Christopher Nupen

United Kingdom, 2008, 50′, English

Fritz Kreisler, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century and one of the most affectionately remembered, said that in his opinion, the two greatest performing musicians of the 20th century were Pablo Casals and Andrés Segovia. Most people attribute that state- ment to two physical facts. First, both revolutionised the playing technique, in curiously similar ways, and second, both elevated their chosen instruments from very low status at the beginning of their careers to the highest levels of the international concert plat- form. Astonishing feats.
The similarity in what they did for playing technique consisted pri-marily in raising the position of the hands in order to give them more power. Earlier technique had kept the left hand on both instruments closer to the fingerboard in the interests of security.
No other artist has succeeded in drawing so many sounds or such ravishing sounds, from the Spanish classical guitar as did Andrés Segovia.
If that sounds exaggerated to you, believe me, it is not. I am a guitarist and I know and I say that not just because I studied with him, here in Italy, at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. And so, since film remembers our artists and the artistic persona in a way that not one of the other media is quite able to match, I had to make two films with ‘il mio caro Maestro’. The first I made in 1967 in his new home in the south of Spain when he was 75 and the sec- ond in the Palaces of the Alhambra in Granada where he spent his youth and where, as he says in the film, he “opened his eyes to beauty and was born for the second time and the most important.” The second film was made in 1976 when Segovia was 84 years old and that is film that you will see.