Guitar & Magic Realism

The classical guitar scene is magic realist. Classical guitarists are mostly magic realists, as are most guitarist composers. By this I mean simply that the guitar is perpetually Baroque, or if not that, the guitar is pre-1918. The guitar attracts conservative musical sensibilities.

See Hermann Broch's essay Hugo von Hoffmannsthal and His Time. There, he explains that the political institutions that persisted until 1918 were instated in the Baroque. Therefore, ornamentation leading up to the war tended to be hypertropied Baroque when it was meant to serve the Empire. Think of the horribly gaudy Goldener Saal in Vienna. Jugenstil & Art nouveau have echoes of the Baroque when it appears like steamlined Baroquisms. Art nouveau tends to florish in Baroque cities, I've noticed. Turin & Paris.

Segovia loved Ponce's Baroque pastiches because he feared the post war chaos, including modern music, communism and globalism. His Spanish guitar predecessors Tarrega, Llobet, Pujol, were part of the Nationalist direction that music took in the late 19th Century. That was Segovia's world, and he didn't like the alternative. His idea of being cultured involved preserving that world. He said, in a letter to Ponce, I love your Prelude for guitar & harpsichord, *it is Picaresque*. We immediately think of Borges' *Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote*.

Barrios has three styles:
folkloristic, Chopinesque, Baroque

Villa-Lobos has three style:
folkloristic, modernistic (Paris-influenced), Baroque

Piazzolla is Baoroque, + tango with careful modernist florishes

The interwar, Stravinsky led neoclassicism & neobaroquisms went beyond music. We find it in Djuna Barnes' adopted Baroque English in The Antiphon and the Ladies Almanac.

Sophia Gubaidalina's little guitar solo springs into her modernisms from a Baorque pastiche.

These Baroque tricksters:
Jonathan Dawe

Share Post
Subscribe Now!