Early Guitars and Vihuela

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Antonio Abreu, "el portugués" (ca. 1800), Sonata en Sol (T. Schmitt, guitar)

Antonio Abreu, "el portugués" (ca. 1800), Sonata en Sol 1. Allegro cómodo 0:05 2. Adagio 4:28 3. Rondó, Allegretto 7:11 Played on a 6 course guitar (after Lo...

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Comment by Martyn Hodgson on August 8, 2021 at 15:06

Dear Tom,

Many thanks - I should have liked to hear you play them on an instrument with ocatve basses - either just the sicth, fifth and sixth or all three. In practice  I prefer to use octaves (like Vargas y Guzmán) on all three bass courses and believe it adds a unique and very attractive feature to this repertoire.  Indeed, I'm currently working through Miguel Garcia's unflagged works trying to make sense of them by inserting appropriate flags - but I must say it's easier said than done to ensure the music is in his idiosyncratic style than my own!  In a few places the use of campella-like play requires, in my view, octave basses.

Ah well - each to his own..



Comment by Thomas Schmitt on August 8, 2021 at 10:34

Dear Martyn:

Thank you for your interest in this music. The octave strings are a problem, of course.

If you look at the few textual sources, you can find pretty much anything, from octaves on all bass strings (Vargas y Guzmán), only one octave on the 6th string (Ferandiere) or no octaves (Moretti). However, with music by other authors that don´t give textual indications, it ultimately depends on the taste of the performer. As most music for 6 course guitar is very upper-voiced, it makes no sense (in my opinion) to use octaves. The octave strings simply blur "above" and "below".

Best, Tom

Comment by Martyn Hodgson on August 7, 2021 at 9:28

Dear Thomas,

Very nice. I'm familiar with these works and much imprewssed by your playing of them and the velocity!

Just one thing: as you'll know they were conceived for the six course guitar with octaves on the basses (and on the 'outside') which I believe gives a distinctive tone colour wholly different to the later six stringed instrument.

Might it be possible to hear your very fine playing of these pieces (and similar works by Padre Basilio/Miguel Garcia and others of this mid- to late -eigthteenth century Spanish school) on a six course guitar with octave basses?



Comment by Thomas Schmitt on November 25, 2020 at 9:33

Thanks Jelma. The problem with this repertoire is that it was in some ways negatively evaluated by Sor and his judgement was considered undisputed. But every period has the music that it deserves.

Comment by Jelma van Amersfoort on November 24, 2020 at 20:30

Wonderful, Thomas, thanks!

Comment by Thomas Schmitt on November 23, 2020 at 19:51

Another sonata by a rather unknown composer. Enjoy it.

Saludos, Tom

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