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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

Andres Segovia and his contemporaries - Volume 3
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)

Chaconne (from Violin Partita No.2) BWV 1004 [12.15]
Gavottes 1 and 2 (from Violin Partita No.3) BWV 1006 [2.52]
Prelude for Lute BWV 999 [1.15]
Courante (from Cello Suite No.3) BWV 1009 [2.44]
Sarabande (from Lute Suite No.1) BWV 996 [3.24]
Bourree (from Lute Suite No.1) BWV 996 [1.28]
Gavottes 1 and 2 (from Cello Suite No.6) BWV 1012 [3.48]
Fugue (from Violin Sonata No.1) BWV 1000 [4.24]
Francisco TARREGA (1852-1909)

Gran Jota edited ROCH [3.13]
Dominici: Italienisch Fantasie [3.31]
K FREISNEGG

Variations on Schubert's " Die Forelle " [3.35]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1809-1847)

Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 [3.39]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Ständchen [2.57]
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)

Minuet for Guitar, Viola and Flute [2.50]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)

Schumann: Träumerei [2.50]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)

Waltz in A flat [2.38]
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)

Minuet and Allegro [6.11]
Recorded 1932 and 1934
Andres Segovia (guitar) all Bach items, recorded in 1947
Luise Walker (guitar) remainder, recorded in 1932 and 1934
DOREMI DHR 7709 [63.58]

 

Though it’s noted for its strength in the restoration of recordings by violinists Doremi has made a profitable excursion into the world of the guitar on disc. This is the third volume in its Segovia series and one that manages to ally his 1947 Musicraft albums with the earlier 1932 and 1934 Telefunkens and Odeons of the Austrian Luise Walker. They make a formidable contrast. Segovia gives an all-Bach recital spread over albums M85 and M90 whereas Walker mines paraphrases of Die Forelle, enjoys a Jota, and delves into the more pianistic lore of Schumann and Brahms and Chopin. The stark contrast between the perceived intellectualism of the one and the more impermanent frivolity of the other may seem to set up an impenetrable barrier. The fact is of course that they were pretty much both recording transcriptions. Segovia had grave concerns about his Chaconne transcription worrying lest it may be seen an impertinence and waiting seven years before he had it published – shortly after Luise Walker’s Telefunkens were recorded coincidentally.

His Chaconne however is a marvel of colouration, vibrato usage and the art of sustain - much less musical paragraphal pointing and sculptural control. It makes remarkable listening to this day. And so does the remainder of the two Bach albums he set down in New York. The Gavottes from the third Partita are lovely, enriched by naughty little rubati toward the end and I particularly admired the gravity of the Sarabande from the first Lute Suite. Most of these recordings will be known though to have them collated thus in a Segovia series is a pleasure.

Luise Walker was born in Vienna in 1910, one of her early musical associates being the Catalan Miguel Llobet, a great Tarrega disciple, from whom she clearly absorbed much. Her discs, as suggested, correspond to the usual prevailing transcriptions of the day. Nevertheless we have something of her Austro-Spanish lineage in the Tarrega - witty runs, a tattoo on the body of the instrument and great colour inform the Gran Jota, and the Dominici functions as a sort of tremolando study. I doubt the Schubert would pass muster now, the treble runs sounding distinctly silly, but she gives Träumerei a real Spanish tinge – maybe she’d heard Llobet playing it in that way. She’s joined by an anonymous group for the Boccherini Quartet, a work she was later to re-record rather more successfully. Despite the rather circumscribed nature of these discs we can still feel her very considerable instrumental finesse.

Some of the pre-War Telefunkens sound rather more open than the post-War Segovia Musicrafts but generally things are very acceptable. There are extensive notes – unusually so for Doremi who tend to be rather skimpy in that respect - though there are rogue paragraphs here and there. An enjoyable collection then, representing two very sides of the guitar transcribers’ art.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 

 

 



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