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Manuscript Mania

These days there seems to be a positive Urtext mania among guitarists. I am as fanatic as anybody about respecting the composer’s ideas, but I am referring to something else. Sorry if I somehow contributed to this trend (although I was not the only one) through insisting (20 years ago) that the 1929 version of the Villa-Lobos Études was worth considering (the new edition by Frédéric Zigante in Max Eschig has solved practically all the textual problems and the typos of the 1954 edition, so if you want to know how this particular thriller ended, go look). Every musician knows there are invaluable clues to be found in the original manuscripts. But I am not referring to the police-work part of

Family jewels

Back around the 1970’s a trend started affirming that the classical literature for guitar (I mean Sor, Giuliani and several others, just in case you ignorants don’t know what I am talking about) was passé, because 1) it was not up to the standards of Beethoven or Mozart (they had no idea who Haydn was), 2) it did not modulate enough, 3) it was formally weak, 4) it all sounded the same. In fact, an article on a guitar magazine at the time dared to call Sor “Fernando Bore”. I am not making this up. Today, this trend not only continues, but it has become some kind of accepted and dominant thought. It is time to FIGHT IT. Classical guitarists of the world, unite! OK. Let’s take the objections on

Las joyas de la familia

Allá por los 1970, se hizo fuerte una tendencia que sostiene que la literatura clásica para guitarra (quiero decir Sor, Giuliani y varios otros, por si ustedes ignorantes no saben de qué hablo) estaba perimida, porque: 1) no estaba a la altura de Beethoven o Mozart (de Haydn no tenían ni idea) 2) no modulaba lo suficiente, 3) era débil desde el punto de vista formal, 4) todo sonaba igual. De hecho, un artículo en una revista de guitarra (ya, por suerte, difunta) se atrevía a llamar a Sor “Fernando Bore” (Fernando Aburridor). No lo estoy inventando. Hoy en día, esto no sólo continúa, sino que se ha vuelto una especie de pensamiento dominante y aceptado. Es tiempo de PELEARLO. Guitarristas clá

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