60mins of Segovia Playing Ponce (audio only)

This Was Classical Guitar. 60mins of Segovia audio only playing Ponce. Either cry in pain or rejoice, whatever suits your fancy.

Video Repertoire: 1-4. Sonata Clàsica; 5-8. Sonata Romàntica; 9. Cancion; 10. Cancion y Paisage; 11-14. Sonata Mexicana.

Old-school! I’m not a big fan of Segovia, mostly because I just didn’t grow up listening to him and have never had a huge reason to with so many great players of more recent years. Plus, it’s an older style of playing that is not to my taste. However, I do appreciate that many of the great works in the modern repertoire were written for him including these classic works by Mexican composer Manuel María Ponce (1882–1948). Interesting to hear how they were played by the original dedicatee. Here’s 60 mins of them.

Sorry, it’s just a still picture but if you know the works then it’s interesting.

Video Source: http://youtu.be/dK3Jt44-6UI


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  1. Thanks for this great post Bradford. I must admit that I had samelike thoughts on Segovia’s playing as being “old school”. But listening to these recordings on the headphone while writing some messages to friends, sitting at my desk, my first sudden discovery is that I completely forgot listening to Segovia at the same time being distracted from my writing due to the lovely and beautiful played music. Segovia making me forget about “Segovia”.
    So this “old school thing” must be revised I think. The first argument perhaps being that music is not being played by “old schools” or “new schools” but by indiviual musicians. Segovia here in this recording is so much an individual, with a truly and free own spirit, both in frasing as in sound, that I feel very happy to have rediscovered his wonderful playing. Many guitarists from whatever “school” should listen and try to be as individual as Segovia.
    Thanks again for having made me listen again! With all best regards, Reli.

    • Reli,

      Absolutely, no such thing as “schools,” I was just making a comment on how you don’t hear players who interpret quite like that as often these days. Also, I was really just saying that it’s from long ago in another era of guitar. I feel it’s a real guitaristic interpretation, and there’s nothing wrong with that! As I said, love it or hate it but know that it is there…

  2. I can only agree with Reli.
    I feel that none of us would be “here” without Segovia and that he reached heights of musicality that make one completely forget about the technical challenges. His musicianship was truly wonderful, and we should bear in mind that his interpretations of the pieces written for him were often developed with the composers themselves. Listen to his version of Torroba’s Sonatina (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J0ZZ-9Yh34) – recorded when he was in his pomp – and ask if anyone has a more compelling and convincing interpretation. Yes, many guitarists play it (even me); but who comes close to telling the story of the music as he does? You are right in saying that he is of another age, of course. But it was the age of Casals, Rubinstein, Heifetz, Primrose, Horowitz – and Segovia belongs among them.

  3. Douglas Chapman on

    Bradford, shame on you! Your remarks are prejudicial, biased and narrow. There’s nothing “old school” about Andrés Segovia’s playing. My God! It’s the foundation of EVERYONE ELSE’S playing, INCLUDING YOURS! The only crying a listener may indulge in is from frustration at being crushed by so much musical taste and ease. . . . By the way, if you can name a single living player who can let a ground note (bass) hang in the air as he does, or put a spin on a pivotal, emotional melodic moment as if it’s pausing, reluctant to leave the listener, then, by God! name him. Many imitate, none I know of do so with any authenticity. (Have YOU listened to this recording?)

    • I said love it OR hate it. You obviously love it and I’m fine with that. I posted it because I thought many people would like it. I found it interesting. However, I don’t consider it the foundation of everyone’s playing. We all practice much technical work and musical ideas from centuries before him (for example, Guiliani’s Opus No 1.).

      But look, I’ve listened to it and have nothing against it, I found interesting for sure… Sorry if it came off as “prejudicial, biased and narrow” but let’s all be open to different opinions shall we?

    • Betsy Decourcy-Wernette on

      Douglas, Still as articulate and precise as your writing was and your playing, even decades ago in Ann Arbor. Still treasure my Presti and Lagoya LP. Remember you, playing harmonics. Gave me new ears. If there, contact drbetsy@umich.edu.

  4. Carl Edwards on

    Berta Rojas devoted (if I remember correctly) the first half of her last NYCCGS concert to Ponce and I’m hoping she’ll make an all-Ponce album soon because the pieces and the playing were so lovely. She must have listened to these recordings over and over while she was growing up. It’s true that the modern masters owe a huge debt to Segovia while they continue to bring the music forward to the present day.

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