Thursday, February 16, 2012

Andres Segovia
"Segovia and the Guitar"

I'm discovering a new love for records of a certain age.

After the age of 78's (those heavy, brittle shellac 12-inch discs that held about 15 minutes of music) and before the age of the Beatles there was a high-water point where recording capabilities met reproduction capabilities. The result are some of the most beautiful recordings I've heard. Thus far they've been by artists like Sinatra and the Dick Clark Five, but classical music perhaps benefited the most. A well-preserved album from the Mercury or Decca label will bring huge amounts of money, and not just for their beautifully thought-out full-color jackets, picture sleeves and heavy vinyl discs. The recordings themselves are some of the most beautiful I've yet to hear.

This particular disc has collected some dirt and could benefit from a careful cleaning, but even the occasional pop and crackle can't distract from the beautiful playing and wonderful recording.

Some of these are Segovia's own transcriptions of Josquin and Scarlatti. If Primrose elevated viola artistry to the public consciousness then Segovia did the same for classical guitar.

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