This album was done in Segovia's 82nd year. And, according to him, that would have been his 76th year of playing the guitar. For many Segovia defines the classical guitar and his career spanned pretty much all of the 20th century and his students and disciples are many and remain influential among today's players. This album is indicative of Segovia's genius in that it includes a Bach piece–three movements from Cello Suite No. 1–and he was famous for transcribing difficult pieces of the Bach catalog to the classical guitar. But it was more than Back, as the track listing below shows. His ability to move pieces of tremendous complexity to the classical guitar and play them with the fullness and richness the composers intended is more than legend among guitar players.
As on most Segovia albums, you find yourself forgetting that there is one person playing here. And even more so you find yourself forgetting that it's an octogenarian playing with such grace and fire in his playing. The notes from Segovia's guitar come almost like breaths and you wonder if playing the guitar was like breathing for this elderly Spanish gentleman with a truly singular talent. Some criticize his techniques and personality in hindsight today, but it's important to remember Segovia was at the forefront of some talented musicians of the first half of the 20th century who gave classical guitar a much more revered place in music than it enjoyed at the beginning of the century. Hearing him play the pieces he plays on this album serves as a able reminder of his place in classical music and, most of all, his place in classical guitar.
This RCA Red Label pressing is good quality on middle-weight vinyl. While it's hard to judge the quality of a 30-plus year old pressing, obviously, the one in my possession is quiet and presents the detail of the recording very well.
If you're seeking one of those rainy day pieces of music, you could do far worse than to pick up this Segovia album or it's successor.
Benda: Sonatina in D; Sonatina in D Minor
J.S. Bach: Three Movements from Cello Suite No. 1
D. Scarlatti: Two Sonatas
Sor: Andante in Cin Minor and Minuet in C; Minuet in A; Minuet in C
Ponce: Prelude in E
First of two albums under this title by Segovia.
Producer: Israel Horowitz