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Classical 101

"Fantasia para un gentilhombre," Joaquin Rodrigo's Gift to Andres Segovia

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Guitarist Andreas Segovia, 1962

The Fantasia para un gentilhombre ("Fantasy for a Gentleman") from 1954, was the concerto Andres Segovia did get from Joaquin Rodrigo as a way to make amends.  Segovia, who was already the most famous guitarist around, was reportedly upset that he did not get to premier the earlier Concierto de Aranjuez.  Instead, Regino de la Maza first performed that piece in 1940.  It immediately brought Rodrigo to the attention of the public, and it remains his most popular and often performed work.

The Fantasia, though, is not that far behind in popularity, and it's not hard to understand why.  Based on a tuneful collection of songs and dances by the 17th century Spanish guitarist/composer Gaspar Sanz, the Fantasy for a Gentleman is a delightful suite in four movements and about the same length as the Concierto de Aranjeuz.  It was written specifically for Segovia.  The "Gentleman" of the title was Segovia.  It apparently worked.  Andres Segovia was happy with the piece and performed and recorded it.  He never did, however, record or perform in public the even more famous Concierto de Aranjuez.

On the next Fretworks, I'll have a fine performance of the Fantasia para un Gentilhombre by Pepe Romero with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.  Also on the program, Reverie, a beautiful composition for solo guitar by the 19th century Italian  virtuoso Giulio Regondi performed by Johannes Moeller.  The Folias Guitar Duou will play their arrangement of the Holberg Suite by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

Join me for Fretworks for music of the classical guitar Saturday and Wednesday evenings at 7 on Classical 101.