MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Not available in the USA

alternatively Classicsonline Crotchet

Andrés Segovia - 1950s American Recordings: Volume 4
Luys MILAN (c. 1500–after 1560)
1. Pavana III [1:32]
2. Fantasia XVI [3:03]
Luys de NARVÁEZ (fl. 1526–1549)
3. Canción del Emperador [3:05]
4. Guárdame las vacas [2:48]
Alonso MUDARRA (c. 1510–1580)
5. Romanesca [2:00]
John DOWLAND (1563–1626)
6. Captain Digorie Piper’s Galliard [2:09]
7. Galliard [0:43]
Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583–1643)
8. Aria detta la Frescobalda [6:39]
Louis COUPERIN (c. 1626–1661)
9. Passacaglia [6:00]
Six 16th Century Pieces
10. Anonymous: Vaghe belleze [1:34]
11. Cesare Negri: Bianco fiore [0:37]
12. Anonymous: Danza [0:53]
13. Anonymous: Gagliarda [0:58]
14. Anonymous: Se io m’accorgo [1:52]
15. Vincenzo Galilei: Saltarello [0:59]
Robert de VISÉE (c. 1650–c. 1732)
Suite in D minor:
16. Prélude [0:43]
17. Allemande [2:28]
18. Bourrée [0:44]
19. Sarabande [1:44]
20. Gavotte [0:56]
21. Gigue [1:13]
Manuel PONCE (1882–1948)
from Suite II:
22. Preámbulo [4:21]
23. Tempo di Gavotta [3:09]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683–1764)
24. Minuet [3:37]
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685–1757)
25. Sonata K. 11 / L. 352 [3:19]
Manuel PONCE
from Suite I:
26. Prélude [2:07]
27. Ballet [2:44]
28. Prélude [1:50]
29. Allemande [2:35]
30. Gigue [4:45]
Andrés Segovia (guitar)
rec. 1952–1957


Experience Classicsonline

This disc covers Segovia’s recordings of music from the late renaissance and the baroque – real or faked. In the ’fifties little of this repertoire was known beyond a fairly narrow circle of specialists. Segovia made an important contribution to spread this often exquisite music – not to every Tom, Dick and Harry but at least to general lovers of classical music. The period performance movement was in its infancy and to Segovia it felt natural to adapt the music for the modern six-stringed guitar instead of taking up the baroque guitar or the lute. The consequence was that he distanced himself from the originals. He also performed the works in a romanticized manner with heavy accents, wide dynamics and freedom of tempo. For today’s listener who have grown accustomed to more authentic playing he can appear dated, heavy and rather unsubtle. Take Luys Milan’s Pavana III as an enlightening example. It is energetic and played with great conviction but rather four-square. I only had to take down Michael Tillman’s disc A Renaissance, which I reviewed a couple of years ago, to find something different. He too plays this music on a modern guitar and in his own transcriptions, so the comparison is apt. This music is softer, more gracious and intimate but also at the lower volume and less outgoing approach he finds lots of nuances and he invites us to listen, not by shouting but by whispering: “a well-needed counterpoint to the terror, the catastrophes and the turmoil in the world around us” as I wrote at the time.

The difference between the two players is at least as big as when comparing a full symphony orchestra and a small period group in Bach. Segovia finds his own subtleties and I can well think of people who prefer his earthbound approach. He plays Mudarra (tr. 5) with more light and shade and Dowland is OK but the anonymous Gaillard, formerly attributed to Dowland, is robust almost to a fault.

The Aria by Frescobaldi is originally for harpsichord and a set of variations on a theme that probably is Frescobaldi’s own. Transcribing music from one instrument to another, further distances it from its own time and the flexible tempos that Segovia adopts are actually advised by the composer.  Also Louis Couperin’s Passacaglia is for a keyboard instrument. It is sensitively played but with heavy accents in places.

The six 16th century pieces are from an anthology by the Italian 19th century musicologist Oscar Chilesotti and Segovia was very fond of these miniatures as concert-openers. They are melodious and attractive, the last one – a lively dance over an ostinato bass – was composed by Vincenzo Galilei, father of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei.

Robert de Visée was a court musician in Paris between 1680 and 1732 – a long time indeed. This was the era of Louis XIV and eventually he also became the guitar tutor of Louis XV. This is also music that sounds best on a baroque instrument but the Sarabande is a fine piece also on a modern instrument and so is the lively Gavotte.

Readers may wonder what 20th century composer Manuel Ponce is doing in this company but both the suites represented here were written by request from Segovia in a somewhat Bach-like style. Since Bach was well-known even in the early 1930s he instead ascribed them to Alessandro Scarlatti and Sylvius Leopold Weiss. According to Miguel Alcázar, the editor of Ponce’s complete music for guitar, attributed them to other composers ‘in order to avoid playing only works by Ponce in his recitals. The ‘Scarlatti’ pieces (tr. 22, 23) are marred by an over-resonant recording that diffuses the sound almost to distortion. This is also the case with Domenico Scarlatti’s charming Sonata (tr. 25). In the Minuet by Rameau one can clearly hear that the piece was conceived for harpsichord – or so I believed when hearing it but it is actually a transcription of a dance interlude from the opera Platée. I don’t think anyone could believe the concluding ‘Weiss’ pastiches to be early 17th century but they are attractive pieces – Weiss was a great composer of lute music! – and the Allemande and Gigue are riveting.

Those who have been collecting this Segovia series can safely invest in this volume too but those who feel uncertain whether they will appreciate his dated performance style should listen before buying. From an historical point of view it might be argued that this music wouldn’t have been performed at all fifty years ago if it hadn’t been for Segovia championing it. Thus they are valuable documents and add something significant to his discography.

Göran Forsling 



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.