Legendary Guitarist Andrés Segovia Plays J.S. Bach at the Alhambra, 1976

In 1976 the great classical guitarist Andés Segovia returned to Granada, Spain, the city of his childhood, to perform a few pieces on film at the 14th century Moorish palace, the Alhambra.

In the scene above, the 84-year-old Segovia plays a pair of gavottes from his own transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite for Solo Cello No. 6 in D Major, BMV 1012. A gavotte is a kind of folk dance, originally from France, that was popular during the Baroque period. Bach often incorporated them into his suites and partitas. In this performance, Segovia transitions from the bright and lively Gavotte I to the more restrained Gavotte II at the 1:54 mark.

The scene is from the documentary Andrés Segovia: The Song of the Guitar, which is available on a two-film DVD, Andrés Segovia: In Portrait. For more on Segovia, including his performance of Isaac Albéniz’s “The Legend of Asturias” from the same film, see our 2011 post: “Andrés Segovia, Father of Classical Guitar, at the Alhambra.”

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