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In 1954 Joaquín Rodrigo composed Fantasía para un gentilhombre at the request of Segovia though the more popular Concierto de Aranjuez (1939) was dedicated to Regino Sainz de la Maza (1896-1981), a former Professor of Guitar at Madrid Conservatory. Minneapolis-born guitar virtuoso Sharon Isbin (51), who studied under Segovia, says 'He never played Aranjuez. I think he was annoyed that it wasn't dedicated to him.'

At home in 1967 with his young wife, Emilita Segovia, Marquessa of Salobreña, enjoying his first summer holiday for 35 years, the maestro relaxed for the cameras [watch and listen -- 'Los Olivos' chapter 16, 41:41-42:32]. Indeed, as this earlier documentary unfolds we become privileged witnesses while Señor Segovia, speaking excellent English, shares anecdotes, reflects on his life and muses on the guitar and its chequered history. The Los Olivos sanctuary quite clearly became a focus for renewal and inspiration yet we also accompany him in Jaen and Granada -- early homeplaces.

Andrés Segovia and his wife Emilita. Screenshot © 2005 Opus Arte/Allegro Films
Andrés Segovia and his wife Emilita. Screenshot © 2005 Opus Arte/Allegro Films

The septugenarian guitarist demonstrates the instrument's tonal capabilities and recalls how he managed to graft a new classical repertoire onto existing works of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

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Copyright © 9 January 2008 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand

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