that it does sound rather dated, the orchestral sound giving away its 55 years. Everything else is of Segovia alone and there are some particular gems, especially the two Albeniz pieces and the two by Granados. There are also two of what Segovia called "recital tasters" – early works he would place at the start of his recitals before the weightier and more modern works. On this disc these "tasters" are by Robert de Visée (c.1660-1725), who is little known and therefore all the more welcome.

This is a disc to dip into as I doubt that many, other than total guitar aficionados, could take nearly 75 minutes of music mostly for solo guitar. However, with works by nine different composers there is no difficulty in choosing a programme that will help show why Segovia is still regarded as the "guitar magician" the disc’s title proclaims him to be.

Steve Arloff



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