Concierto del Sur manuscript

Andres SEGOVIA   |   Manuel PONCE

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PONCE, Manuel. Concierto del Sur full score manuscript. [Uruguay, circa 1941]. Folio, unbound; pp. 20.

Autograph manuscript by Segovia of the opening section of Ponce’s Concierto del Sur, commissioned by Segovia.

Largely self-taught, Segovia was faced early in his musical career with a general disbelief in the seriousness of classical guitar, a problem he felt was caused by a lack in quality of the available repertory. One response was to seek out pieces either originally written for the lute or capable of being arranged for guitar (he himself arranged works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Chopin, among others); the other path was to commission new works. Catelnuivo-Tedesco, Talla, Haug, Rodrigo, Torroba, Turina and Villa-Lobos all wrote works for Segovia, but it was with Manuel Ponce, the most important Mexican composer of the 20th century, that he developed the most enduring relationship.

Ponce’s best-known work and one of Segovia’s signature pieces, Concierto del Sur was commissioned by Segovia in 1941 while he was living in Montevideo, Uruguay. Ponce would send sections of the work to Segovia, who would play them and then send back suggested changes to Ponce. This copy of the full score differs substantially from the extant manuscript in Ponce’s hand, suggesting the degree to which Segovia had a hand in shaping the piece. First performed in Montevideo in 1941 on Ponce’s Latin American tour-with Ponce conducting and Segovia playing guitar—Concierto del Sur was not finally published until 1970. This manuscript for the full orchestra for the first section (marked “Allegro” by Segovia at the top of the first page), written in black ink on 11 staves per page, is for most of the first movement, without the ending. Segovia’s writing is clean and elegant, exceptionally readable.

An important piece in fine condition.

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