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Andrés Segovia: The Song of the Guitar

Andrés Segovia

Andrés Segovia died on the 2nd June 1987 at the age of 94. His career was one of the longest and most distinguished in the history of music. He gave his first concert in Granada in 1909 at the age of 16 and his last in Miami 78 years later only a few
weeks before he died.

His achievement is unique in the history of Western music. Many years ago Fritz Kreisler said that there were only two truly great performers in the 20th century, Pablo Casals and Andrés Segovia. As an instrumentalist, Segovia did for the guitar what Casals did for the cello, but he did it with an instrument that had never before been taken seriously on the concert platform. Within his own lifetime, Segovia taught himself, revolutionised the technique and elevated a folk instrument to the highest levels of the international concert platform. As a musician, he has come to be recognised as one of the most refined and profound artists of our time.

THE SONG OF THE GUITAR is a tribute to the maestro by Christopher Nupen, who knew him intimately for more than twenty-five years. It is shot in the Palace of the Alhambra and in Granada, where Segovia spent his childhood and where, as he says in the film, “the Lord put the seed of music in my soul”.

The Alhambra is one of the architectural wonders of the world and its visual splendours form an ideal setting in which Segovia plays pieces closely associated with his extraordinary career. These were filmed at night after the tourists had gone between midnight and four o’clock in the morning. As a teenager, Segovia often played to his friends in the Alhambra until the early hours of the morning and he returned regularly to perform at the Granada Festival. The setting is therefore as legitimate as it is glorious. Between the pieces Segovia’s voice is heard out of vision recalling his childhood and the spirit in which he set out on his extraordinary quest.

The music is by Albeniz, Granados, Scarlatti, Rameau, Fernando Sor, Manuiel Ponce
and Johann Sebastian Bach. Segovia ends the film with the traditional Catalan lullaby, El Noy de la Mare (The Song of the Mother).

Produced in three versions - Spanish, English and French with Segovia doing the narration in all three.


Albeniz: Capricho, Torre Bermeja, Leyenda 

Granados: La Maja de Goya 

Scarlatti: Sonata 

Rameau: Minet 

Sor: Minuet 

Ponce: Ballet, Allegretto

Aguado: Etude 

Bach: Gavotte 

Chopin: Prelude 

Torroba: Sonatina 

Traditional: El Noy de la Mare

Winner of the Prix du Public at the Besançon Festival, 1977


Prog. No.
Music genre
49 mins
Christopher Nupen
Allegro Films
Production year