Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
musicbyandy
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by musicbyandy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:36 pm

gitgeezer wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:23 pm
John Williams will soon be 76, Bream 84, and then there's Segovia. Are these to be the only giants of the classical guitar? Surely someone has come along since Williams who deserves to be in that company. Can we add a fourth? A fifth? Any nominations?
They might not be the only giants of the classical guitar.
Yes, we may add a fourth. No nominations.

I have doubts that in 200 years or so Williams, Bream and Segovia will hold the cultural status that they hold today. I don't think they have enough compositions to maintain their current status.

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Vlad Kosulin
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by Vlad Kosulin » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:10 pm

IMHO there were only 2 giants of 20th century: Segovia, and Bream. Add Paco de Lucia for modern flamenco, and that's it. And there are/were 10-12 other great guitar musicians after WW1 as well who for various reasons fell short of becoming giant.

And you can burn me at the stake if you wish, but John Williams is not in this list IMO. Virtuoso - yes, financially succcessful - yes, influential - yes. But he did a lot of harm to classical guifar IMO, and I do not mean promotion of Smallman here. Thanks to him we now have dozens of popular 'virtuosos' who sound completely blank, and this is not direction I'd like to see for CG. I've read somewhere that having perfect pitch does not mean being good musician. This is exactly about Williams. His obsession with perfect techniques, perfect rhythm makes his play impotent IMHO. Things might turn different if he did not join the band during his early years, but it is what it is 😥 I hope I have not opened the Pandora box here 😎
Regards,
Vlad
(still testing various strings with 2006 Sebastian Stenzel and Olinda OC-300)

Luis_Br
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by Luis_Br » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:28 pm

i think with the big population and internet we have today, it is difficult to create a "Giant" like in old times. The tendency seems to be more fragmentation and the creation of niches.

musicbyandy
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by musicbyandy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm

Vlad Kosulin wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:10 pm
IMHO there were only 2 giants of 20th century: Segovia, and Bream. Add Paco de Lucia for modern flamenco, and that's it. And there are/were 10-12 other great guitar musicians after WW1 as well who for various reasons fell short of becoming giant.

And you can burn me at the stake if you wish, but John Williams is not in this list IMO. Virtuoso - yes, financially succcessful - yes, influential - yes. But he did a lot of harm to classical guifar IMO, and I do not mean promotion of Smallman here. Thanks to him we now have dozens of popular 'virtuosos' who sound completely blank, and this is not direction I'd like to see for CG. I've read somewhere that having perfect pitch does not mean being good musician. This is exactly about Williams. His obsession with perfect techniques, perfect rhythm makes his play impotent IMHO. Things might turn different if he did not join the band during his early years, but it is what it is 😥 I hope I have not opened the Pandora box here 😎
In 200 years, how do you think the giant status of Segovia, Bream and de Lucia will compare with the giant status of Giuliani and Sor?

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LarryShone
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by LarryShone » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:55 pm

He's still quite young but Torrin Williams could become a big name in the future.
Surround yourself with people dear James, they are easier to fight for than principles.
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Vlad Kosulin
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by Vlad Kosulin » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:08 pm

musicbyandy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm
Vlad Kosulin wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:10 pm
IMHO there were only 2 giants of 20th century: Segovia, and Bream. Add Paco de Lucia for modern flamenco, and that's it. And there are/were 10-12 other great guitar musicians after WW1 as well who for various reasons fell short of becoming giant.

And you can burn me at the stake if you wish, but John Williams is not in this list IMO. Virtuoso - yes, financially succcessful - yes, influential - yes. But he did a lot of harm to classical guifar IMO, and I do not mean promotion of Smallman here. Thanks to him we now have dozens of popular 'virtuosos' who sound completely blank, and this is not direction I'd like to see for CG. I've read somewhere that having perfect pitch does not mean being good musician. This is exactly about Williams. His obsession with perfect techniques, perfect rhythm makes his play impotent IMHO. Things might turn different if he did not join the band during his early years, but it is what it is 😥 I hope I have not opened the Pandora box here 😎
In 200 years, how do you think the giant status of Segovia, Bream and de Lucia will compare with the giant status of Giuliani and Sor?
Add Tarrega, and I hope they will keep their stand together I hope 😁
Regards,
Vlad
(still testing various strings with 2006 Sebastian Stenzel and Olinda OC-300)

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LarryShone
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by LarryShone » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:09 pm

I believe John Williams DOES belong in this list. I'm sure Bream would think so!
Surround yourself with people dear James, they are easier to fight for than principles.
Valencia VC204H classical
Fender DG 5 acoustic
Tanglewood DBLT SFCE electro-acoustic
Tanglewood TU 13M concert ukulele
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MarkInLA
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by MarkInLA » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:12 pm

John Feely ...Bach expert ! Marcin Dylla, grace and finesse.

musicbyandy
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by musicbyandy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:32 pm

Vlad Kosulin wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:08 pm
musicbyandy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:15 pm
Vlad Kosulin wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:10 pm
IMHO there were only 2 giants of 20th century: Segovia, and Bream. Add Paco de Lucia for modern flamenco, and that's it. And there are/were 10-12 other great guitar musicians after WW1 as well who for various reasons fell short of becoming giant.

And you can burn me at the stake if you wish, but John Williams is not in this list IMO. Virtuoso - yes, financially succcessful - yes, influential - yes. But he did a lot of harm to classical guifar IMO, and I do not mean promotion of Smallman here. Thanks to him we now have dozens of popular 'virtuosos' who sound completely blank, and this is not direction I'd like to see for CG. I've read somewhere that having perfect pitch does not mean being good musician. This is exactly about Williams. His obsession with perfect techniques, perfect rhythm makes his play impotent IMHO. Things might turn different if he did not join the band during his early years, but it is what it is 😥 I hope I have not opened the Pandora box here 😎
In 200 years, how do you think the giant status of Segovia, Bream and de Lucia will compare with the giant status of Giuliani and Sor?
Add Tarrega, and I hope they will keep their stand together I hope 😁
I don’t think I understand your response.

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Vlad Kosulin
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by Vlad Kosulin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:13 am

musicbyandy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:32 pm
I don’t think I understand your response.
There will be 5 ancient giants, plus giants from 21st and 22nd centurues 😁
Regards,
Vlad
(still testing various strings with 2006 Sebastian Stenzel and Olinda OC-300)

TomPollock
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by TomPollock » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:23 am

I think the op is referring to classical guitarists who are household names. Most people who listen to classical music would be familiar with Segovia, Bream and Williams but would struggle to name any others. I live in Scotland and I'm pretty sure very few Scots have heard of David Russell or Paul Galbraith. Bream and Williams had a lot of TV exposure in the seventies. I doubt if that is likely to happen again so I can't see any other guitarists getting the same sort of fame.

montana
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by montana » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:24 am

DevonBadger wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:57 pm
This is like asking if there are any footballers who can join Pele, Cruyff and Maradona as the greatest of all time. There have been, and will continue to be, many fine footballers who catch the eye. But the reason those three are singled out is because they regularly took your breath away and entered the realm of the sublime... same with Federer at tennis.

For me, the answer is no, not yet. There are many many fantastic guitarists, including all those mentioned, but they are like Zidane and Ronaldo... great great players, just not quite THE greatest (admittedly in some cases we are talking the very finest of margins).

Having said that I actually think Messi deserves to join the other three as an all time great footballer, I just can't think of the equivalent in the guitar world... yet! The trouble is you're lucky to get even one all time great per generation, they just don't come along that often.
You forgot Zlatan Ibrahimavic...he will tell you that himself

bzel
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by bzel » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:07 am

For me Kazuhito Yamashita and Narciso Yepes are in the same league as well.
(Eliot Fisk and Christopher Parkening come very close too)
Paco de Lucia stands alone as the most complete best exponent of the oral tradition of flamenco.
But then again everyone brings to the world their own unique perception through their music playing. It's not meant to be a competition.
Last edited by bzel on Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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segobreawill
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by segobreawill » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:49 pm

Oh what the heck...

Everything that can be said has pretty much already been said. Segovia, Bream, Williams were part of a very special time in the CG and as such a particular type of "aura" surrounds those three names of the CG like no other. In that regard alone, there probably will never be another trio like that again for us afficionados of the instrument.

We have to keep it in the context of the times - those times when AS, JB, JW were at their respective heights, or thereabouts - and we cannot begin to introduce modern guitarists into the mix because we'd be mixing things too much. Our 'Holy Guitar Trio' evokes something in us that most of the others around that time period do not. Of course there were other very good guitarists worthy of mention, but fate/destiny/karma - call it what you will - has singled out these three above the rest to create a very special image in the minds of most. One can mention Diaz, Lagoya, Parkening, perhaps even Boyd and certainly Yepes as they all contributed to the CG image in those days.

There are lots of other guitarists that are great, but they don't evoke the same feelings. And that's my ONLY criteria for saying what I'm saying because as far as technique is concerned the level of playing of the big three has been achieved and even surpassed at times. We are the victims of our own success, so to speak, as there are too many good classical guitarists in our times that get lost in the mix and will not receive their due worth - some that are probably better than what Segovia was at that age.

musicbyandy
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Re: Only Three Giants of the Classical Guitar?

Post by musicbyandy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:07 pm

Vlad Kosulin wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:13 am
musicbyandy wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:32 pm
I don’t think I understand your response.
There will be 5 ancient giants, plus giants from 21st and 22nd centurues 😁
In the next two centuries, do you think it is possible that some guitarist will replace Segovia, Bream, de Lucia, Giuliani and/or Sor from so called giant status?

I wonder if giants will be consolidated so that only one of Sor or Giuliani survives the next two centuries as a giant and only one of Segovia or Bream survives the next two centuries as a giant.

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