Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Andrés Segovia: Fandanguillo

Andrés Segovia plays Fandanguillo, the first movement from the Suite castellana, a three-movement suite composed by Federico Moreno Torroba.  He composed the third movement (Danza) in 1919, and the other two afterward.

Fandanguillo, a courtship dance, was written with the traditional Spanish flamenco dance fandango in mind. "The fandango is an ancient Spanish dance, probably of Moorish origin, that came into Europe in the 17th cent. It is in triple time and is danced by a single couple to the accompaniment of castanets, guitar, and songs sung by the dancers," says the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Segovia is considered a legend among Spanish guitarists, the "Father of Classical Guitar," and one of the finest classical guitarists of the twentieth century. In many ways Segovia legitimized classical guitar as a serious musical form. This is among the most popular guitar compositions.

I discovered Segovia [1893-1987] in the mid-1970s, and listened to him late at night, typically when I was trying to complete an essay for college on my manual typewriter. His playing of the classical guitar had a calming effect — much like a wave gently rolling in and out. 

Federico Moreno Torroba [1891-1982]: His composition style is Romantic and includes Spanish folk music. Moreno-Torroba is mainly known for composing zarazuelas, or Spanish operettas.

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