The music of the early 20th century guitarist, Miguel Llobet has intrigued me for a long time. Llobet was the subject of my doctoral dissertation and a number of articles that I've written. I am finally going to record his complete solo guitar works on a CD that will be released by Centaur Records. The recording will take place in July of 2012. I plan to record in the Danforth Chapel at Florida Southern College, a chapel that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The acoustics there are magnificent, and I've already recorded several videos there. Here are some of to those videos: Torre Bermeja, by Isaac Albéniz, Danza Española no. 5, by Enrique Granados, and Sonatina by F. Moreno Torroba. There are several others, which can be viewed on my youtube channel.
The classical guitar was at a low point at the end of the 19th century. The only places one could hear classical guitar were Barcelona and the Rio de la Plata. This was the state of things when Miguel Llobet arrived on the scene. His virtuosity quickly came to the attention of the composers of the Parisian avaunt-garde, Debussy, Ravel, de Falla (who, although a Spaniard, was involved in the Paris music scene at the time). These composers used their considerable influence to help Llobet embark on a major international concert career. It was through years of touring, composing, and recording that Llobet changed the course of guitar history, creating the fertile ground in which Andres Segovia was able to flourish. But Segovia cast a wide shadow, and Llobet was in danger of being forgotten by history.
Llobet has been an important part of my life for many years. I was first introduced to his music by my former teacher, José Rey de la Torre, who was Llobet's most significant student. His music resonated with me, and I came to believe that he was one of the finest guitar composers in its history. So when I decided to get my doctorate, I decided to make his life, work, and contributions the center of my research.
In my video I refer to myself as an "expert". That's a potentially immodest claim. My doctoral dissertation is the longest and most in depth and comprehensive document published about Llobet. After writing it, I continued to write a number of articles about Llobet in classical guitar journals. The dissertation and these articles are now cited in just about everything written about Llobet.
The Llobet Archive
Early on in my endeavors it was brought to my attention by a number of scholars that there were rumors of an archive containing all of Llobet's important papers, manuscripts, compositions, etc., that had been missing for 40 years. I decided to make it my mission to find the archive. With the convenience of modern communication, I was able to cast a very wide net in a very short period. Several months after beginning this process I found the archive in the possession of a guitar dealer in Barcelona. It was during my first visit to Barcelona to examine the archive that I discovered that Llobet had been so thoroughly forgotten that his grave was unmarked and crumbling. I was able to speak with some local guitarists, primarily members of the Cercle guitarristic de Catalunya about erecting a stone.
Please remember to check on my progress at the
Blog and Supporter List page of my website.
- (30 days)