rguitphil wrote:As you may know, most of the biography of Llobet published at Wikipedia was written by me. Much of it is excerpted from my doctoral dissertation on the influence of Llobet.
It is a very complete biography. Hard to improve that work by means of the only public sources I can access. Please receive my admiration for this impressive work
Unfortunately, I know of no further information on Llobet's life, but perhaps your call for information will bring some previously unknown information to light.
I hope to glean more information before 2009. Llobet seems to be a mysterious man.
There is an extensive archive in the possession of Fernando Alonso in Barcelona, but Sr. Alonso is unwilling to allow anyone to examine it. The Museum of Music in Barcelona is interested in purchasing the archive, but has thus far been unable to raise the money. Alonzo's price is based on an appraisal made by the museum's archivist. (Perhaps a project to raise money for the museum to make this purchase might be in our future.)
It is very regrettable. Is it possible to have some ideas of the contents and the importance of these archives?
In the meantime, please allow me to share some information regarding Llobet's relationship with Segovia as was related to me in a letter from Hector Garcia, who you may know was Pujol's principle disciple. The following is a direct excerpt from my dissertation:
The subject of Segovia's relationship with Llobet is one area on which Pujol, by way of Garcia, was able to shed some light.
An early edition of Llobet's arrangements of de Falla's Siete Canciones includes a biographic sketch of Llobet written by Pujol. This set of arrangements is no longer in print, and the edition that is most commonly used has no such biography. Garcia is in possession of this biography. The last paragraph states "Among his students were guitarists like the great José Rey de la Torre and the world famous Andres Segovia." There can be no clearer refutation of Segovia's claims to being self- taught than this. Furthermore, Garcia was kind enough to correspond with the author, explaining Pujol's role in the complex Segovia-Llobet relationship. A facsimile of this letter is to be found in Appendix B. Mr. Garcia wrote:
How do you know that ? Do you have a copy of that early edition ?
De acuerdo con anécdotas contadas a mí por el Maestro
Emilio Pujol, Andrés Segovia le pidió tomar lecciones de él. El
Maestro Pujol declinó la petición y recomendó a Segovia que
tomará lecciones de Miguel Llobet quien aparte de la ayuda
musico-instrumental, podría ayudarlo a darse a conocer a través de
los contactos que Llobet, por ser el guitarrista-concertista más
conocido, tenía en toda Europa....
Pujol le prometió que hablaria con Llobet y que estaba
segurro que debido a la amistad entre ellos, éste accederia a la
petición. Asi fué, y Segovia comenzó a recibir lecciónes de
Miguel Llobet, unas cuatro o cinco. Al cabo de las mismas Llobet
le informó a Pujol que él havia accedido a tomar a Segovia como
estudiante, pero dada la rebeldía de Segovia a seguir las
indicaciones de Llobet, éste se verá obligado a terminar las clases
con Segovia17 (Garcia 2002).
Translation of Garcia letter:
According to anecdotes related to me by Maestro Emilio Pujol, Andrés Segovia asked to take
lessons with him. Maestro Pujol declined the petition and recommended that Segovia take lessons with Miguel Llobet who, apart from musical-instrumental help, could help by acquainting him with the contacts that Llobet, being the best known concert guitarist, had throughout Europe.
Pujol promised that he would speak with Llobet and that he was sure that owing to the friendship
between them, he would accede with the petition. Thus it was, and Segovia began to receive lessons from Miguel Llobet, some four or five. At the end of the same Llobet informed Pujol that he had agreed to take Segovia as a student, but given the rebelliousness of Segovia in following Llobet's indications he would be obliged to terminate the classes with Segovia.
The last sentence is funny, and indeed in the idea that I made of the character of Ségovia!
In one discussion Garcia mentioned that Segovia had more lessons with Llobet, but he did not clarify when Llobet terminated Segovia's lessons. Given the anecdotal nature of this letter it is difficult to know precisely how long Segovia studied under Llobet or how influential Llobet may have been, particularly in view of the above revelation. Furthermore, this would seem to be at odds with Pujol's biographical statement. If, indeed, Llobet terminated Segovia after only a few lessons, it would not be likely that he would want Segovia to be mentioned as a former student. No clear conclusions can be drawn, other than that Segovia did indeed study with Llobet for a time. This in itself may provide more certainty concerning the subject than there has previously been. Given that Segovia claimed to be self-taught, and that no other teacher emerges, one is left with the conclusion that Llobet must have exerted some influence on Segovia. This influence is, according to Ronald Purcell (Llobet 1989 Volume 1, ii), audible by comparing Llobet's Parlophone Electric recordings with Segovia's Angel recordings, ZB3896.
The final paragraph of the letter explains that Segovia, in an effort to utilize Llobet's contacts to promote his own career, proposed to Llobet's agent that he organize two concerts, a Llobet performance and one by Segovia, which would be advertised as a competition to determine who was the better guitarist. Garcia explained that the agent brought the idea to Llobet, who was rather insulted by the idea.
In the point of view of the virtuosity, it seems to me that Ségovia would have been losing the competition.
Pujol's legacy includes a biography of Tárrega, which devotes a chapter to Llobet.
Garcia is presently preparing an English translation of this book for publication. He was kind enough to share this chapter with the author. It is quite informative, giving some details of his study with Antonio Jiménez Manjón and of Manjón's life that are not included elsewhere. These, however, are not necessary for this paper. There are also in the archive a number of concert programs of performances by Pujol, as well as by Tárrega. Some of these are in Garcia's possession, and are discussed in the section of this chapter on concert programs.
Do you know when thhe book will be available ?
One final detail gleaned from the conversation with Garcia is the subject of Llobet's actual feelings toward Tárrega. Ophee (Ophee 1981) indicates that Llobet may have whispered some dark secret to Domingo Prat and to Pujol. Garcia is not aware of any such secret and, as far as he knows, Llobet had only the greatest respect for his teacher. According to Pujol's biography, there was an area in which Llobet and Tárrega differed in their artistic opinions. "Pero a pesar de su profunda admiración por Tárrega, su maestro, el sentido estético de Llobet no era el mismo; difería por razones de natural concepción, diferencias de edad y circumstancias de ambiente. Y mientras Tárrega, enamorado de la pureza del cuarteto clasico en su homogénea varedad, hubiera hecho de las seis cuerdos de su instrumento una sóla unidad, Llobet, atraído por diversidad de timbres de la orquestra, hubiera hecho de cada cuerdo unoa guitarra distinta"18 (Pujol 1978). This is, however a well-known artistic difference and sheds no additional light on the subject.
Effectively, this detail is told in the book of Tom and Mary Anne Evans. (In french, "le grand livre de la guitare" - "english? the great book of the guitar").
Thank you very much, Rguitphil, for thoses informations and your impressive biography work.