How Do You Cite A Quote In Text Chicago Style Barrios Vs Segovia – Friends, Foes, Or Just Different?

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Barrios Vs Segovia – Friends, Foes, Or Just Different?

Andrés Segovia had an inimitable move as the father of the modern classical guitar, he provided the foundation for everything that came after. Without it the instruments used today would be left only for popular and folk music.

That said, there are also many critics of his character and despite his playing technique, he has no more influence on the new generation of guitarists.

One thing that many people consider important about Segovia is his relationship with the guitarist Agustin Barrios Mangore, whose name today is almost always in the repertoire of classical guitarists and is often counted said to be one of the best composers for the instrument (according to Chopin on the guitar, referring to John Williams).

Despite the recognition Barrios has received today, he was unknown in the world of classical guitar during his lifetime. He did not tour Europe or the United States, he performed in Latin America, with success, but the small business did not allow him to make a lot of money. He did not become a worldly person, unlike his partner Segovia, who became famous in the most important city in the world.

Although Barrios comes from a country isolated from the world of music, we cannot say that he did not have the opportunity to break his career. He spent a good time in one of the world’s cultural centers at the time: Buenos Aires. He did not take advantage of this beautiful place, he dedicated himself to playing concerts and making recordings of the same kind of popular sounds, and was away from the big classical guitar community in Buenos Aires. Llobet, Segovia and other important guitarists regularly play concerts in this city with a good and welcoming public.

Barrios brings himself more to the popular music of the people, this is because there are many discussions elsewhere. Later, he had another important moment for his further career, when he met Gino Marinuzzi, the world famous director of La Scala Opera of Milan in Rio de Janeiro. He performed a private concert for the musician and some of his friends and was well received. If he managed to get in touch with Marinuzzi, he could make some contacts with impresarios in Europe and organize some concerts.

Another, and perhaps the best moment he had (although this time he didn’t dwell on it much) was when he met Andres Segovia. The Maestro Segovia, at the time they met, was not yet the world authority of the guitar that he would become years later, but nevertheless was in a better position than Barrios, he was performed in South America and Europe.

Segovia had heard about Barrios before they met in 1921. Miguel Herrera Klinger (Uruguayan historian) reported that on occasion he overheard a conversation in a shop guitar in Buenos Aires from Andrés Segovia, Regino Sáinz de la Maza and Domingo Prat to Barrios. They were discussing the metal ropes that the Paraguayan used. Sáinz de la Maza was the only one who did not accept the strings, as long as Barrios played them. To which Segovia said: “Well, as far as I am concerned, I will not know what to do with that fence”. This happened around 1912, when Barrios was not yet a mature guitarist and Segovia was just starting his career.

They finally met in 1921, in Buenos Aires. Segovia received more and more recognition at this time, he was in a better position than Barrios, who decided on a way to meet: Barrios attended a concert by Segovia. After the concert they were introduced by a friend of both. They say goodbye and Barrios promises to visit him.

This visit took place some time later in Segovia’s house (Barrios was the one who had to go after Segovia). Klinger reported on this meeting: “Barrios played this musical gem for the great Segovia who was amazed…better: he was floored. Nearly 2 hours later he received praised by the Maestro. A particular work he liked very much and He indicated that he would play it in his concerts, Barrios gave him an original copy with passion, a work that Segovia said he wanted to do work in his concerts he never played. there he would have raised Barrios to an impossible height, so affected by his own reputation.”

The work Klinger is talking about here is La Catedral, one of Barrios’ masterpieces. It is possible that Barrios never gave a copy to Segovia, because he did not have it with him, he had to ask a friend to send it from Uruguay. We are not sure if the copy arrived in time, before Segovia left Buenos Aires. But if Segovia had been patient he would have helped Barrios to organize concerts in Europe and the United States. Years later, Barrios would know that Segovia was not his friend and said of him that he was “deaf in the heart”. Barrios acknowledges that Segovia is a professional but he does not see himself as “less than a professional”. Barrios prides himself as a composer, who engages in wisdom and knowledge beyond the “mere” acquisition of physical virtue.

This is what is generally accepted, that Segovia had some jealousy and fear of being replaced by Barrios as the guitar manager, and for that reason he ignored him. There are also other reasons for rejection that are not related to competition. These are technical and musical reasons.

Segovia is famous as a severe critic, he never hesitated to criticize important musicians such as Narciso Yepes and his 10-string guitar, Paco de Lucía and Abel Carlevaro. He has a clear vision of what classical guitar should be and does not accept anyone who is going anywhere else. Barrios is one of them. Barrios played with metal strings, a very good reason for Segovia not to accept it. Also it could be that he does not like the music of Barrios, because he has sometimes Latin American legends. He despised anything related to the guitar for folk music.

It is the famous words of Segovia that Barrios “is not a good composer for the guitar”. David Norton, a student who asked Segovia about Barrios in the master class posted the following in an online forum at

Everyone here knows the saying: “In public, I heard Segovia say ‘Barrios is not a good composer for the guitar.'” Richard Stover has repeated this statement for years, make a mantra of sorts.

But that is not the whole story. This post is. You see, as fate would have it, I was the student who asked Segovia about Barrios this afternoon, and this post is his answer to me.

The answer is this. Segovia completed a master’s degree at California State University – Northridge (CSUN). I think this was April 1981 or 1982. Doesn’t matter. The class ended and I, along with 20 or 30 others, went up front hovering. There was a scene where Segovia answered a few questions from the students. I found myself not 4 feet from him, with Stover (my teacher at the time) next to me.

I asked, “Maestro, what do you think about the music of Barrios that has become so popular recently?” His wife asked me to say it again, because they didn’t really listen. I do, it means.

Segovia paused, and it was clear that he was struggling for the right words. “Barrios….he’s not….he doesn’t write….everything is small (he gestured with his hands, thumb and forefinger indicating small size)….not like Ponce , who wrote big. , compared to Ponce or Castelnuovo, Barrios is not a good writer for la guitarra.”

Stover only felt the last bit. It was a few shades more furious for me to ask: “You should have asked him, in front of God and everyone!! And he stomped out. A week later, he apologized for the complaint, and said “So what? He is an old man, who cares what he thinks? People with brains know very well about Barrios.”

And no one who was not there that afternoon would not have known about this conversation, if Stover himself had not spent the next year returning to it, and then fighting it.

So there you have it, at least and I remember the situation from 23-24 years ago. In summary, a 90-year-old man, who is obviously very tired from 3 hours of teaching, speaks English (which is not his strong point), and his words are not Almost as damning as the sound-bite Stover has. published over the years.

Do what you want.

There was another meeting between the two masters, many years later, at the end of Barrios’ life. In March 1944 Segovia visited San Salvador to give a concert. The two owners met and spent several hours talking in a Segovia hotel room. Not a game sheet, as Barrios is in bad shape and Segovia feels some sympathy for his “enemy”, because he is forgotten and poor in a country who is alone and Segovia knows the fame and recognition that his talent is good. .

They had a nice and friendly meeting, where Segovia left Barrios a set of belly strings as a gift.

This story makes his opinion about Barrios’s music. Segovia admired Barrios as a musician but did not want to popularize his music with artists, his goal was to show the world that the guitar can be considered an instrument of art. This can also be mixed, but I do not believe it, with envy.

We can blame Segovia for not introducing Barrios to the world, but Barrios never did much to do what he should have done. He was not satisfied with it. His music is for the people he knows. This can be understood in his biography below.

We cannot know for sure why Segovia rejected Barrios, we can only guess. What we do know is that a great deal of time has been wasted by Barrios and Segovia to make more classical guitars.

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