This books is a celebration of one of the world’s great instrumentalist—Andrés Segovia. In his lifetime, as the founding father of the modern guitar movement, Segovia has established not only a new repertoire and a new status for a hiertho neglected instrument, but also is representative of that elite community of artists whose work in the twentieth century has spoken for universal values. Through many turbulent decades, Segovia’s art has stood for order in a world of chaos. In a noisy age his ability to persuade us to listen carefully for fine distinctions of tone and dynamics just within the range of audibility is in itself something remarkable. In over seventy years of giving recitals, his art has endured as spontaneous and untarnished as when he set out on the journey. To say that Segovia revolutionized our thinking about the guitar in out time is only one aspect of why he will be remembered. Better, he will be also remembered as a great artist who transformed and recreated music to make it live anew of his chosen instrument. He is a peerless and unique artist; his art with its rare qualities of sincerity and humanity, is an example to all of us. A concert by Segovia is always a lesson to all of us who dedicate ourselves to art. In him dwells that quiet fire—fierce yet controlled. Segovia was both in Linares, Jaén, in Andalusia, Spain, on 21 February 1893. His life falls into various important development periods during that “steep climb to success” of which he often speaks when giving encouragement to young players.
The expansion of the repertoire became one of Segovia’s most ardent ambitions and began among Spanish composers and from that stretched out to the world. 1927 a new chapter in the guitar’s history opened when Segovia’s first recordings for HMV were issued. He was the first guitarist to play regularly in large recital halls. He wished to extend the guitar’s influence beyond a privileged elite of society into the same environment favoured by pianists or violinist of renown. Before Segovia, the guitarist could find no place in the mainstream of musical life. He practices five hours a day, each session of work being divided into one and a quarter hours, no longer, and four such sessions a day being sufficient. The individual sessions are themselves interspersed with relaxation and activities such as walking, reading, talking with friends, or quiet reflection. The practice of scales enables one to solve a greater number of technical problems in a shorter time than the study of any other exercise. “I am my own master and my own pupil”.