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Classical 101

Andres Segovia Featured on Next Fretworks

The great Spanish classical guitarist Andres Segovia was born on February 21, 1893 and died at the age of 94 in 1987.  To celebrate his birthday, I'll be will be featuring some recordings by him and  from several of his prominent students.  Segovia is acknowledged as having done more than anyone else to raise the status of the guitar to a serious concert instrument in the first half of the 20th century. We'll hear several performances of music by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Johann Sebastian Bach recorded by the BBC in 1955 with Segovia in concert at the Edinburgh Festival.  I'll also have some fine performances by two of Segovia's most famous students, John Williams and Christopher Parkening. John Williams will be the soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Joaquin Rodrigo's Fantasia para un gentilhombre, a work written for Segovia in 1954.  It's based on music by the 17th century Spanish guitarist/composer Gaspar Sanz and is a delight from beginning to end.  Rodrigo wrote this wonderful set of variations for guitar and orchestra after Segovia missed out on being the first to perform the even more famous Concierto de Aranjuez in 1940. Christopher Parkening will play the Suite Catalan from his CD paying tribute to his teacher.  It contains music written for Andres Segovia or arranged and often performed by him.  Segovia once gave Parkening a memorable piece of advice worth quoting in full: "You must love the music more than you love the guitar, for without the music, the guitar becomes only an object that hangs on the walls of taverns." We'll also have time for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet for their arrangement of a Renaissance Dance Suite by Michael Praetorius on the next Fretworks here on Classical 101.  Fretworks airs Saturday at 7 pm and Wednesday evening at 7.