The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90211   Message #1711275
Posted By: Don Firth
05-Apr-06 - 02:10 PM
Thread Name: Classical music - what makes you listen?
Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
Yes, Christopher Parkening did study with Segovia. His cousin, Jack Marshall was a studio musician and staff guitarist with MGM. Parkening says that when he was eleven years old, he loved the way his cousin played and wanted to learn to play like he did. Marshall told him that the best thing for him to do was learn some classic guitar, and then he would be well prepared to play any style of music. When he heard his first Segovia recording, he knew for sure what he wanted to do. The music store where he bought his first guitar recommended that he take lessons from the Romero family (Pepe, Angel, Celine, and father Celedonio), who had recently moved to Los Angeles. He took lessons with them until their concert schedule kept taking them out of town, then he continued on his own. He'd been playing for all of five years (age 16) when he submitted an audition tape for one of Segovia's master classes and was accepted. Segovia was very impressed and took him under his wing. The rest is history.

Parkening put a guitar manual together back in 1972. Good, but very rudimentary. He has since revised and expanded it into two volumes, entitled "The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Vols. I and II : The Art and Technique of the Classical Guitar" (published 1999). It's excellent, full of photographs of hand positions and drawings of finger action and such, with thorough explanations. It moves along pretty fast, but many of the melodies he uses for exercises are familiar, which is fun, and they contain a lot of really nice guitar solos:   Dowland, Bach, Sor, Tàrrega, others, from very easy to some real finger-busters.

For teaching classic guitar, I've used the Aaron Shearer books ("Classic Guitar Technique, Vols I and II," plus some of the supplements) for years, but I'm now incorporating the Parkening books as well. They make a good combination. In fact, after a long period of general laziness, I'm trying to get my chops back a bit, so I'm diligently playing through both methods myself. Maybe, if I live long enough, I'll learn how to play this bloody thing!

As Azizi would say   "—snip—"

The story is told about several different conductors, but usually laid at Toscanini's door. The musician who originally told the story said that he was sitting in on a rehearsal of a piece of modern music, and the conductor in question, who had not worked all that much with music by modern composers, was having trouble getting a section of the piece that was in 5/4 time to hang together. Finally, he seemed to get it, the orchestra picked it up, and things started going okay. But the musician noticed that the conductor was mumbling something to himself. He moved up close behind the conductor to see if he could hear what he was mumbling, It turned out to be "Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov- Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov- Rim-sky-Kor-sa-kov. . . ." Yup. 5/4.

"Chris-to-pher-Par-ken-ing" is 6/8.   

Don Firth (2/4)