Retaining and Revitalizing the Tradition
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Retaining and Revitalizing the Tradition book
This chapter considers trends in classical guitar recording from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s which can be seen, in their focus upon retaining and revitalizing the repertoire traditions of the instrument, to reflect an attitude of conservatism. This refers both to guitarists who continued to adhere closely to the Segovian canon and those who helped to perpetuate the Spanish perspective more generally. Also considered is the persistence of the practice of transcription and the growing inclination to mine the historical repertoire, which served to further orient guitarists towards the programming of a wider range of works, often by relatively unknown composers. The role of recordings in facilitating the admission of Latin American music to the classical guitar canon is also discussed with particular reference to Agustín Barrios and Antonio Lauro, in effect a belated recognition on the part of European and North American classical guitarists of a long-established guitar tradition. Finally, the chapter considers developments in recording practice during the 1970s as guitarists explored and refined existing models for the sonic presentation of the classical guitar on record. A particular focus here is on the “audiophile” movement which evolved from the high fidelity traditions of classical guitar recording established in the 1950s, and the short-lived “direct to disc” fad which aimed to reinstate live performance characteristics.