Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Truth About The Publications By Andrés Segovia

The guitar repertoire contains quite a number of works which were written for the late Andrés Segovia by various composers. In most of these works with the exception of those by guitar composers, Segovia often took up the job of devising his own fingerings before having the music published. Unfortunately, I've often found that his publishings are most of the time unsatisfactory and more often than not, unreliable. Besides the usual printing errors found in them, Segovia had the bad habit of changing many details in the works which he was dealing with, even to the extent of changing the melodic and harmonic structure of the work.

The most unfortunate fact is that the publications of many works written for him has been founded upon his own texts, and thus, his publication of a particular work is the only version of the work available. Also, the publisher, Schott doesn't seem to be interested in re-publishing the works in a more accurate manner. As such, the process of learning those music often involves a very tedious process of analysing the work to sieve out the more obvious problems and at the same time, sections which are open to interpretation.

In one of such published work of Joaquin Turina I've taken up recently, I've the honour of having the fascimile manuscipt of the work sent to me by the kind Maestro Angelo Gilardino (guitar composer and musicologist). Upon comparison, I realised that there're quite a number of errors whereby sharps and flats are left out and Segovia had actually changed the performance directions which include the dynamics, phrasings and articulation. On top of that, he had actually taken out a bar in the second movement of the work. Sacrilege! And not considering that the fact that the changes he made didn't yield any beautiful musical effects at all...

I'm glad Maestro Angelo Gilardino is currently attempting to rescue all the original manuscripts of those works and publish them. It would be such a consolation for musicians who just have to work with the initial purest state of the work without any filth added in them.

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