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Andrés Segovia: 1950s American Recordings - Volume 3
Delphin ALARD (1815-1888)
Ten Artistic Studies for violin Op. 19: Study No. 2 in A major, "Estudio brillante" (arr. Tarrega) [2:05]
Francisco TÁRREGA (1852-1909)
Four Mazurkas: No. 3. Marieta [2:21]; Prelude No. 5 in E major [1:47]; Prelude No. 2 in A major [2:08]
Maria [1:28]
Four Mazurkas: No. 2. Mazurka in G major [1:59]
Capricho arabe [5:28]
Recuerdos de la Alhambra [5:13]
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Suite española No. 1, Op. 47: No. 5. Asturias [6:24]
Julián AGUIRRE (1868-1924)
Canción [1:08]
Joaquín MALATS (1872-1912)
Serenata española (Spanish Serenade) [3:43]
Manuel Maria PONCE (1882-1948)
Prelude No. 18 in F minor (Segovia No. 6) [1:31]
Prelude No. 1 in C major (Segovia No. 7) [1:20]
Prelude No. 9 in E major (Segovia No. 9) [0:40]
Prelude No. 8 in F sharp minor (Segovia No. 1) [1:17]
Prelude No. 13 in F sharp major (Segovia No. 3) [1:41]
Prelude No. 11 in B major (Segovia No. 4) [0:55]
Three Canciones populares mexicanas: No. 3. La Valentina [1:30]
Tema variado y final (Theme varie et Finale) [7:56]
Guitar Sonata No. 3 (1927)
I. Allegro moderato [6:43]; II. Chanson: Andante [3:09]; III. Allegro non troppo [5:18]
Four Pieces (excerpts)
No. 3. Mazurka [3:50]; No. 1. Valse [3:09]
Oscar ESPLÁ (1886-1976)
Levante: Nos. 2 and 5 (1932-33) [3:30]
Andrés Segovia (guitar)
rec. New York, 1952-56
NAXOS 8.111091 [77:33]
Experience Classicsonline

Ponce and Tárrega consume the lion’s share of disc space on this volume and do so with works perfectly attuned to Segovia’s incomparable virtuosity and colouristic finesse.
Things begin however with Alard’s Op.19 Study for violin in this transcription by Tárrega. It’s effectively an arpeggio study and displays the Segovia’s evenness and incision. When we reach Tárrega’s own compositions we encounter Mazurkas and Preludes of enviable variety.  One of the most remarkable features of Marieta, which is a Mazurka, is the sheer sonority and vibrato-rich sense of projection in his lower strings. The Preludio No.2 is a tremendously difficult piece in which to keep the melody line uppermost but Segovia, needless to say, never fails to ensure that it’s audible and flowing. The Mazurka in G has a Chopinesque delicacy with its melodic inspiration distributed democratically throughout the strings whereas the Capricho arabe wears its Moorish inheritance lightly in its dance rhythms. Inevitably Segovia essays Recuerdos de la Alhambra but he does so with such verve and vivid, dazzling eloquence that no one could possibly resist revisiting this magnificent edifice once again.
But no less remarkable – lest one get blasé about Segovia – is Albéniz’s Asturias where the flamenco flourishes and arpeggiated writing bring forth all of the protagonist’s flamboyance. Segovia plays six of Ponce’s Preludes.  The broken chord writing of No.7 is exceptionally evocative and the sixth has a wealth of drama in its single minute to last five times that length of time.  The Tema variado y final is a valuable addition to the guitar repertoire, which Segovia had edited in 1928 during which process he slightly pruned it.  The Sonata dates from 1927. It’s cast in three movements and gives the guitarist plenty of opportunities to evoke colour and descriptive attack but also to relish the beautiful song without words that lies at its heart.
Really first class and extensive notes are complemented by good transfers.
Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Göran Forsling


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