Andrés Segovia

The Segovia Collection, Vol. 1

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This attractive disc, volume I of Deutsche Grammophon's Segovia Collection, contains the Spanish (Andalusian, to be more precise) master's performances of three guitar concertos: Joaquín Rodrigo's Fantasía para un gentilhombre, Luigi Boccherini's Concerto in E major, and Manuel Ponce's Concierto del sur. Listening to Segovia play with the orchestra is a particularly rewarding experience, as his solo playing often evokes the richness of an instrumental ensemble. For example, in his interpretation of Rodrigo's work, Segovia employs his extraordinary sonic palette to blend into the rich orchestration and sonic imagery, also entering into a dialogue with particular instruments of the orchestra. However, there is an indescribable quality in Segovia's playing that clearly establishes the guitar as a dominant voice in this work. Indeed, one only has to listen to the solo part to fully experience the elegance, gentle melancholy, and archaic majesty of Rodrigo's Concierto. Segovia's multi-faceted virtuosity is perfectly suited for the bright energy, expansive lyricism, and subtle exoticism of Ponce's concerto, a work that offers Segovia an opportunity to explore the immense sonic resources of the guitar. Equally extraordinary is his performance of Boccherini's Concerto in E major, a transcription by the great Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassado of a cello concerto in D major. According to the liner notes, Cassado's transcription was inspired by Segovia's performance of two guitar concertos. By transforming a charming cello concerto into an exquisite work for guitar, in the limpid sonority of E major, Cassado created a unique work of art. Even excellent performances of the cello concerto are no match for Segovia, whose impeccable playing captures the gentle, refined essence of Boccherini's music.

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