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Andres Segovia and his Contemporaries - Volume 4
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)

Asturias [5.38] +
Granada [5.01] +
Cadiz [4.24] +
Francisco TARREGA (1852-1909)

Recuerdos de la Alhambra [4.54] +
Variaciones sobre la Jota Aragonesa (Gran Jota) [5.15] +
Sueño [5.22] +
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916)

Danza No.5 [5.14] +
Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894)

Romance [4.18] +

Pavana VI (1535) [0.50]
Pavana IV(1535) [0.59]

Pavana [1.27]

Canzone [1.36]
Saltarello 1.00]
El Noi de la Mare [1.20]
El Testamente de Amelia [1.55]
Federico TORROBA (1891-1982)

Burgalesa [1.52]
Albada [1.27]
Arada [2.58]
Francisco TARREGA (1852-1909)

Danza Mora [1.32]
Minuet [1.52]
Robert DE VISEE (c .1660-1722)

Entrada [1.43]
Gigue (attributed) [1.36]
Bourée [0.44]
Minuet [2.00]
Andres Segovia (guitar)
Maria Luisa Anido (guitar) +
Recorded 1944 (Segovia) and early 1930s and (late 1950s?) (Maria Luisa Anido)
DOREMI DHR 7719 [65.22]

Doremi is racing ahead in its ‘Segovia and Contemporaries’ series and has now reached volume four.

It’s more a reflection of the repertoire, and Segovia’s 78 album from which it derived, but the focus of interest here is actually weighted slightly more in favour of Maria Luisa Anido than Segovia himself.

His 1944 Decca set was a conspectus of guitar music though the emphasis was very much on historic visitations; Pavanes and little anonymous Canzone. Some were extracted from suites for baroque guitar, others were realised by Oscar Chilesotti (1848-1916) but there were also the Torroba pieces, works written expressly for Segovia. All of the earlier pieces are delightful but most are short and rely on Segovia’s courtly elegance of expression to transmute rather baser metal into gold. Of this sequence it’s actually De Visee’s Entrada that is the most captivating as one hears Segovia append Iberian tints to the essentially baroque furrow of the piece. Or also the way his life-affirming rhythmic genius enlivens an otherwise pleasant Minuet. It’s the contemporary Torroba however in which we hear Segovia at his most distinctive. There’s the intense vibrato and the coil of the tone in Burgalesa and the warmly expressive Arada. Equally impressive is his Tarrega where the loquaciousness of the Danza Mora is fuelled by the guitarist’s taut drama.

Still, coupling this very dissimilar repertoire with Anido’s Melodiya and Victrola discs is instructive. The Argentinian born Anido (1907-1996) came from a guitar family – her father was an amateur player and also edited a guitar magazine. She studied with a succession of the most eminent musicians, Domingo Prat, Miguel Llobet and Josefina Robledo and made a prodigy’s debut at eleven, at around the time she first heard Segovia. She gave many concerts in Latin America and she taught before branching out into world tours in the 1950s – she was especially popular in Russia and Japan.

The two 1930s discs here, the recordings of Cadiz and Rubinstein, are delectable examples of her art though to me the latter never quite flows idiomatically enough. The later discs, undated here but maybe deriving from around the time of her Russian tours of the mid to later 1950s, offer a more solid example of her mature musicianship. Her rubati in the Albéniz Asturias may be indulged but there’s no doubting the sensitivity of its central section or the languid haze of Granada. Her rhythm in the Tarrega Recuerdos de la Alhambra is almost defiantly elastic, an impression reinforced to its detriment by the same vice in the Granados Danza – the arpeggiated chords are delightful but her indulgence of rubati surely too capricious for comfort. Elsewhere one can hear with admiration her colour and tone in the Variaciones sobre la Jota Aragonesa along with its martial beaten tattoo and some exceptionally fast passagework.

Jack Silver’s notes, to which I’m indebted, are unusually informative and full of useful biographical details of Anido in particular. And the recordings, if a touch dampened down, are very listenable. Not only that – enjoyable.

Jonathan Woolf



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