Luys MILÁN (c.1500-c.1560)
#Pavane no.6 [2:11]
#Pavane no.5 [1:16]
Robert de VISÉE (c.1665-1732/3)
Giga Melancolica [1:56]
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
#Largo assai (from: String Quartet op.74/3) [5:38]
#Menuet (from: String Quartet op.76/1) [3:59]
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
#Zambra Granadina [4:43]
Gaspar SANZ (1640-1710)
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
#Sonata in G, L.79 [2:43]
Fernando SOR (1778-1839)
Andante largo (from: Six Short Pieces, op.5) [5:34]
Rondo (from: Sonata op.22) [4:10]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
#Song without Words, op.30 no.3 [2:15]
Federico Moreno TORROBA
Romanza de los Pinos (from: Castillos de España) [1:41]
*Serenata Burlesca [2:56]
Manuel PONCE (1882-1948)
*Canción Mexicana no.3 [1:30]
*Thème Varié et Finale [7:56]
*Capriccio Diabolico (Omaggio a Paganini), op.85 [9:11]
#arrangements for guitar
To this composite re-release of old recordings by Spanish guitar legend Andrés Segovia, Alto furnish brand-new notes by Peter Avis. After a biographical sketch of the guitarist, these take the listener composer by composer through the programme, making links where appropriate with Segovia, whose unique talent inspired so many.
Segovia's 'recital' here is essentially a collection of shortish mood pieces, slightly off the beaten track, generally Spanish in character, and light and airy on the whole, rather than flashily virtuosic: welcoming music to Segovian newcomer and old hand alike. Conveniently, the pieces - which include both original guitar works and Segovia's trademark transcriptions - are arranged more or less in chronological order. They begin with Luys Milán (Luis de Milán) and end with two more substantial, stylish items from Manuel Ponce and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for the more seasoned listener.
Sound quality overall is very good - so much so that the majority of these recordings can be considered the equal of some modern ones. Precise dates and venues are not given, but there is surprisingly little variation in quality across the programme - the 1954 pieces have some background hiss and less of a true stereo feel, but there is little cause for complaint. Credit is certainly due to Paul Arden-Taylor, who is responsible for the mastering for Alto.
From an orthographical point of view the layout is rather scrappy on the back cover, which has quite an array of fonts, omitted diacritics, misapplied bold print, the odd random capitalisation or wrong date. Most of these faults are rectified for the inner track-listing, however. The booklet notes only seldom stray: "harpicshord", for example, or Avis' assertion that Haydn wrote "literally hundreds of works" for the baryton.
At any rate, technical quality, a generous timing and Alto's budget retail price combine to make this an ideal disc for those looking for a cheap introduction to Segovia's peerless musicianship, or for anyone, for that matter, after a low-price CD of appealingly reflective, audience-friendly guitar pieces by some of the great composers for the instrument.
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