Barrios Vs Segovia – Good friends, Foes, Or Just Various?

Andrés Segovia has an immovable status as the father of modern classical guitar, he set the foundations for all that arrived later. Devoid of him this modest instrument now would be relegated only to popular and people tunes.

That claimed, there is also quite a few men and women who criticize his attitudes and even his actively playing technique, he is no a lot more untouchable for the new generation of guitarists.

A single matter that quite a few men and women take into account notable about Segovia is his marriage with guitar composer Agustin Barrios Mangore, whose name now is current just about normally in the repertoire of classical guitarists and is often considered 1 of the finest composers for the instrument (as a Chopin of the guitar, quoting John Williams).

Inspite of the recognition Barrios receives now, he was reasonably unknown in the planet of classical guitar throughout his life span. He didn’t tour Europe or the United States, he performed live shows in Latin The us, with achievements, but the smaller sector didn’t permit him make a excellent quantity of revenue. He didn’t become a planet figure, not like his counterpart Segovia, who filled prestigious theaters in the most important towns in the planet.

Even though Barrios arrived from a country reasonably isolated from the musical planet, we are unable to say that he didn’t have the probability to burst his vocation. He invested a superior offer of time in 1 of world’s cultural facilities of the time: Buenos Aires. He didn’t consider edge of this favorable atmosphere, he focused to play live shows and make documents dependable of generally popular tunes, and stayed absent from the expanding classical guitar community in Buenos Aires. Llobet, Segovia and other notable guitarists regularly traveled to play live shows in this town with a excellent and welcoming community.

Barrios directed himself a lot more to the popular tunes community, this was because of to various good reasons talked over somewhere else. Later on, he had yet another significant option to more his vocation, when conference Gino Marinuzzi, the planet well-known conductor of La Scala Opera of Milan in Rio de Janeiro. He performed a private live performance for the notable musician and some of his buddies and have been warmly congratulated. If he had taken care of make contact with with Marinuzzi, he could have produced some contacts with impresarios in Europe and arrange some live shows.

Other, and probably the very best option he had (despite the fact that this time it didn’t count significantly of him) was when conference Andres Segovia. The Maestro Segovia, at the time they satisfied, however wasn’t the planet authority of guitar that he would become in later yrs, but was nonetheless in a significantly better position than Barrios, he was actively playing live shows in South The us and Europe.

Segovia had heard about Barrios before they satisfied in 1921. Miguel Herrera Klinger (an Uruguayan biographer) declared that in specified event he overheard a conversation in a guitar store in Buenos Aires amongst Andrés Segovia, Regino Sáinz de la Maza and Domingo Prat concerning Barrios. They have been talking about about the metallic strings the Paraguayan made use of. Sáinz de la Maza was the only 1 who did not reject steel strings, as very long as it was Barrios who performed on them. To what Segovia claimed: “Well, as considerably as I am involved, I would not know what to do with that wire fence”. This happened all around 1912, when Barrios however wasn’t a experienced guitarist and Segovia was just beginning his vocation.

They satisfied ultimately in 1921, in Buenos Aires. Segovia was getting a lot more and a lot more recognition at this time, he was in a significantly better position that Barrios, that established the way that the come across happened: Barrios attending a live performance by Segovia. Right after the live performance they where released by a pal of equally. They talked politely and Barrios promised to stop by him.

This stop by happened some time later in Segovia’s home (Barrios was the 1 who had to go immediately after Segovia). Klinger declared about this come across: “Barrios performed a cascade of musical gems for the excellent Segovia who was amazed…better still: he was floored. Nearly 2 hrs later he was congratulated by the Maestro. A single certain work he liked pretty significantly and indicated he would play in his live shows. Barrios gave him an original duplicate with a perseverance. The work that Segovia claimed he would like to software in his live shows he by no means performed. And logically so: if he had performed it, with the extraordinary abilities he possessed he would have elevated Barrios to inaccessible heights, thus detracting from his possess artistic status.”

The work that Klinger is speaking about right here is La Catedral, 1 of Barrios masterpieces. There is the risk that Barrios by no means acquired to give a duplicate to Segovia, as he hadn’t any with him, he had to check with a pal to mail it from Uruguay. We really don’t know for sure if the duplicate arrived at time, before Segovia left Buenos Aires. But if Segovia had been sincere he would have aided Barrios to arrange live shows in Europe and the United States. Quite a few yrs later, Barrios would know that Segovia wasn’t his pal and say about him that he was “deaf in the heart”. Barrios acknowledged that Segovia was an fantastic technician but he didn’t see himself as staying in any way “fewer of a technician”. Barrios was very pleased of his identity as a composer, which associated skills and abilities fairly over and above the “mere” acquirement of bodily virtuosity.

This is the typically acknowledged edition, that Segovia had some envy and dread of staying changed by Barrios as a guitar authority, and due to the fact of that he overlooked him. There have been also other good reasons for that rejections that weren’t similar to level of competition. These are technological and musical good reasons.

Segovia was well-known as a severe critic, he by no means doubted of criticizing important musical figures like Narciso Yepes and his 10-string guitar, Paco de Lucía and Abel Carlevaro. He had a crystal clear eyesight of what classical guitar ought to be and didn’t acknowledge any person who was heading in yet another course. Barrios was 1 of them. Barrios performed using metallic strings, a seriously superior motive for Segovia to reject him. Also it could be that he didn’t like the tunes of Barrios, as it had sometimes a Latin American folklore character. He despised everything that similar the guitar to people tunes.

It is well-known the quotation of Segovia saying that Barrios “isn’t a superior composer for the guitar”. David Norton, the student that asked Segovia about Barrios in a masterclass produced the adhering to post in the on the net discussion board at

Everyone right here knows the quotation: “In community, I heard Segovia say that ‘Barrios was not a superior composer for the guitar.'” Richard Stover has repeated this statement for yrs, as a mantra of types.

But which is not the total story. This post is. You see, as destiny would have it, I was the student who asked Segovia about Barrios that afternoon, and this excerpted quotation is his response to me.

The context is this. Segovia had finished a masterclass at California Condition College – Northridge (CSUN). I am contemplating this was April 1981 or 1982. Not important. The class was concluded and I, alongside with 20 or 30 other folks, was up in front hovering. Situation have been this sort of that Segovia was answering a number of thoughts from the college students. I found myself not 4 feet from him, with Stover (my instructor at the time) correct future to me.

I asked, “Maestro, what is your feeling of the tunes of Barrios which has become so popular not long ago?” His spouse asked me to repeat it, due to the fact in a natural way they have been not seriously listening. I did, she translated.

Segovia paused, and it was crystal clear that he was having difficulties for the correct phrases. “Barrios …. he was not …. he did not generate …. all smaller parts (he gestured with his hands, thumb and forefinger indicating smallness) …. not like Ponce, who wrote large. No, in comparison to Ponce or Castelnuovo, Barrios is not superior composer for la guitarra.”

Stover only seriously heard the previous little bit. He was various shades over and above furious with me for asking: “You Experienced to check with HIM, in front of God and anyone!! And he just dismissed my complete life’s work. Thank you pretty significantly!!.” And he stomped off. A 7 days later, he apologized for around-reacting, and claimed “So what? He’s an old male, who cares what he thinks? Persons with any brains know better about Barrios.”

And no 1 who wasn’t there that afternoon would ever have regarded of this conversation, if Stover himself hadn’t invested the adhering to yrs restating it around and around, and then attacking it.

So there you have it, at least as very well as I recall the incident from 23-24 yrs in the past. In context, a 90-12 months-old male, who was obviously pretty fatigued from 3 hrs of teaching, talking in English (which was by no means his strong point), and his real statement is not just about as damning as the sound-bite Stover has posted around the yrs.

Make of it as you will.

There was yet another come across amongst the two masters, quite a few yrs later, at the close of Barrios’ everyday living. In March of 1944 Segovia frequented San Salvador to play a live performance. The two masters satisfied and invested various hrs chatting in Segovia’s lodge room. Not even a take note was performed, as Barrios was in terrible bodily shape and Segovia felt a specified quantity of pity for his “foe”, as he was overlooked and lousy in a reasonably isolated country and Segovia understood the fame and recognition that his talent merited.

They had a polite and cordial conference, where Segovia left Barrios a set of gut strings as a gift.

This story sheds light-weight to his feeling concerning Barrios’ tunes. Segovia admired Barrios as a musicianship but didn’t want to popularize his tunes with a people character, his objective was to demonstrate to the planet that the guitar could be considered an instrument of art tunes. This could also be combined, but I doubt it, with jealously.

We can blame Segovia for not displaying Barrios to the planet, but Barrios by no means did significantly to become what he ought to. He wasn’t intrigued in it. His tunes was for the men and women he understood. This can be recognized in his biography underneath.

We are unable to know for sure the good reasons for Segovia rejecting Barrios, we can only speculate. What we know is that a significant option was squandered equally by Barrios and Segovia to make classical guitar even bigger.

Source by Pablo Antuna

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