Uploaded on May 25, 2007
English composer John (Jack) Duarte (1919-2004) said "Perhaps the finest guitarist of the 20th century" about the great french guitarist Ida Presti.
Richard Sagala asks him on camera to speak about this assertion and to tell us why he thinks that way.
The interview starts with a question "Why do you say that Ida Presti was....
to which he answers "Because she never made a mistake and continues with "she was such a natural musician etc"
Which is where the beginning of the video starts.
This part was deleted to make the vid fit under the 10 minutes time limit imposed by You Tube.
Other guitarists mentioned in the video: Llobet, Barrios, Segovia, Richard Pick, Lagoya, Assad's and Abreu brothers, Angelo Gilardino.
This interviewe took place in Charleston South Carolina USA in the fall of 1999.
Mr Duarte was 80 years old then, alert, full of wit and humor.
To know more please read the following:
Written by Maestro Angelo Gilardino on the classical guitar newsgroup on Saturday, May 22, 2004 9:18 PM
She was the greatest firstly and simply in terms of her skills with the
instrument: she could do with fingers things that no other guitarist could
do. Her hands were phisically "different" (by nature and for having been
manipulated by her father since when she was a baby). She produced the
loudest, roundest, fullest, tone ever heard: only Lagoya - since when they
met and formed the duo - could match her, and only in certain situations.
The tones she produced in certain recordings of the duo ("Goyescas" by
Granados, just to give an instance, but one could add many other examples)
is the best tone I ever heard from a guitarist - and I listened to all of
them who gave concerts after my birth - and she could produce a variety of
tones, with a correspondent amplitude of dynamic range, that nobody else has
matched so far. She could play a sort of "legato" unique to her playing,
and to nobody else's playing. Her vibrato - still documented in the duo
recordings, take for example the "Adagio" by Albinoni-Giazotto - is still
above anybody else's possibilities. She was - simply - unmistakable. I never
heard a wrong note from her. Jack Duarte, who was a strict friend of hers,
can witness that in the hundred times he listened to her practicing, he
never heard one single mistake from her. Her virtuosity - a stunning one -
has been matched by several players nowadays, but at which price, in terms
of sound, expression, etc.? Consider that, after her severe training during
her childhood, she did not practice very much, her life being spent mainly
in travels and concerts..,But all of this prodigy was serving the most
important purpose: she was a marvelous musician, with a direct, immediate,
unabriged vision of the music. Her drawing rhythms, melodies, voices in
counterpoint, chords, was simply perfect. She played so well, that you
couldn't realize she played well, because you received the music in such an
accomplished way that you were allowed to forget she was playing an
instrument, and that she was skilled. Her skills disappeared with her doing
the music. Her fellows, in the heavens of 20th century interpreters, are to
be sought outside guitarists: I would say Dinu Lipatti, and only a few other
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