This cardboard box-set release by EMI consisting of 3 cardboard sleeve cds, a 16-page booklet of track listings and a 2008 essay by Emma Baker in English, German and French represents the latest offering on an overview of the brilliant career of a master guitarist.
He may not have been the best to have ever played the instrument as legends abound about the playing ability of previous masters such as Torroba, Tarrega, Sor, Albeniz etc and some have even claimed that his students, John Williams, Parkening etc are better technically than him but the most important point is missed in that he is fundamentally responsible for making the instrument important enough to be recognised albeit grudgingly in some circles as a legitimate concerto instrument.
By raising the profile of the once lowly guitar, its eventual adoptance by the mainstream and its vast popularity today in its various forms i.e. classical, folk/acoustic and eventually electric certainly owes a great deal to the pioneering and relentless efforts of this man.
This set is worthy as a retrospective on Segovia's work and builds upon the previous single cd EMI release as virtually all the tracks there are present here and then some. Some tracks such as "Gavotte" have been remastered and sound even better than the version on the single disc as the volume levels are much better and clearer here than on that single disc version. Given the limitations of the very old master tapes of some of the tracks, it's inevitable that some hiss is present on some of the tracks but thankfully the levels are not too high so as to detract too much from the overall enjoyment of the performance. Most of the tracks though have been remastered well enough that the hiss is practically non-existent unless you are trying really hard to pick it out.
In addition to the usual repertoire of Bach, De Visee, Tarrega, Torroba, Albeniz etc, we also get one original Segovia track on the 3rd disc "Estudio sin luz". My favourite though is still Tarrega's "Recuerdos de la Alhambra".
1. Gavotte - J S Bach
3-4. 2 Preludes
7-10 Suite in A minor - Ponce
11. Theme varie Op. 9 - Sor
12. Sarabande - De Visee
15. Gigue - Froberger
16. Allegretto - Torroba
17. Canzonetta - Mendelssohn
18. Serenata - Malats
19. Recuerdos de la Alhambra - Tarrega
20. Study in A
21. Vivo e energico - Castelnuovo-Tedesco
1-2. Suite espanola extracts - Albeniz
3. Fandanguillo - Torroba
6. Fandanguillo - Turina
7-8. Danzas espanolas 5 & 10 - Granados
9-10. Guitar Sonata No. 3 - Ponce
13. Petite Valse
14. Folies d'Espagne
1-2. Bourree & Double - J S Bach
3. Andantino - Sor
4. Fandanguillo - Torroba
6. Fandanguillo - Turina
7. Nortena - Crespo
8-9. Etudes 1 & 7 - Villa-Lobos
10. Allegro - Ponce
11-13. Sonatina meridional
14. Estudio sin luz - Segovia
15. Tarantella 'Aranci in fiore' - Castelnuovo-Tedesco
16-18. Guitar Concerto No. 1
Nice cardboard box-set and sleeve packaging and a nice booklet together with worthy content on 3 discs makes this a worthwhile and value for money addition to your classical music library.