A Classical Guitar Question for Coldfire

Or anyone else who knows the answer, but Coldy’s “da man” when it comes to classical guitar.

I just got a CD with Andres Segovia playing “Sevilla” by Isaac Albeniz. It’s a beautiful song but I’ll be even more impressed if you tell me he’s playing all by himself. It sounds to me like two guitars.

Are you familiar with the piece? Is it a duet or just a very complex solo piece? Or did I just happen to get a recording where he had another guitar for backup?

The CD is one of those cheap “greatest hits” albums put together from a whole lot of other albums, so the liner notes are no help at all.

The first time I heard it I thought, “Boy, he’s good!” (Well I knew that or I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place!) Then I thought, “How can he do all that at once?” At this point I realized there are either two guitars or he has about twelve fingers on each hand.

So which is it?

Hi pluto!

Since when am I da man when it comes to classical guitar? I don’t even play myself :wink:

(Well, I used to. But people were willing to pay me large sums of money to NEVER play again.)

Seriously, although I do know the guitarist (and yes, he is good), I am unfamiliar with the piece, and am also unable to answer very technical questions about the (classical) guitar. My guitar commentary is usually along the lines of “Dude, that Gilmore bastard can sure play a mean solo!”.

Someone else, maybe?

Coldy I think he has you confused with SqrlCub.

Could be :slight_smile:

Pluto, I’m the straight Dutch guy. Sqrl’s the queer Yankee :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, Coldy, I knew you were straight and Dutch but I also thought you were the one who had a frickin’ degree in Classical Guitar! Is that SqrlCub? I could have sworn it was a Euro!

Oh well!

::stumbles back to Alzheimerville::

Hey Coldfire – you can hear a one-minute sample of it over at Amazon. Just go to “The Segovia Collection Vol 3 - My Favorite Works.”

Pluto – what I hear on that sample is indeed impressive. The credits don’t show a second guitarist, and in general with classical music they’re pretty honest about telling you if it’s a duet or not. My gut sense (having listened to the sample) is that that’s Segovia playing solo without a second track or a second accompaniment. He’s definitely extremely good, and by utilizing all four fingers and your thumb when you play classical guitar, you can do some amazing things. He can very well be playing out the melody while playing the rhythmic pluckings with his ring finger and pinky.

Just my $0.02 (I’m so completely rusted through the bottom fell out, but I’ve taken classical guitar and have played guitar off and on since fifth grade – and I used to sell guitars at a music store to feed myself through college).

– Baglady

Another great guitar composition that sounds like it has to take more than two hands but doesn’t: “Aerial Boundaries” by Michael Hedges. It’s gonna take me years to get that puppy down.

Michael Hedges: Aerial Boundaries

A track so good that I rushed off to buy the album of the same name. Seriously good guitar that is not only technically excellent, but sounds quite different from many other acoustic guitar works. A brilliant album that grows on you every time you play it.

BTW, is Michael Hedges still around and still recording? Some time ago I read somewhere that he was dead…

That’s definitely one guitar. I’ve seen the music for the piece, though never even attempted to play it. It’s one of the reasons that Segovia is the acknowledged master of the art.

As for Hedges, yeah, he’s OK, but for my money the guy with the most fingers is Tuck Andress, of Tuck & Patti fame. Check out damn near any of the tracks here http://www.cdnow.com/cgi-bin/mserver/SID=280046044/pagename=/RP/CDN/FIND/album.html/artistid=TUCK+&+PATTI/itemid=298457

Next in line would be Leo Kottke.

L0L! Sqrl is da man on classical and I’m the man on electric. Capishe? :wink:

BTW, that’s just Segovia in that piece–neat huh?

Yeah, Hedges died a few years ago…

Sevilla is an Albeniz piece that is moderate-hard difficulty. Albeniz wrote some incredibly hard stuff that Segovia also played masterfully for the recordings. It is for one guitar if I remember correctly. Segovia almost never played in guitar ensembles of any kind. He either played solo or with an orchestra playing concertos. The Concerto Aranjuez is one of the most difficult pieces of music in guitar literature as well as Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra by Villa-Lobos both of which Segovia played. Incidently, I find that the better recordings are by Bream or Williams rather than Segovia. I am not knocking him as I respect him immensely I just find that Bream and Williams have better produced recordings in general. Segovia often leaves out parts or improvises in middle of his recordings which was more typical of the Romantic Period performer and not as common in modern day practice. Another incidental piece of information is that the Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra originally didn’t have a Cadenza movement which Segovia originally improvised (as was common for the Romantic Period composers) and later Villa-Lobos capitalized on and wrote out the music to Segovia’s improvisation fairly closely.


PS. Time to go to sleep.

Once again I apologize for misremembering our classical guitar expert. And thanks to all of you for your input. I am, as promised, astonished that that is only one guitar.

Thanks for the insight on the recordings, too, SqrlCub – There are a couple of disappointing cuts on the CD (which, BTW, is the one Baglady kindly linked us to), and what you say makes that a little more understandable. Plus many of the recordings are just old – fairly low tech recording sessions.

I may have to break down and get that Michael Hedges CD. I’m a member of a Leo Kottke newsgroup and Hedges gets a lot of mention there, too.

Have ANY of you heard a more subtle masturbation admission?

Oy, it is my sad duty to inform you that yes, Michael passed about four years ago in a single car accident. You can find his official web site here. It struck a lot of people pretty hard, as is evidenced by the message board over there. If you go to “Time to Talk”, then click on “Archives” and select “Dec. 97 part 1” you can read some of the press releases that came out at the time of the accident. His first Grammy (for “Oracle”) was awarded posthumously, and there was another final album released (“Torched”) that he was working on when he died. Terrible, terrible loss to the guitar world.
Just FYI, if anyone’s interested: the official transcripts of his work (including Aerial Boundaries) are available at http://www.snopes.com and you can snag a lot of good amateur efforts at http://www.rootwitch.com . We all miss the guy.