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Andres Segovia Torres: The Revival of the Guitar

SPAIN!!! Homeland of great sailors, ancient chivalric novels, roguish literature. Land of Cervantes, Velazquez, Goya … A country of unquenchable temperament, openness and Honor. Where else can you meet such cheerfulness ?! For the Spaniard, evening is not a preparation for bedtime, but the beginning of revelry! Songs, dances, flamenco … Many believe that the music of Spain is the best in the world. Here and only here a guitar could be born! We will tell you about the great Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia Torres (1893-1987), a man of legend. He was lucky to be born in Spain, in the small Andalusian town of Linares, to absorb the rich history, culture, traditions of this country. For nearly a hundred years, he lived with Spain in his heart and with all of humanity in his soul, serving one lady – the Guitar.

He revived the Guitar and magnified it, gave it an academic sound. From childhood, Andres Segovia, immediately after making friends with the guitar, learned from the old Spanish guitarists the sad story of the extinction of the life of this beautiful instrument, the decline in the role of the six-string in the symphonic life of the planet. The guitar’s voice sounded weaker on the musical Olympus, yielding to the sounds of the piano, violin, cello … The guitar was no longer invited to the concert halls of Spain … The thought of reviving his favorite instrument completely captured the young Andres and became his guiding star for life.

The feat of Andres Segivia was that he was destined to solve this extremely complex task, perhaps, at one of the most dramatic stages of life in Spain. Andres was destined to be born five years before the brutal defeat of Spain in the war with the United States. His homeland lost its overseas colonies, lost the status of a sea power. Andres Segovia, together with his country, survived the fall and revival of royal power. The first war of humanity against fascism passed through his soul with bloodied boots, which broke out in Spain three years before the outbreak of World War II. Then, in 1936, on Spanish soil, fascism (Spanish, German, and Italian) clashed with the Spanish Republicans, who were supported by arms and international brigades from Russia, France, Poland, and the USA. On the Republican side were Ernest Hemingway, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Mikhail Koltsov, Ilya Ehrenburg, George Orwell (was wounded by a sniper in the throat) and many others. Andres Segovia survived the terrible death of Guernica, the victory of the Nazis, huge casualties. The civil war in Spain claimed 600 thousand lives. More than a million opponents of the regime, anti-fascists ended up in prisons, camps.

Tens of thousands of Spanish children from the families of the losing Republicans, saving their lives, left their homeland. We left for Russia, France, Belgium, England, Holland … Among the Spanish children who came to Moscow, your peers, there was a girl who, having matured, became the mother of the legendary Russian hockey player Valery Kharlamov. Music in these terrible years groaned, gasped. She survived in Spain not so much in notes as in the souls of unarmed cultural defenders such as Segovia. The music for little Andres began after the decision of his parents (father – Bonifacio Segovia Montoro, mother – Rosa Torres Cruz) to give his son to the family of Uncle Don Eduard and Aunt Maria, who did not have their own children. Uncle loved music. There were musicians in his house. At the initiative of don Eduard, Andres at the age of five began to learn to play the violin he had bought, began to master the piano and cello. However, the first invited teacher turned out to be a poor teacher. He was an unkind, insensitive, and perhaps even a cruel teacher. Soon even an uncle understood this. Classes were discontinued. At this time, a wandering guitarist appeared in their house.

He began to perform a passionate, fiery, expressive flamenco melody! As Andres himself recalled in his autobiography, “at the first strong rasgeato (trembling sound, rapid alternation of chords), I jumped out of the chair and fell. And when he started playing beautiful folk tunes, I was captivated by the sounds of the guitar. ” When the last chords died down, Andres heard perhaps the most coveted, most significant words in his life: “Do you want to learn how to play?” The boy had only enough strength to nod his head in agreement. The study did not last long: only two months. Thoughtful, talented, eager to learn, the boy passionately absorbed the science of playing the guitar. Andres recalled: “My whole being was overwhelmed by indescribable happiness when I started playing the guitar … I forgot about everything except the guitar.” He was six years old … Already in his mature years to the question “When did he start playing the guitar?” Segovia replied: “Before I was born.” So, barely starting, the lessons of playing your favorite instrument ended. Oddly enough, on the path between Andres and his new friend, the guitar, his uncle himself got up. Reflecting the mood that existed in those years, judgments about the “frivolity”, “unfashionable” of the guitar, its non-similarity in prestigious concert halls, don Edward wanted to prevent a new hobby.

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