Talk:Andrés Segovia/Archive 1

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It is perhaps too easy to forget Segovia, with some of today's guitarists such as John Williams and Julian Bream being so good. However this week (7th April, 2003 ...) the BBC is broadcasting some recordings by Segovia in its CD Masters program (you can hear these via the net if you are outside the UK), and these reveal that Segovia was indeed a masterly musician. A performer of his stature would still be very much in the forefront of guitarists playing today. Watch it!

I may try to build up a discography for this article.

User:David Martland

Neutrality/Factual Accuracy Disputed Tag[edit]

I placed the neutrality/factual accuracy disputed tag on this page, my reasons for this are simple. I stumbled by accident on a performance by Segovia on the net not too long ago, and wishing to inform myself I decided to check the wiki page. Within a few moments of scrolling down through the page, it became clear that much of it, particular the section dealing with critical acclaim has but one focus: show that Segovia 'was not all that', if I am permitted to say that.

I point to such examples as Overacceptance of Segovia - as "best guitarist" - in the later years of his life, Today Segovia's interpretations are largely rejected this last one only backed by a single 'The Milwaukee Journal' article from 1992(which, if I am not mistaken, is a journal from Milwaukee which had its peak in the 1960s). The use of such weasel terms, at least that's why I believe they're called on Wikipedia, as Many people today are shocked when they first hear some of his recordings, since many people feel that his performance and interpretations are not up to today's standards, again backed only by that lone article which is reused extensively. Further examples include, (Any arguments of Segovia having "rescued the guitar from the hands of flamenco Gypsies" thus lose their meaning today and cast a rather ugly shadow.), Many prominent musicians believed that Segovia's guitar would not be accepted by the classical music community because in their mind, the guitar could not be used to play classical music. The irony in this being that someone actually took the effort of stating What is important is a modern reflection on Segovia (but which does view his work in the context of his time) that keeps a neutral point of view.. As these examples shown, there is no such effort to even attempt to keep a pretense of neutrality. There are a few mistakes in spelling here and there, but that's nothing that can be rectified quickly.

I would appreciate it if someone who is knowledgeable in this, and actually interested in writing this in an "encyclopeding" manner fixes the mistakes in the article. It would be greatly appreciated by those like me who aren't experts or anything of the sort in this field, but want to get pointed in the right direction by the wiki.

Yes, it is probably not written in an "encyclopeding" manner ("Many people today are shocked when they first hear some of his recordings" should probably be removed - I'll remove it in a jiffy).
Some new references have been added that reinforce the content. Some very good thoughts on this matter come from Stephen Kenyon [1]:
"For guitarists it is the time of Matthay that became the definitive moment for performance style thanks to the influence of Segovia, whose interpretations remained heavily indebted to the style of the early 20th century. In order to haul guitar playing out of that style we must of course admit the attractions of a musical aesthetic that is very different from that of the Maestro who did more than anybody else to spread the guitar around the world. This is not my concern here because it needs another article altogether, and because, by default, most of today’s performers and teachers prefer to tread a different stylistic path while retaining the greatest respect for Segovia’s achievement."
PeterSmiths 00:42, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Andres Segovia was a great artist, every modern guitarist owes him a debt irrespective how they might view his interpretations and technique. I feel this article is still skewed (although improved a little over past two months) in exactly the manner described by first post in thread. RichardJ Christie 11:23, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

It's interesting that you fail to mention for what we owe Segovia a debt. PeterSmiths
A sober view on Segovia is definitely needed. If you pick up a guitar, you're free to play it. (No guitarist owes Segovia anything: The guitar already existed. Time never stands still. Development never occurs through a single person alone. And a comparison with the lute shows: with or without a Segovia-figure an instrument and its playing will continue to develop. But (nevertheless) I'm OK, with saying that Segovia made the instrument popular (I cannot prove the claim nor can I refute it. Nor do I believe it to be of importance. If not Segovia, it would have been someone else.)) By the way: There are some books that include some good information on Segovia: A new look at Segovia and The Classical Guitar Book: A Complete History 00:34, 17 September 2007 (UTC) PeterSmiths
A sober view is indeed needed. I've been through the edit history and found that I'm certainly not at all alone in my assessment of the tone of the section as I relate above. It reads as though its author has a bee in his bonnet. Why for example is Segovia's opinion of Barrios' music (which I happen to share <smile>) placed in this section? Why is it included at all?
Like it or lump it: Segovia was a mega-star on the instrument, he was hugely influential on a generation of guitarists and listeners, he inspired composers and poets. He was also a product of his era and its aesthetic. People don't play now Bach as Pablo Casals once did either. So what? Casal's article hasn't full disparaging commentary in that regard. As for Segovia's masterclasses, the teaching technique he uses is as valid as those given in the article that are contrasted with it. Afterall, the pupil turns up full knowing that Segovia teaches Segovia, if they don't want Segovia's insights then they are free to go somewhere else. Those were the terms. And who can judge "overexposure" - thats a value judgement; instead head the paragraph 'criticism' if you must include it - and make it clear that the opinions therein aren't made by Wikipedia but by other parties.
I applaud your tenacity in defending the section you penned but ask that you think about what a number of people are saying to you about its tone.
RichardJ Christie 02:28, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the article should have a factual respectful tone. I highly appreciate your good edits, by the way!
Your sentence above: "He [Segovia] was also a product of his era and its aesthetic." is a very good observation! (Incidentally, John Williams has said something similar.) It should perhaps be included in the main article.
The sentence about Barrios was flicked in. The references reveal a bit of Segovia's character and there is a reference (1) shows that, quote: "Barrios had given Segovia a dedicated copy of the sheet music to his masterpiece, La Catedral"
Since you brought up teaching <smile>: if something is taught, it should be explained and rationalized. Otherwise the following article (2) could teach us "With Segovia, we have the beginning and the perfection of the guitar. There are no higher pinacles for a guitarist to reach." <smile> PeterSmiths 08:36, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Segovia's opinion on Barrios was probably coloured by the fact that he regarded Barrios as a rival in his early (between the wars) tours of S America. I read somewhere that Barrios was influential (or had claimed to be - I don't exactly recall which) in improving Segovia's tone production, which wasn't particularly refined in the his early years. How that went down with the "maestro" whose status as being self-taught was part of his very justification for existence (poorly put, there is a French term for this that escapes me) is anyone's guess. I don't advocate removing reference as to how general technical and musical standards have improved and changed since his day (I agree with you!)- it is just that that fact need not and should not appear to have as its object any need to downplay his overall achievements. RichardJ Christie 12:15, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. PeterSmiths 14:05, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Much of the controversy over Segovia's playing and contributions are a reaction by serious guitarists to the endless hyperbole that surrounded his career and continues to haunt his legacy. Segovia was a great guitarist, and I know of few classical players who would dispute that, although almost all agree that his approach to interpretation is, at best, outdated, and at worst wrongheaded. However, his deification as "the greatest classical guitarist ever" or whatever such nonsense has been peddled, his unsubstantiated, and patently false claims of having either rescued or created the classical guitar, and his highly suspect claims of being his own teacher have lead to a strong reaction on the part of those who would like to shine a light on the history of the classical guitar. It is true that the classical guitar had been in a state of decline (in terms of its worldwide public appeal) at the beginning of the twentieth century except in Barcelona and the Rio de la Plata region. But by the time that Segovia arrived on the scene, a number of Tarrega's students had been working to rectify this, and Miguel Llobet had had considerable success performing throughout Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, and the United States. That someone would, with such technological advances as recording, radio, and air travel, build on Llobet's not insignificant contributions was inevitable. Yes, Segovia derserves credit for being that person, but please, let's not get carried away and agree to the inflated claims that were made by his management's publicity department. It was on Llobet's considerable shoulders that Segovia stood. And, unlike Segovia, Llobet gave full credit to his teacher.

The point is that, given the inflated claims and given the state of today's playing, both from a technical and from an interpretive standpoint, Segovia was indeed not "all that." 9 October 2007 RGuitphil —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rguitphil (talkcontribs) 15:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Please revisit the neutrality question, as I believe I have made revisions that maintain appropriate objectivity while still addressing the reservations that many classical guitarists have. RGuitphil 11 October 2007 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 14:17, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi RGuitphil! Thanks for including some more information in the article.
However I find some of your sentences to be a bit stiff (this might seem hypocritical: go back and check some of my early edits on the article - they were admittedly most unfitting (downright terrible) for an encyclopedia article; but the advantage is that these things can be edited, right?). Your phrase "today's standards of scrupulous attention to the detail contained in the score" is an example. The truth is that a score can never include all details of musical interpretation. (I suppose you're trying mention that Segovia took unsuitable liberties with regard to rhythm etc., but that might not necessarily be a good way of saying it). There score is just a guide: all (scrupulous) details can never be contained therein: Interpretation is performing with ones expressive freedoms and intentions; but doing that while keeping the playing within the correct period-style. (Otherwise one can just use horrible midi computer-renditions).
You mention "his interpretations tend toward the self serving". This leaves the reader guessing. It would be better to change this to what you really mean. (... I was not at all surprised to find out that you've done a doctoral dissertation). You wrote: "Grandiose claims inevitably result in great controversy." - fitting for an encyclopedia? - "Grandiose claims" should only be used once you've explained what you mean. Don't put it at the top of a section: it reads like it is a continuation of the previous paragraph - which it is not. I hope you don't perceive this too harshly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by PeterSmiths (talkcontribs) 09:18, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi PeterSmiths. I have to disagree with you on a couple of points that you make. A musical score can, indeed, contain a great deal of detail. My statement regarding "today's standards of scrupulous attention to the detail" was implying a scrupulousness on the part of the players. It most decidedly did not imply that the details were necessarily scrupulous. And, the score is a good deal more than just a guide! True, not every detail of interpretation can be contained in the score, and any player worth his salt brings a great deal more to the performance than exists in the written score. But this doesn't negate the fact that the most respected players today are scrupulous in their attention to whatever details the composer has put onto the page before they add their own interpretive thoughts.

Now, to simply state that "Segovia took unsuitable liberties" may be perfectly acceptable in a discussion, and is, in fact, the opinion of the overwhelming majority of serious classical guitarists, myself included. But to say so that bluntly in an encyclopedic article is at best indelicate, and at worst flies in the face of the kind of neutrality that such an article must maintain. It is the sort of thing that created this whole brouhaha (and many others) to begin with. So, I believe that the original comment on his interpretations being self serving is strong enough, and is, in fact what I meant to say. If any reader is left guessing as to what that means, although I think it is pretty evident that it means that Segovia interpreted in a way that focused attention away from the composer and the music and toward himself, they can look for more information in other places where neutrality is less critical.

As to any stiffness in my writing; I have been writing articles for magazines, scholarly journals, and, or course, my dissertation, for years, and I adapt my writing style to the appropriateness of the media. In this case, since I believe Wikipedia should be scholarly and unbiased, I am using the same style of writing as may be found in my dissertation and in any of my articles for Soundboard. The more conversational tone I've used in Guitar for the Practicing Musician and Guitar Player is something that I feel is more appropriate for popular type magazines. Rguitphil (talkcontribs) 13:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

The criticism section only shows how wikipedia takes itself too seriously. In any serious and reliable encyclopedia, criticism to such a pioneer would not only be explained thoroughly (both in layman and specialist terms) but would be backed up by tens of references, citing equally reliable & renowned sources. So what do we have here? Oakland Tribune and ... Stephanie von Buchau, now who the f**k is Stephanie von Buchau anyway? And John Williams... well.. I bet he made all those remarks after Segovia passed away (and not out of respect for the maestro). (talk) 01:11, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. The section is poor. I cannot help but suspect, despite the assumption of "good faith" editing, that its inclusion is motivated by personal obsession. (talk) 22:38, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

The problem is that we are still too close historically to Segovia. As a professional classical guitarist (I play, teach, write, and lecture about it) I've been aware of a strong movement in the classical guitar community toward deconstructing the Segovia legend. Most players that I know are of the opinion that Segovia was not as great as his publicity made him out to be, and that, as much as he thrust the guitar into a much more public spotlight than it had previously enjoyed, he also did a great deal of damage by his questionable interpretive choices. There are many players who will allow that his interpretive choices were a product of his 19th century birth - I am among them. But, on the other hand, since his career extended well into the second half of that century, shouldn't we judge him on a basis of the prevailing thought at the time? The point is that it is very difficult - maybe even impossible - to cobble together an encyclopedic entry on Segovia that is both neutral and complete given that those whose opinion of him had moved toward the negative well before his death are among the most prominent of the ones doing the writing.

That he maintained tight control over every facet of his public life has not helped matters. It takes only a modest level of critical thinking to see through the hyperbole that permeates virtually everything written about him for many years. What are we left with? Only the opinions of other players and of music critics, and I'm afraid that most of the opinions given by the players are less than flattering to him. The writer above wants tens of references and explanations in specialist's and laymen's terms, and then proceeds with ad hominem attacks on two of the references given. There are about a dozen given, which is a respectable start. This article is clearly a work in progress. When John Williams comments, one ought to at least give it a fair listen. He has enough of a career and enough respect in the guitar community that he certainly can not be accused of "sour grapes", and he is certainly an informed source. As to Stephanie von Buchau, she is a critic and journalist with a prominent newspaper, and is qualified enough to have her viewpoint taken into account.

I agree, more needs to be written in this entry on the subject, or at least more references ought to be found. On the other hand, lets be sensitive enough to not allow this article to degenerate into a compendium of invective on a man who, his flaws notwithstanding, was an important artist. Rguitphil (talkcontribs) 16:00, 12 March, 2008 (UTC)

Who is Torres?[edit]

At one point the article says "This basic design was developed by Torres 50 years before Segovia was born." It would be great if someone who knows what that means could explain who or what Torres is and provide some wiki links. — Mperry 18:36, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Antonio de Torres was a Spanish luthier who was active in the 19th century. He is considered the father of the modern classical guitar, in that he fixed the basic design of the instrument in terms of size and proportions. Modern luthiers may change such constructs as the design of the bracing on the instrument's sound board, but they continue to use the same basic size and shape as developed by Torres.

Segovia "helped design" what?[edit]

In the 6th paragraph of the Biography, the article text boldly states:

Working together with luthier, Hermann Hauser Sr., he helped design what is now known as the classical guitar, which featured better wood and nylon strings. The shape of the guitar was also changed to improve the acoustics.

With all due respect, such statement is disparaging toward the work of Antonio Torres, José Ramírez and of hundredes of other Luthiers of the past, which possibly had comparable merits and/or skills. (see Classical guitar making).

If such preposterous assertion were true, then whoever wrote it would please clarify what instruments were played, for example, by Francisco Tárrega, who preceded Segovia by more than 40 years?:

...or by Miguel Llobet, who predated Segovia by 15 years?:

File:Miguel Lyobet.jpg
Miguel Llobet

These are just two examples of the many notorious guitarists that excelled in playing, composing or arranging for, and teaching the Classical Guitar proper, and no other instrument, long before Segovia first touched a guitar.

Hence, the article overstates whatever progress did Segovia and Herr Hauser achieve regarding the instrument; at any rate, they did not design it, since it had existed for a long time before they did any work on it. All they did was to improve it, as have done uncountable Luthiers and researchers worldwide.

The text goes on to say:

"...his new guitar could produce louder notes than previous guitar designs being used in Spain and other parts of the world, although still based on the basic design developed by Antonio Torres Jurado almost fifty years before Segovia was born."

This is misleading. But of course "his new guitar" was still based on the "basic design" of the Torres guitars, otherwise it could not be called a guitar.

Regards, AVM 22:46, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Comments on this paragraph from Google Group
Thread title: Happy Birthday, Andres Segovia
On Feb 21, 10:00 pm, Matanya Ophee wrote: 
The problem with this paragraph is not that it is badly written, but that it
contains at least seven demonstrable falsehoods. It would take abut 30 pages
of dense text to demonstrate each and every falsehood in this. Not today.
On Feb 21, 10:59 pm, Andrew Schulman added:
Another way of putting it, it's all wrong.

"Gypsy dance instrument"?[edit]

The closing paragraph states:

"He died in Madrid of a heart attack at the age of 94, having achieved his ambition to elevate the guitar from a gypsy dance instrument to a concert instrument."

Again, such assertion is disparaging. Granted, the classical guitar's prestige was considerably raised due to Segovia's lifetime dedication and titanic efforts, but on the other hand, the two composers mentioned above (Tárrega and Llobet) were not exactly "gypsies", so Segovia (if he indeed uttered such unfortunate phrase) was far too egocentric to have boasted to have '"rescued the guitar from the hands of flamenco gypsies". --AVM 01:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Something Confusing[edit]

"Segovia's technique differed from that of Tárrega and his followers, such as Miguel Llobet. He plucked the strings with a combination of his fingernails and fingertips, producing a sharper sound than that of his contemporaries, Llobet was known to have done this same technique long before Segovia." Did Llobet use this technique or not? I don't have the expertise to edit this, but it seems contradictory. Stijl Council 00:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, Llobet, with whom Segovia studied for a while sometime around 1915, did use this technique. This was a departure from the technique that Tárrega used, and which was espoused primarily by Emilio Pujol. It is believed by some that Tárrega's avoidance of nails had more to do with the condition of his nails due to poor health, or something like that, but I can't help but be a bit skeptical. rguitphil, 5 October, 2006

Rant about students[edit]

[NOTE: Ben Bolt and Esteban really do not belong on the list above. Neither should be considered a serious musician. Just consider that Esteban spends his time peddling cheap, poorly made guitars on late night TV infomercials. It is also doubtful whether de Fremery belongs here as well, though he is a capable guitarist. It is important to note that many people studied with Segovia, however, only a few made significant contributions to the guitar or its literature, and only important students deserve mention here. One name that should probably be added to the list is Michael Lorimer.] -- Marvluse 03:52 16 June 2006

How come Esteban shouldn't be on the list? Although the guitars he sells are of poor quality, Esteban is at the least a decent musician and good guitarist. In my opinion, he is the most famous of all of Segovia's students. 03:23 February 28, 2007

Editing information[edit]

When editing information, please do not add a paragraph indicating that the previous paragraph is incorrect. This is not a discussion forum. Please correct bad information through a rewrite instead. Thank you. --Amazzing5 18:04, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Master classes[edit]

Was there any particular reason for removing the sentence about Segovia's master classes? If not I'll put it back. Thanks. --Amazzing5 15:44, 27 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure if anyone pays attention to this page, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of organizing some of this information with templates such as academia in Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography/Footers. --Amazzing5 21:38, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Segovia's influence[edit]

I think it is important to incude Segovia's influence. His students have been mentioned, but several pieces have been inspired by, or written for Segovia, including works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Manuel Ponce.Mghm5000 06:26, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Dispute banner[edit]

I've removed disputed tag as many changes have been made to this article since it was added. The article still includes fair mention of some controversy regarding Segovia's legacy and performance style but in, I believe, in a balanced manner. RichardJ Christie (talk) 22:38, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Segovia's Goals[edit]

The new section on Segovia's goals quote him as follows:

1. To extract the guitar from the noisy and disreputable folkloric amusements... 2. I requested the living composers not in the field of guitar to write for me. This was the second of my purposes: to create a wonderful repertoire for my instrument. 3. My third purpose was to make the guitar known by the philharmonic public of the world. 4. ... to provide a unifying medium for those interested in the development of the guitar. This I did through my support of the now well known international musicological journal, the Guitar Review 5. I am still working on my fifth and maybe the last purpose, which is to place the guitar in the most important conservatories of the world for teaching the young lovers of it, and thus securing its future.

I had disagreed with R.christie's including them, because I feel that they only serve to feed the controversy. I chose not to remove them, but rather to contact R.christie with my misgivings. He was gracious enough to respond promptly, and although I still have some misgivings, I see his point, and am opening what I hope will be a dialogue on them here, in the place I feel most appropriate.

My problems are as follows:

1. the first goal is rather demeaning to any number of legitimate art forms. That Segovia disparaged flamenco and denied his own early training, and insisted that he was completely self-made betrays a pattern of deception and an ego that were unfortunate earmarks of his career. That he then shows such disdain for all folk art forms is offensive.

2. the second goal is rather self serving in that the focus seems to be him rather than the future of the guitar. Yes, the guitar benefits, of course, but Segovia's insistence that they "write for me," and that it is "my instrument" seem to point, once again, to the kind of ego that I find a bit troublesome.

The inclusion of these goals certainly makes for a complete portrait of the man, but I am apprehensive that some reading this may not readily see the implications, and may come away with the kind of unadulterated hero worship that does nothing to illuminate the man or, more importantly, the history of the guitar. Rguitphil (talkcontribs) 13:12, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Graham Wade, Segovia Allen & Busby 1983 ISBN 0-85031-491-7 puts a rationale more effectively than me, but I will comment presently:

In Segovia's early life neither the course he should steer nor his ultimate destination were apparent:

From my youthful years I dreamed of raising the guitar from the sad artistic level in which it lay. At first my ideas were vague and imprecise, but as I grew in years and my love for it became intense and vehement, my will to do so became more assertive and my intentions clearer. (The Guitar and I)

From the beginning of my career I had five purposes aiming to the redemption of the guitar. At first without precision, for I was a boy of nine years old: later, more clearly thought over, when I was getting more familiar with the instrument and its possibilities, (from Andres Segovia's acceptance speech upon receiving the degree of Doctor of Music, Honoris Causa, at Florida State University, Tallahassee, on 27 February 1969.)

The "five purposes", unified in their intent of raising the guitar from mediocrity, are given in Guitar Review No. 32, as follows:

1. To extract the guitar from the noisy and disreputable folkloric amusements. . . . Listening to the persuasive voice of the guitar, I said to myself, "How is it possible that such a beautiful instrument has no serious music composed for it?" My friends came to my rescue by helping me to find the kind of music that I was looking for.

At a time when folk music of many kinds has been acknowledged as a valuable repository of inherited musical wisdom, Segovia's words may at first seem severe. The work of people such as Bartok, Kodaly and Grainger in recording folk music either in notation or on early phonographs, and by incorporating such material in their own works, has altered our perspectives for ever. But the invention of radio and the establishment of centralized broadcasting effectively destroyed the isolation, innocence and naivety of the folk singer's art. Paradoxically, the greatness of folkloric material was only appreciated when virtual extinction became a threat.


In Segovia's youth the guitar was regarded as being of little serious musical value, fit only for the tavern and considered at the same level of esteem as the penny-whistle or the banjo. The guitar in Spain was everywhere and nowhere. It could be heard in every street, yet despite the efforts of Tarrega and Llobet, was not considered as a serious recital instrument. Segovia's fight was to lift the guitar from the contempt in which it was held. His achievement, often misunderstood, was not to prevent the guitar from being a folkloric instrument but to allow it to assume an extended destiny and a further identity. An aim that was achieved when audiences ceased to find the presence of a guitar in the concert hall ridiculous and composers became willing to think beyond the accepted cliches previously considered appropriate for the guitar.

Aided by his friends, Segovia began the process of research, looking for the music from previous centuries which surely ought to be there. He seemed aware from an early age that like-minded musicians must also have been interested in the guitar's expressive possibilities. His programmes soon incorporated a wide diversity of repertoire, with the available material constantly being refreshed and added to.

Segovia's complex relationships with the folkloric music of Andalusia, flamenco, have already been considered. Yet, it must be emphasised that Segovia's relationship with composers such as Joaquin Turina, Federico Moreno Torroba and Joaquin Rodrigo, as well as his close friendship with Manuel de Falla, enabled Spanish musicians to unite their refinement of folkloric traditions and dances with the voice of the classical guitar.

Thus as Segovia expresses it elsewhere, the guitar became detached from "mindless folk-lore entertainments" yet able to return to what was best and most vital in the culture of Andalusia. Moreover it seems likely that Segovia's success as a concert artist may have inspired flamenco players of high calibre to pursue an international recital career, thus introducing the music of southern Spain to the entire world. Segovia's service to the folkloric music of Andalusia is more profound than usually acknowledged whilst his devotion to the guitar's seriousness ensured that the instru¬ment could not be associated for ever with its previous role of accompaniment or use as a mere background to other activities. 115" —Preceding unsigned comment added by R.christie (talkcontribs) 04:26, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the above viewpoints, it is easy for modern players, often having never experienced it, to underestimate the strength of prejudice once held against the guitar in serious musical circles. I've read biographies of Paganini railing against his "wasting" years on the "worthless" guitar, I've even overheard college music teachers (albeit of advanced years) who should know better expressing similar.

As to the both points, I don't feel it Wiki's place to judge nor second guess the possible effect of Segovia's verifiable statements, better to address them further in the article if need be, (but without POV). As to the second goal, much repertoire we take for granted since the event of mass publishing and distribution in the mid 19 century (and due to modern electronic forms), was not available to players of the period. For instance, Casals introduced Bach cello suites to the world, they had previously languished in obscurity; Segovia only came across Bach's lute suites and much of Sor's repertiore when well into his career. Access to repertoire wasn't easy hence Tarrega and others were producing transcriptions. Debate as to whether he was calling for a repertoire for himself or for the instrument is neither here nor there, - he was calling for it for himself to play. RichardJ Christie (talk) 05:14, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


Segovia says he was born on #74 Correderas Street, from his narration in "A Celebration of Segovia". Would the location be useful to include in the entry? (eg of interest to a tourist or a historian?)

In the same narration, he says he got his first guitar (and presumably inspiration?) from a guitar shop that was next door to his home. -- (talk) 06:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Controversy regarding Segovia[edit]

I'm a newcomer to Segovia -- literally, in the last two hours -- and I popped by the Wiki to see what he was about. I'm all for criticism, but I removed the following alleged quote: "Segovia did things with rubato, which are no longer appropriate." This quote cited the webpage here, but the quote is wishy-washy evidence when it is actually quoting a writer making a vague interpretation of another speaker. That speaker is then quoted with no decisive further opinion. Here's the full quote, in context:

Michael talked about rubato suggesting that Segovia did things with rubato, which are no longer appropriate. He also said that to play no rubato in Bach is wrong. "Less rubato in Bach and more rubato in Albeniz is probably right."

Paralipsis (talk) 09:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

This article sucks[edit]

I did some research on Segovia and I didn't even use this site. There is many more sites that are better than this. This article is too bland and doesn't have enough insight. King Skeller (talk) 16:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Agreed this article does seem OR and POV in places, and is patchily referenced. Clearly Segovia is a figure about whom there are varying views. In places in the article, this is handled relatively well, with cited references to suitable named commentators. In other sections, there are uncited statements attempting to summarise an opinion on the state of the debate, which are likely to be both POV and OR as mentioned. This article needs someone at once sufficiently familiar or interested in the subject, and dispassionate about it, to rewrite at least large sections of it, and possibly all. Regrettably I am not that person. --Rogerb67 (talk) 16:40, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
The article has changed a lot since those comments were made. In it's current, form I think this article is really going places! It does not present a thin shallow Segovia, but shows him as a real person, with plenty of insight. It shows not only weaknesses, but also current perceptions, and esp. his strengths: spanish romantic-modern works, e.g. de Falla's Homenaje, Mompou's works and esp. the importance of Torroba Segovia was (talk) 18:33, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Some time back this article fell prey to an editor seemingly determined to denigrate Segovia's perceived standing and legacy. The whole section on his interpretation etc evolved from this, and yes, it has since become more balanced mainly due to continued editorial input by others, but I would question whether the whole thrust of debating the pros and cons of the Segovian approach to performance and repertiore is even appropiate for inclusion in the article. RichardJ Christie (talk) 05:50, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Of course it is appropriate for inclusion, in my opinion! Segovia was (talk) 10:59, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Criticism is appropriate for inclusion, but it could have some more context and background info. Important for this context, is to realize that any criticism is not absolute truth, but coloured by a writer's own opinions (and often influenced by current perceptions and trends). Maby this can somehow be said in the article, because it is important to realize.
It would be a mistake to just say: "Segovia plays baroque music in a wrong style"[1].Because who defines what a correct style actually is? (Nobody knows how the baroque composers of 300-400 years ago performed their works.) The wiki article should discuss possible reasons, as to why some people believe Segovia's interpretations are sometimes not satisfactory. One highly interesting view which many people share, is that a number of separate criticisms of Segovia have - in part - a single common source: Segovia when he was older, played worse (much worse!) than when he was a young man. In its current form the article does not mention this as a possible reason for his hesitations in difficult parts. (But the evidence of recordings is there! I would like to encourage those who have listened to Segovia's 2nd Chaconne recording, to listen to the first instead!) Moreover, these hesitations in turn, cause stylistically inappropriate performances.
Note that, I too am very critical of some of Segovia's stylistic choices in baroque music such as De Visee! But I again like to mention his two Chaconne recordings: I really like the first one. I even think it is stylistically appropriate and interpretatively impressive. But I hate the second recording that Segovia made of the Chaconne. I can fully understand that he would be criticized for that 2nd recording of Chaconne: Technically and stylistically bad. (I don't think I need to mention the effect it has, on a common perception of Segovia, if a number of recordings that were available, had Segovia's worst performances! Thank god for Deutsche Grammophon and Naxos, have now brought out some of his earlier recordings.) In this respect, I am planning to compile a discography of Segovia's recordings, that lists the different dates at which various works were recorded.Senzasfo (talk) 21:16, 13 September 2009 (UTC)


  1. ^ the article does not do this anyway

Andres Segovia external links[edit]

Prior to being deleted (1, 2), the external links were rather extensive and insightful: [2] Segovia was (talk) 05:59, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

They were heavily redundant with the references, and many of them inappropriate. Now we need to get around to their cleanup within the article. --Ronz (talk) 14:49, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Chapdelaine incident[edit]

First off, I do not intend to reignite the discussions that have occurred. I think the current article reflects general opinions in the guitar community, as far as verifiable quotes and so forth can support. In my opinion, most famous guitarists tend to keep their misgivings private, but that's just my conjecture and has no bearing on an encyclopedia article. (Nor does my opinion of Segovia, which I don't think is worth sharing.)

However, I do not believe the Chapdeline video belongs in the criticism portion of the article, and probably not in the article at all. Most people would view this and find Segovia's behavior extremely harsh, but Chapdelaine himself doesn't criticize Segovia at all. He says something along the lines of "We are 10 year old artists from his point of view". A direct quote: "We don't know what he knows." By the end of the article he makes it clear that his experience was very hard but that he learned a lot from it. So I don't think this reflects documented criticism of Segovia, regardless of what opinions people have.

In my opinion, the other supporting material for this section is excellent.

I suppose it could be considered cowardly to post this from an isp. I just think I'll get sucked in to more Wikipedia editing than I'd like if I create a user account.


isp guy