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TitleThe Intimate Virtuoso: The Guitar, the Rhetoric of Transformation, and Issues of Spectacle in Music
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.7 MB
Total Pages88
Document Text Contents
Page 44

40


Sor’s ‘general maxims’, as he calls them, help to distinguish his approach from Aguado’s

here – Sor finishes his method with twelve rules that he suggests are a summary to his

method.
112

His third maxim is ‘to be sparing of the operations called barring and shifting’,

and his fourth maxim states that one should ‘find the notes within reach … without the

continual necessity of making deviations for the purpose of seeking them’. While Sor found

obvious and easy solutions to these bars, Aguado made ‘deviations’ in order to play up the

spectacle.

While Aguado’s changes show a desire to use Sor’s Grand Solo as a ‘warhorse’, increasing

and emphasising the virtuosic aspects of the piece, the spectacle is nowhere near as

powerful or as impressive as the performances of pianists such as Liszt. Published at the end

of the 1840s, Aguado’s arrangement reflects the sense of performer persona that might be

argued was central to Liszt’s agenda. At a time when guitarists were defending their

instrument from criticism, Aguado’s approach to the Grand Solo can be seen as an attempt

to participate in that virtuoso practice. Aguado sought to increase the sense of spectacle in

the work while acknowledging the guitar’s strengths lay in areas apart from displays of

power and violence. Playing to the guitar’s strengths in emphasising tone production and

the variability of the guitar’s sound was a way of selling the guitar to an audience that was

experiencing spectacles of an ever-increasing magnitude.




112

Sor, Method for the Spanish Guitar, 48.

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