Andrés Segovia had one of the longest and most distinguished careers in the history of Western 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, on the 2nd June 1987, at the age of 94.
His achievement is unique in the history of Western music, a fact acknowledged many years ago by Fritz Kreisler among others.
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 as a concert instrument. Within his own lifetime, Segovia taught himself the instrument, 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 of his time.
THE SONG OF THE GUITAR is a tribute to the maestro by Christopher Nupen, who knew him well for more than twenty-five years. It is shot in the Palaces of the Alhambra and in Granada, where Segovia spent his childhood and where, as he says in the film, he opened his eyes to beauty and the Lord put the seed of music in his soul. He often described the Alhambra as the Leitmotif of his life. And so the setting is as legitimate as it is glorious.
As a teenager, Segovia often played to his friends in the Alhambra until the early hours of the morning and he returned there regularly to perform at the Granada Festival.
The Alhambra is one of the architectural wonders of the world and its visual splendours formed an ideal setting in which to film the grand master playing works associated with his extraordinary career.
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.