Monday, August 01, 2005

Andrés Segovia - The Primitive Man


Andrés Segovia

I really wonder how would the present guitar scene be if Andrés Segovia, the father of the modern day guitar, had accepted Arnold Schoenberg's request to write for the guitar. He had previously found the guitar repertoire to be too limited and asked the composers of his day to write for the guitar, yet when Arnold Schoenberg and composers of atonal music came forward to offer to write for the guitar, he had rejected them straight in the face. I do respect him for the fact that he was the founder of the modern day guitar, otherwise the classical guitar will never make it up to the concert stage and John Williams will probably follow his father's footsteps and be a jazz guitarist. But I'm just a little piqued for his action of rejecting compositions by atonal composers and playing most compositions by Manuel Ponce in his later years. Ponce was another composer who was too primitive for his time. I have to admit that he was a prolific composer and I really love his music, but I thought that he would have been more famous if he had been borned a century earlier. Oh well...

Maybe I'm sinking too deeply into modern music. I could feel myself shaking a little when I realised the fact that Schoenberg had requested to write for the guitar and Segovia had slammed the door shut in his face. You could have imagined what nasty things I would have done to Segovia if I was able to go back in time. Atonal music may seem to have less emotional value than traditional tonal music, but I'm liking them for their experimental value. And I just felt it's time we ought to recognise atonal music as a development in the timeline of music instead of pretending that this style of composition had never been present all these while.

2 comments:

DDN25 said...

Have you looked at the many pieces written for Segovia which were published by Berben Editions in "The Andres Segovia Archive"? There's quite a bit of material in there which may well meet the qualifications you are looking for in "modernism".

Segovia didn't play this music himself, but he had the foresight to not just toss it away. Instead, he carefully placed it in his filing cabinets, where it awaited recovery in 2001.

solitudex said...

Thanks a million for that information! I would love to have that in my collection, but guess it wouldn't be in the near future due to some tight financial situation I'm in right now. But the thought of being able to play modern music on my instrument is no doubt exciting. =)