WHY?

The vastly improved sonics which the Deutsche Grammophon production team achieves with its 24/96 remastering of the guitarist's 1952-1969 mono and stereo performances for Decca allow listeners to finally experience the rich tonal palette and intimate nature of Segovia's performance art in a manner commensurate with the fidelity of the original LP releases (minus the edgy digital glare and graininess of the MCA reissues). What emerges is a portrait of the artist as a lightning rod for great composers, such as Manuel Ponce, Federico Torroba, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Isaac Albéniz, and Enrique Granados, all of whom enriched the 20th-century repertoire of solo and chamber works by custom-crafting works for this innovative guitarist (Segovia's interpretation of Joaquín Rodrigo's "Fandango" is a paradigm for his role in popularizing the modern Spanish idiom). Likewise, Segovias's work as an arranger in recasting baroque and medieval works for modern guitar, as well as his deep affection for 19th-century masters of the instrument such as Dionisio Aguado and Fernando Sor, shines forth on discs two and three. However, it is Segovia's romantic touch in transposing Bach's Partitas for Solo Violin--as on his virtuoso turns on the "Chaconne in D Minor"--that best illustrate his poetic conception of the instrument. --Chip Stern

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