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Segovia Collection Box set, Original recording remastered


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 19 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000060O5J
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,379 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Fantasía para un gentilhombre for Guitar and Small Orchestra - 1. Villano y Ricercare (Adagietto - Andante moderato)
2. Fantasía para un gentilhombre for Guitar and Small Orchestra - 2. Españoleta - Toques de la Caballería de Napoles
3. Fantasía para un gentilhombre for Guitar and Small Orchestra - 3. Danza de las hachas (Allegro con brio)
4. Fantasía para un gentilhombre for Guitar and Small Orchestra - 4. Canario (Allegro ma non troppo
5. Concierto del sur - 1. Allegro moderato
See all 10 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Castillos de España - 1. Turgano (Serranilla)
2. Castillos de España - 2. Torija (Elegía)
3. Castillos de España - 3. Manzanáres el Real (A la moza fermosa)
4. Castillos de España - 4. Montemayor (Contemplacion)
5. Castillos de España - 5. Alcañiz (Festiva)
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Praeludium & Allegro
2. Capricci armonici sopra la chitarra Spagnola / Suite G Major - Passacaglia
3. Capricci armonici sopra la chitarra Spagnola / Suite e minor - 5. Gigue
4. Suite in G major - 3. Gavotte
5. Seis Pavanas - Pavana No. 1 in A minor
See all 35 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Suite in E minor, BWV 996 - Arr. Segovia, transposed to A minor - 2. Allemande
2. Partita for Lute in C minor, BWV 997 - arr. Guitar Segovia, transposed to A minor - Sarabande
3. Partita for Lute in C minor, BWV 997 - arr. Guitar Segovia, transposed to A minor - Gigue
4. Partita for Violin Solo No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002 - Sarabande
5. Partita for Violin Solo No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002 - Bourrée
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Four discs of key recordings by the most revered classical guitarist of our time, many debuting on CD! Disc one, "Concertos," features works by Rodrigo, Ponce and Boccherini. Discs two and three, "Works for Solo Guitar," include Seis Pavanas Milan; Granada Albeniz; Praeludium & Allegro De Murcia, and more. And disc four collects Segovia's celebrated arrangements of works by J.S. Bach. Over five hours of gorgeous guitar mastery!

Amazon.ca

The vastly improved sonics which the Deutsche Grammophon production team achieves with its 24/96 remastering of the guitarist's 1952-1969 mono and stereo performances for Decca allow listeners to finally experience the rich tonal palette and intimate nature of Segovia's performance art in a manner commensurate with the fidelity of the original LP releases (minus the edgy digital glare and graininess of the MCA reissues). What emerges is a portrait of the artist as a lightning rod for great composers, such as Manuel Ponce, Federico Torroba, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Isaac Albéniz, and Enrique Granados, all of whom enriched the 20th-century repertoire of solo and chamber works by custom-crafting works for this innovative guitarist (Segovia's interpretation of Joaquín Rodrigo's "Fandango" is a paradigm for his role in popularizing the modern Spanish idiom). Likewise, Segovias's work as an arranger in recasting baroque and medieval works for modern guitar, as well as his deep affection for 19th-century masters of the instrument such as Dionisio Aguado and Fernando Sor, shines forth on discs two and three. However, it is Segovia's romantic touch in transposing Bach's Partitas for Solo Violin--as on his virtuoso turns on the "Chaconne in D Minor"--that best illustrate his poetic conception of the instrument. --Chip Stern


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By drollere on Oct. 1 2003
Format: Audio CD
there probably wasn't a classical guitarist alive in the 1950's and 60's who didn't know by heart all of segovia's decca albums and julian bream's spectacular recordings for rca and westminster. this set will be a stroll down memory lane for everyone with segovia schott editions in the attic, and essential listening for anyone interested in the classical guitar or in discovering a genuine musical genius -- the equal on his instrument of casals, rubenstein or heifitz on theirs.
segovia literally created the 20th century classical guitar out of an instrument with a cachet not far above the banjo. the booklet to the boxed set gives a fine overview of segovia's career and recording practice, though omitting many key details. (segovia innovated guitar concerts in large concert halls because he was among the first to use his fingernails, rather than bare fingertips, to pluck the strings, and pushed guitar makers to build larger, brighter and more sonorous instruments.)
each of the 4 separately cased cds generously samples (up to 80 minutes each) from (1) the guitar concerto; (2) 20th century compositions dedicated to segovia; (3) pieces for lute, vihuela and 19th century guitar, with some albeniz transcriptions thrown in; and (4) segovia's transcriptions of pieces by j.s. bach.
the digital sound in these recordings (almost all from the 1950's) is really superb, giving contour to every detail of the master tapes. it also reveals the changing recording standards of the early lp: though the sound is consistently vivid and balanced, the guitar is sometimes distant and echoy (a "tile bathroom" sound characteristic of the earliest lp's), or intimate but slightly muffled, or bright and contrasty with a hint of added reverb at the top.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the PERFECT retrospective boxed set. DG has outdone itself with this career retrospective of Spanish classical guitar legend Andres Segovia. The set was released on the 15th anniversary of Segovia's death in 1987. From the famous "Fantasia para un gentilhombre" to transcriptions of J.S. Bach for the guitar, all four CDs showcase nothing but the genius of Segovia. The remastered DG recordings sound terrific and the accompanying booklet, complete with photographs from throughout the master's life in Spain, is excellent. If you love Spanish classical guitar and adore the 19th-Century romantic style of playing championed by Segovia, buy this set. You won't be disappointed. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
beautiful selection of the decca segovia Oct. 1 2003
By drollere - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
there probably wasn't a classical guitarist alive in the 1950's and 60's who didn't know by heart all of segovia's decca albums and julian bream's spectacular recordings for RCA and westminster. this set will be a stroll down memory lane for everyone with segovia's schott editions in the attic, and essential listening for anyone interested in the classical guitar or in discovering a genuine musical genius -- the equal on his instrument of casals, rubenstein or heifitz on theirs.

segovia literally created the 20th century classical guitar out of an instrument with a cachet not far above the banjo. the booklet to the boxed set gives a fine overview of segovia's career and recording practice, though omitting many key details. (segovia innovated guitar concerts in large concert halls because he was among the first to use his fingernails, rather than bare fingertips, to pluck the strings; he pushed guitar makers to build larger, brighter and more sonorous instruments; he engineered a peculiarly resonant timbre by recording the guitar sound as it was emitted from speakers inside a resonant chamber.)

each of the 4 separately cased cds generously samples (up to 80 minutes each) from (1) the guitar concerto; (2) 20th century compositions dedicated to segovia; (3) pieces for lute, vihuela and 19th century guitar, with some albeniz transcriptions thrown in; and (4) segovia's transcriptions of pieces by j.s. bach.

the digital sound in these recordings (almost all from the 1950's) is really superb, giving contour to every detail of the master tapes. it also reveals the changing recording standards of the early lp: though the sound is consistently vivid and balanced, the guitar is sometimes distant and echoy (a "tile bathroom" sound characteristic of the earliest lp's), or intimate but slightly muffled, or bright and contrasty with a hint of added reverb at the top. i was a little taken aback by the uneven dynamics and nail clatter that i hadn't noticed years ago in segovia's playing: modern recording and performance practice have changed expectations toward a more homogenous and finished sound. but there is a spontaneity, fire, grace, color, imagination and wit in segovia's playing that you won't find anywhere else ... well, excepting julian bream.

it's picky to second guess editorial decisions in a set as generous as this ... but what the heck: i really missed tansman's lovely suite of polish dances ("cavatina"), regretted the absence of a complete sonata or suite by manuel ponce, and would trade the boccherini "guitar" (transcribed cello) concerto for the castelnuovo-tedesco guitar concerto. that said, the performances here of rodrigo's "fantasia para un gentilhombre" and ponce's "concerto del sur" are among the best available, and the generous sampling sor etudes will remind all us graying guitarists of the many happy hours we spent practicing these pieces from the only edition then available -- segovia's own.

deutsche grammaphon has also released a 2-cd set of segovia recordings ("the art of andres segovia"), which duplicates only four pieces from this 4-cd boxed set, and veers more toward colorful transcriptions and single movement selections from longer works. together they make a 6 cd collection of many of the finest recordings by the man who started it all, spawned thousands of heirs and imitators -- and set the bar for them very, very high.
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
There's Only One Segovia July 18 2002
By John L. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the PERFECT retrospective boxed set. DG has outdone itself with this career retrospective of Spanish classical guitar legend Andres Segovia. The set was released on the 15th anniversary of Segovia's death in 1987. From the famous "Fantasia para un gentilhombre" to transcriptions of J.S. Bach for the guitar, all four CDs showcase nothing but the genius of Segovia. The remastered DG recordings sound terrific and the accompanying booklet, complete with photographs from throughout the master's life in Spain, is excellent. If you love Spanish classical guitar and adore the 19th-Century romantic style of playing championed by Segovia, buy this set. You won't be disappointed. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
The Great Master, of Masters June 27 2005
By Joxim G.P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Andrés Segovia was the great master of classical guitar. This set show us 400 years of music taken for the guitar, he was the first in give the guitar place like a cult instrument in 20th century through his works invaluable transcriptions of several instruments (cello, lute, etc.) of composers like Bach, Dowland, Manuel M. Ponce, Fernando Sor, Tárrega, etc.

The scope from Segovia has leaved footsteps in the great world of classical music, for his research and investigations about it. In this set we can listen pieces like "six pavanas" from the ending Age Middle of Luis Milán, and begginig of Rennasaince like Dowland's songs togheter Roncali Ludovico between others on CD 3.

Also show us the great spanish composer Enrique Granados, Torroba, Sor, icons of guitar music. I Basically bought this cd for "Pavane" 1-6 and that better found it in this GREAT SET. If you're a lover of Classical Music, or classical guitar this one of the greatest set box ever made in any genre!!!.

Andrés Segovia, Marquis of Salobreia, was born near Jaen, Granada, Spain. He became a guitarist against the double opposition of his parents. First, they opposed his learning the guitar and got him cello and piano teachers instead. When he persisted in teaching himself guitar, they opposed his becoming a musician. He sought a guitar teacher at the Granada Institute of Music when he studied there, but found none, so continued learning the instrument on his own. He made his debut at the Centro Artística in Granada at the age of 15. He played so skillfully that he was urged to become a professional soloist. He played in Madrid in 1912, at the Paris Conservatory in 1915, and in Barcelona in 1916, and made a wildly successful tour of South America in 1919. He made his formal debut in Paris on April 7, 1924, in a program which included a new work written for him by Albert Roussel, named Segovia. It was the first of many works which were written for him by distinguished composers, enriching the instrument's repertory as Segovia had elevated its artistic potential. His U.S. debut was at Town Hall, New York, on January 8, 1928.

Being self-taught, his technique was unique. It was, in fact, superior to that which was being taught at the time, and extended the flexibility and expressive possibilities of the instrument. The main difference was in the method of using the right hand for strumming and picking the strings: Segovia's method paid much attention to the means of attack: whether hard parts of the fingers, fleshy parts, or the nails were used; other subtleties that affected the dynamics of the instrument; and an economy of motion that allowed longer and more sustained playing. There were classical guitarists before him, and distinguished ones even when he appeared, but it was not an instrument that was regarded as a serious vehicle for classical music. Segovia personally changed that, and not by accident. No doubt affected by his parents' attitude toward his chosen career, he had a driving desire to make it so. He wrote numerous transcriptions of older music for lute and for the Spanish vihuela. He transcribed music of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Handel, and others. He commissioned works by Castelnuovo-Tedesco (notably the great suite Platero and I), Falla, Turina, Tansman, Villa-Lobos, Torroba, Ponce, and Rodrigo, whose Fantasia para un gentilhombre was written for him. His reinstatement of the guitar as a solo instrument was sealed by his becoming one of the great teachers of music history. He established guitar schools or courses at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, Santiago de Compostela, and the University of California in Berkeley. His students included Alirio Diaz, Oscar Ghilia, and John Williams.

Segovia become one of the great names in classical music, whose mere name was enough to sell out houses worldwide. He received numerous awards and honors during his lifetime, including the Grand Cross of Isabela and Alfonso, the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society of London, and many honorary degrees. The house where he was born had a commemorative plaque attached to it in 1969 proclaiming him the "leading son of the city." King Juan Carlos of Spain ennobled him as the Marquis of Salobreia in 1981, and in the same year a Segovia International Guitar Competition was established in his honor. He continued to give recitals and concerts until an advanced age, and had the rare opportunity, in 1984, of playing at a gala concert honoring the 75th anniversary of professional debut.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Segovia unplugged 'n remastered tickles the frets! April 13 2013
By P.K. Frary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I own a slew of "digitally remastered" CDs from the 80s and 90s and they are terrible: thin, harsh, flat and nearly unlistenable. Since the advent of the CD, the glory of Segovia's playing has been lost to an entire generation. The magic of Segovia's Decca LPs, many of which I still own and play, got lost in the translation. It's a pity as Segovia is the most pivotable figure in the guitar's history. I can't count the times my students have expressed disappointment over Segovia's playing after listening to an ill-conceived digitalization. "Sounds like it was recorded in a phone booth." He didn't change his strings did he?" "Modern players are better aren't they?" And so forth. Deutsche Grammophon's 4 disk boxed set, "The Segovia Collection," blows most of those negatives right out the window, giving the maestro his due.

So what makes this Segovia compilation any different? First, since the 1980s there have been huge leaps in digitalization technology and remastering techniques. Earlier attempts suffered from bright EQ, excessive static and a flat sound stage. This collection was remastered from the original tapes at 96 kHz/24 bit, resulting in more detail than the older 44.1 kHz/16 bit standard of early digital recorders. And, finally, they have learned how to properly EQ a classical guitar! As a result most of these recordings simmer and breathe, once again capturing the magic of Segovia's guitar. The older mono remixes are a bit rough, but we are dealing with master tapes that predate the changeover to stereo recording during the 1950s. Of course none of these tracks can claim the same fidelity as modern digital recordings of Pepe Romero or Christopher Parkening.

Segovia didn't believe in editing finger noise out, unlike younger players whom go to great lengths to digitally excise them. Squeakless guitar recordings often make me I feel like I'm listening to an organ with a "guitar stop." It's not that I like squeaks. We do our best to minimalize them but they're an irrevocable part of the guitar's sound. With that said, these Segovia recordings are honest, natural and full bodied, but you always know you're listening to a guitar played by a human being. In other words, they are musically engaging and sonically clean enough that a little tape hiss or finger squeak is inconsequential.

So do these CDs sound better than the original Decca LPs? Generally, they do not but are close. For example, I have an original (mint!) LP issue of "Segovia: Ponce, Concieto del Sur * Rodrigo, Fantasia para una Gentilhombre (Decca DL 10 027) and it has a little more sweetness, air and detail than the CD. Of course that LP was cut when the master tape was still fresh over 50 years ago! The remastered Decca recordings from the 1960s sound best while older efforts are somewhat thin. Nevertheless, these recordings are better than any remastered Segovia CD I've heard.

If you've been buying Segovia's remastered CDs, you probably have most of these recordings, although there are a few tracks not heard since the days of vinyl. Disk 1 contains:

Rodrigo, Fantasía Para Un Gentilhombre For Guitar And Orchestra * Ponce, Concierto Del Sur * Boccherini, Concerto No.6 For Violoncello And Orchestra in D Major

The remastering of these concerti surprised me the most of all the disks. The orchestra is extremely vivid, full and spacious compared to earlier digitalizatons.

Disk 2 contains some of Segovia's heavier and more romantic repertoire:

Torroba, Castillos De España * Torroba, Piezas Características * Mompou, Suite Compostelana * Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Sonata Omaggio A Boccherini Op. 77 * Ponce, Allegro In A Major * Esplá, Antaño: Estampa After A Traditional Children's Song * Rodrigo, Fandango No.1 From 'Tres Piezas Españolas' - Allegretto

To my ears, Castillos De España is among Segovia's best performances in this collection. Moreover the audio quality and engineering is probably the best as well.

Disk 3 reveals Segovia's lighter side, featuring student pieces and nationalistic Spanish repertoire:

De Murcia, Praelidium & Allegro * Roncalli, Passacaglia & Capprici Armonici Sopra La Chitarra Spagnola * Milan, 6 Panvans * Aguado, Eight Lessons For The Guitar * Sor, Minuets in C minor & C Major * Sor, 9 Études * Granados, Andaluza - Danza Española Op.37 No.5 & Danza Triste - Danza Española Op.37 No.10 & La Maja De Goya No.1 - From Tonadillas

Sonically this disk is uneven: some tracks have a little too much hiss (De Murcia), some tracks are a little dull (Aguado) while others have too much reverb (Sor, Minuets). Of course these tracks were gathered from diverse sources and eras in his life, so some unevenness is par for the course.

Finally, Disk 4 features the works of J.S. Bach:

Allemande - From Suite For Lute In E Minor, BWV 996 * Sarabande - From Partita For Lute In C Minor, BWV 997 * Gigue - From Partita For Lute In C Minor, BWV 997 * Sarabande - From Partita For Violin Solo No.1 In B Minor, BWV 1 * Bourrée - From Partita For Violin Solo No.1 In B Minor, BWV 100 * Double - From Partita For Violin Solo No.1 In B Minor, BWV 1002 * Suite For Violoncello Solo No.3 In C Major - Prélude, BWV 1009 * Suite For Violoncello Solo No.3 In C Major - Allemande, BWV 100 * Suite For Violoncello Solo No.3 In C Major - Courante, BWV 1009 * Suite For Violoncello Solo No.3 In C Major - Sarabande, BWV 100 * Suite For Violoncello Solo No.3 In C Major - Bourrées I & II, B * Suite For Violoncello Solo No.3 In C Major - Gigue, BWV 1009 * Prélude - Suite For Violoncello Solo No.1 In G Major, BWV 1007 * Gavotte I & II - Suite For Violoncello Solo No.6 In D Major, BW * Chaconne - Partita For Violin Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1004 * Prelude For The Lute In C Minor, BWV 999 * Gavotte En Rondeau - Partita For Violin Solo No.3 In E Major, B * Fugue For Lute In G Minor, BWV 1000 * Siciliano - Sonata For Violin Solo No.1 In G Minor, BWV 1001 * Bourrée - Suite For Lute In E Minor, BWV 996

In contrast to many modern performers, Segovia preferred to cherry pick movements from Bach's diverse suites and partitas. And, yes, his interpretation is romantic, teaming with tenuto, ritardando, rubatos and other devices of the late 19th century. I find this interpretation, although not historically authentic, is expressive, intense and very telling of Segovia's personality.

The Segovia Collection is a work of love by someone at Deutsche Grammophon. Besides going the extra mile in digitalization and remastering, the graphic design, packaging and program notes demonstrate care and attention to detail rarely seen. The outer box is the color of a spruce sound board and sports lasercut strings across an open sound hole. When you remove the CDs, Segovia's signature is visible through the sound hole! They enlisted the able pens of Graham Wade and John Lehmann-Hart to write background notes, and filled the glossy pages with historical photographs of the maestro, surrounding culture and friends.

The Segovia Collection is the best sounding compilation of old Decca recordings I have heard. It's also an excellent cross-section of Segovia's work, offering younger generations a delicious glimpse into the work of a master long passed. This is a collection every classical guitar aficionado and student should own. Highly recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Above All Others Oct. 15 2006
By Mark P. Dankel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
John Williams, David Russell, Christopher Parkening, Julian Bream, et. al. all owe a great deal to this now departed giant. If you own ANY classical guitar recordings, you should purchase this collection. It's not only the finest remastering available, but an equisitely fine selection of Segovia's contribution to the genre and the art.


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