Discussion:
Andres Segovia speaking about Barrios
(too old to reply)
Luis Sanabria
2004-10-15 03:36:19 UTC
Permalink
This is part of a question/answer made during a Segovia Master Class
in 1981 found in "Internet Issue" by GUITARRA Magazine:

Question:
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF AUGUSTINE BARRIOS ?

SEGOVIA: " You know , I knew Augustine Barrios. I had great empathy
for him, but I think he lacked sufficient knowledge in music to
consider him a composer. It is a great pity because he had very
beautiful ideas, but the development of those ideas, according to the
eternal laws of composition, was absolutely absent, and this is why I
don't play anything by him. "

(It is very interesting to read what the British guitarist , John
Williams said in an album cover)

JOHN WILLIAMS: "Barrios is increasingly appreciated today as the
outstanding guitarist-composer of his time, I would say of any time,
for the qualities of inventiveness and obvious love of the instrument.
He was the first guitarist to make records from 1909, and the first
to play a complete Bach lute suite on guitar. "
Joseph Raymond
2004-10-15 16:07:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luis Sanabria
This is part of a question/answer made during a Segovia Master Class
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF AUGUSTINE BARRIOS ?
SEGOVIA: " You know , I knew Augustine Barrios. I had great empathy
for him, but I think he lacked sufficient knowledge in music to
consider him a composer. It is a great pity because he had very
beautiful ideas, but the development of those ideas, according to the
eternal laws of composition, was absolutely absent, and this is why I
don't play anything by him. "
(It is very interesting to read what the British guitarist , John
Williams said in an album cover)
JOHN WILLIAMS: "Barrios is increasingly appreciated today as the
outstanding guitarist-composer of his time, I would say of any time,
for the qualities of inventiveness and obvious love of the instrument.
He was the first guitarist to make records from 1909, and the first
to play a complete Bach lute suite on guitar. "
I think the key word here, uttered by Segovia, is "development."
Development of musical ideas is what distinguishes great composers
from lesser composers. Barrios had plenty of musical ideas but did
not development them as, say, Bach or Beethoven developed their ideas.
As such I think Barrios's compositions are fluff and do not bear
repeated listenings, at least for me anyway.

Best regards,
Joe
Tim Panting
2004-10-15 19:41:21 UTC
Permalink
What is 'fluff'?

C'mon dude....Barrios fluff??

Where is your head at?

Somewhere close to where that big ball in the sky refuses to glow as
brightly as it might. No?

TP
Post by Joseph Raymond
Post by Luis Sanabria
This is part of a question/answer made during a Segovia Master Class
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF AUGUSTINE BARRIOS ?
SEGOVIA: " You know , I knew Augustine Barrios. I had great empathy
for him, but I think he lacked sufficient knowledge in music to
consider him a composer. It is a great pity because he had very
beautiful ideas, but the development of those ideas, according to the
eternal laws of composition, was absolutely absent, and this is why I
don't play anything by him. "
(It is very interesting to read what the British guitarist , John
Williams said in an album cover)
JOHN WILLIAMS: "Barrios is increasingly appreciated today as the
outstanding guitarist-composer of his time, I would say of any time,
for the qualities of inventiveness and obvious love of the instrument.
He was the first guitarist to make records from 1909, and the first
to play a complete Bach lute suite on guitar. "
I think the key word here, uttered by Segovia, is "development."
Development of musical ideas is what distinguishes great composers
from lesser composers. Barrios had plenty of musical ideas but did
not development them as, say, Bach or Beethoven developed their ideas.
As such I think Barrios's compositions are fluff and do not bear
repeated listenings, at least for me anyway.
Best regards,
Joe
Olof Johansson
2004-10-15 21:18:52 UTC
Permalink
This is like comparing apples and oranges from different countries and
times. Many composers considered to be geniuses, like Bach, Beethoven
and Barrios, reach about up to the ankles of the great master of melody:
Charlie Parker.
Olof
Post by Tim Panting
What is 'fluff'?
C'mon dude....Barrios fluff??
Where is your head at?
Somewhere close to where that big ball in the sky refuses to glow as
brightly as it might. No?
TP
Post by Joseph Raymond
Post by Luis Sanabria
This is part of a question/answer made during a Segovia Master Class
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF AUGUSTINE BARRIOS ?
SEGOVIA: " You know , I knew Augustine Barrios. I had great empathy
for him, but I think he lacked sufficient knowledge in music to
consider him a composer. It is a great pity because he had very
beautiful ideas, but the development of those ideas, according to the
eternal laws of composition, was absolutely absent, and this is why I
don't play anything by him. "
(It is very interesting to read what the British guitarist , John
Williams said in an album cover)
JOHN WILLIAMS: "Barrios is increasingly appreciated today as the
outstanding guitarist-composer of his time, I would say of any time,
for the qualities of inventiveness and obvious love of the instrument.
He was the first guitarist to make records from 1909, and the first
to play a complete Bach lute suite on guitar. "
I think the key word here, uttered by Segovia, is "development."
Development of musical ideas is what distinguishes great composers
from lesser composers. Barrios had plenty of musical ideas but did
not development them as, say, Bach or Beethoven developed their ideas.
As such I think Barrios's compositions are fluff and do not bear
repeated listenings, at least for me anyway.
Best regards,
Joe
Aryeh Eller
2004-10-15 22:01:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Olof Johansson
This is like comparing apples and oranges from different countries and
times. Many composers considered to be geniuses, like Bach, Beethoven
Charlie Parker.

Really?

I sure would like to hear you sing Ornithology and Donna Lee along with
a little Scrapple From The Apple!! ;-)


Aryeh
Greg M. Silverman
2004-10-16 00:21:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Olof Johansson
Post by Olof Johansson
This is like comparing apples and oranges from different countries and
times. Many composers considered to be geniuses, like Bach, Beethoven
Charlie Parker.
Really?
I sure would like to hear you sing Ornithology and Donna Lee along with
a little Scrapple From The Apple!! ;-)
Methinks Olof is Praising the Bird (hmmm... good title for a tune, eh?).

gms--
Lutemann
2004-10-16 12:58:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph Raymond
Barrios had plenty of musical ideas but did
not development them as, say, Bach or Beethoven developed their ide
Very few guitar composers did/do.

*****************************************************
Kent Murdick
Free Guitar Instruction CD/Video: Go to http://stringdancer.com/
and search for Murdick--also "Hear Lutemann Play (a little)"
http://members.aol.com/lutemann/NO.mp3
JoeT
2004-10-16 13:11:18 UTC
Permalink
Bach and Beethoven never played guitar ... nor did they live in South
America
Post by Lutemann
Post by Joseph Raymond
Barrios had plenty of musical ideas but did
not development them as, say, Bach or Beethoven developed their ide
Very few guitar composers did/do.
*****************************************************
Kent Murdick
Free Guitar Instruction CD/Video: Go to http://stringdancer.com/
and search for Murdick--also "Hear Lutemann Play (a little)"
http://members.aol.com/lutemann/NO.mp3
Richard F. Sayage
2004-10-16 14:05:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoeT
Bach and Beethoven never played guitar ... nor did they live in South
America
That's hardly the point. Bach worked his music to an extreme point,
sometimes decades later going back to refine a musical point. I'm not
certain that anyone went to the extremes of Bach, scientifically or
artistically within his own confines. Looking at the music written for
flute, violin or cello solo for example, we might find it difficult to again
rate comparisons. I say this in mind of the relative compositional
simplicity (lack of orchestral complexity is what I mean) allowed by the
music of the guitar (in general) versus the clearly simpler construction of
Bach's music for the solo instruments mentioned. Yet, look at the depth of
his construction and their development.

Rich
--
Richard F. Sayage
www.savageclassical.com

Remove ZEROSPAM to reply...thx

http://www.orphee.com/rmcg/album-rmcg/album.html
http://www.savageclassical.com/rmcg/album-rmcg/album.html
Post by JoeT
Post by Lutemann
Post by Joseph Raymond
Barrios had plenty of musical ideas but did
not development them as, say, Bach or Beethoven developed their ide
Very few guitar composers did/do.
*****************************************************
Kent Murdick
Free Guitar Instruction CD/Video: Go to http://stringdancer.com/
and search for Murdick--also "Hear Lutemann Play (a little)"
http://members.aol.com/lutemann/NO.mp3
Sarn Dyer
2004-10-16 15:26:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard F. Sayage
Bach worked his music to an extreme point,
sometimes decades later going back to refine a musical point. I'm not
certain that anyone went to the extremes of Bach, scientifically or
artistically within his own confines. Looking at the music written for
flute, violin or cello solo for example, we might find it difficult to again
rate comparisons. I say this in mind of the relative compositional
simplicity (lack of orchestral complexity is what I mean) allowed by the
music of the guitar (in general) versus the clearly simpler construction of
Bach's music for the solo instruments mentioned. Yet, look at the depth of
his construction and their development.
It could be asked if *any* composer's intellect has matched Bach's, but
that would just contribute to more 'it's all apples and no oranges'
comparisons.

To some composers, development was an exercise of the higher musical
intellect, to others, it was simply note-spinning. For the
'developmentally inclined' composer, there is always a danger of 'the
tail wagging the dog': the needs of development defining, to a greater
or lesser extent, the thematic materials. Much the same could be said of
the variations form.

Both Tchaikovsky and Villa Lobos - to throw together an 'apple' and an
'orange' - have been accused of a lack of development in their music: it
has been remarked that when VL ran out of new ideas in a piece, the
piece simply came to an end. It could be argued that, with more formal
training, VL might have been a 'better' composer, but he must surely
have seen himself as a complete original, a 'one-off' and that, indeed,
is what he was. For that reason, he was probably very wary - rightly or
wrongly - of too much familiarity with formal compositional techniques,
in the belief that these might compromise that originality. I've come
across this attitude occasionally: it's not that the composers in
question have no wish to learn traditional techniques, or have no
respect for them, but rather that they prefer to take from them whatever
they need *when* this is needed and not before.

Like Tim Panting, I don't think that it can be argued that skill -
inspired or otherwise - in the development of thematic materials
automatically defines a composer as 'great', although it certainly
contributes to our recognition of the great musical minds who, ermm,
developed that aspect.

Sarn
Richard F. Sayage
2004-10-16 16:01:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sarn Dyer
Post by Richard F. Sayage
Bach worked his music to an extreme point,
sometimes decades later going back to refine a musical point. I'm not
certain that anyone went to the extremes of Bach, scientifically or
artistically within his own confines. Looking at the music written for
flute, violin or cello solo for example, we might find it difficult to
again rate comparisons. I say this in mind of the relative compositional
simplicity (lack of orchestral complexity is what I mean) allowed by the
music of the guitar (in general) versus the clearly simpler construction
of Bach's music for the solo instruments mentioned. Yet, look at the
depth of his construction and their development.
It could be asked if *any* composer's intellect has matched Bach's, but
that would just contribute to more 'it's all apples and no oranges'
comparisons.
To some composers, development was an exercise of the higher musical
intellect, to others, it was simply note-spinning. For the
'developmentally inclined' composer, there is always a danger of 'the tail
wagging the dog': the needs of development defining, to a greater or
lesser extent, the thematic materials. Much the same could be said of the
variations form.
Both Tchaikovsky and Villa Lobos - to throw together an 'apple' and an
'orange' - have been accused of a lack of development in their music: it
has been remarked that when VL ran out of new ideas in a piece, the piece
simply came to an end. It could be argued that, with more formal training,
VL might have been a 'better' composer, but he must surely have seen
himself as a complete original, a 'one-off' and that, indeed, is what he
was. For that reason, he was probably very wary - rightly or wrongly - of
too much familiarity with formal compositional techniques, in the belief
that these might compromise that originality. I've come across this
attitude occasionally: it's not that the composers in question have no
wish to learn traditional techniques, or have no respect for them, but
rather that they prefer to take from them whatever they need *when* this
is needed and not before.
Like Tim Panting, I don't think that it can be argued that skill -
inspired or otherwise - in the development of thematic materials
automatically defines a composer as 'great', although it certainly
contributes to our recognition of the great musical minds who, ermm,
developed that aspect.
Sarn
Yes, exactly Sarn. I've come across this "exposure" thing, and even
posed the question to one of my highly regarded professors way back when.
What if you never heard anything else prior and wrote what was in your own
heart and mind? He wasn't too keen on it, but I forgave him his
indiscretion! :-)

Rich
Klaus Heim
2004-10-19 09:56:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sarn Dyer
Like Tim Panting, I don't think that it can be argued that skill -
inspired or otherwise - in the development of thematic materials
automatically defines a composer as 'great', although it certainly
contributes to our recognition of the great musical minds who, ermm,
developed that aspect.
I think 'great' composers are often those who have individuality and
innovativeness. Beethoven is considered a great composer, someone who would
write the 10th, 11th and 12th Beethoven symphony nowadays would hardly be
considered a great composer.

Naturally all these evaluations change over time.

Concerning Barrios, the general tenor here seems to be that he is considered
a 'great' composer. Why is it then, that I have never read his name in a
history of 20th century music, say alongside with Schoenberg, Berg, Webern,
Stravinsky, Varese, etc? Maybe that is an oversight, which will be corrected
in the next few decades.

Or could it be that the criteria guitarists set for 'great' composers is
different - dare I say lower? - than elsewehere?

Klaus
Aryeh Eller
2004-10-19 11:36:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Klaus Heim
Post by Sarn Dyer
Like Tim Panting, I don't think that it can be argued that skill -
inspired or otherwise - in the development of thematic materials
automatically defines a composer as 'great', although it certainly
contributes to our recognition of the great musical minds who, ermm,
developed that aspect.
I think 'great' composers are often those who have individuality and
innovativeness. Beethoven is considered a great composer, someone who would
write the 10th, 11th and 12th Beethoven symphony nowadays would hardly be
considered a great composer.
Hi Klaus,

Well I'm not so sure about that, there are composers writing in a
neo-classical language today, if a composer wrote a symphony in the
style of Beethoven that was just as profound as Beethoven's Eroica or
the 9th Symphony he would be considered great in my book, the problem is
I don't think that a composer with the inventiveness and supreme
structural mind of Beethoven exists anymore even though he may decide to
use the same harmonic language and even use the motives and structural
forms that Beethoven is famous for.
Post by Klaus Heim
would
write the 10th, 11th