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Mi Querido Manuel

Donald Macleod explores the correspondence between Ponce and Andres Segovia to discover their creative collaboration. Their letters also reveal their friendship, candour and humour.

Donald Macleod delves into the correspondence between Manuel Ponce and Andres Segovia to explore their creative collaboration. Their letters also reveal their friendship, candour and humour.

In a tribute shortly after Manuel Ponce's death, his great friend and collaborator, the guitarist Andres Segovia said "Anyone who loves the guitar, unless he be hard-hearted and empty-headed, must revere the memory of Ponce. He lifted the guitar from the low artistic state in which it had lain. He undertook the crusade, full of eagerness to liberate the prisoner. Thanks to him, the guitar was saved from music written only by guitarists."

Ponce was also instrumental in connecting classical music with the folk tradition. He wrote "I consider it the duty of every Mexican composer to ennoble the music of his native country, giving it artistic form, dressing it with polyphonic clothing and preserving with love the popular melodies which are the expression of the natural soul." Manuel Ponce was one of Mexico's greatest composers, musical innovators and educators, yet he wore his genius lightly. His contemporaries described him as affable, intelligent and modest.

As Donald Macleod reveals, the correspondence between Andres Segovia and Manuel Ponce is candid, touching and often humorous. Above all it shows the deep affection between the two men. Segovia begins almost all his letters: "Mi querido Manuel..." and usually ends by sending hugs. In Paris, Ponce was encountering financial problems and Segovia's letters to Ponce regularly include offers of money to tide his friend over.

Ponce's financial situation became so acute that he couldn't any longer afford the monthly fee for the composition classes he was taking with Paul Dukas. When he wrote to Dukas to withdraw from the class, Dukas replied to his star pupil that "You are more necessary to me as a listener than I would be missed by you as a teacher....my classroom will always be cordially open to you, as if it were your own home".

Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Stephen Marchionda, guitar

Preludios encadenados
Rodolfo Ritter, piano

Thème varié et Finale
Tillman Hoppstock, guitar

Sonatina meridional
Michael Tröster, guitar

Violin Concerto - II. Andante & III. Finale
Henryk Szeryng, violin
Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra
Jan Krenz, conductor.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Manuel Ponce

    Variations On A Theme Of Paganini

    Performer: Stephen Marchionda.
    • ASV: CD QS 6249.
    • ASV.
    • 27.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Variations On A Theme Of Paganini

    Performer: Stephen Marchionda.
    • ASV: CD QS 6249.
    • ASV.
    • 27.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Preludios encadenados

    Performer: Rodolfo Richter.
    • Sterling: CDS 1102-2.
    • 7.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Preludios encadenados

    Performer: Rodolfo Richter.
    • Sterling: CDS 1102-2.
    • 7.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Theme Varie Et Finale

    Performer: Tilman Hoppstock.
    • Signum: SIGX114-00.
    • Signum.
    • 4.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Theme Varie Et Finale

    Performer: Tilman Hoppstock.
    • Signum: SIGX114-00.
    • Signum.
    • 4.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Sonatina Meridional

    Performer: Michael Trommer.
    • Thorofon: CTH 2111.
    • Thorofon.
    • 1.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Sonatina Meridional

    Performer: Michael Trommer.
    • Thorofon: CTH 2111.
    • Thorofon.
    • 1.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Concerto for violin and orchestra

    Performer: Henryk Szeryng. Orchestra: Polish R S O.. Conductor: Jan Krenz.
    • PRELUDIO : PHC-2148.
    • PRELUDIO.
    • 3.
  • Manuel Ponce

    Concerto for violin and orchestra

    Performer: Henryk Szeryng. Orchestra: Polish R S O.. Conductor: Jan Krenz.
    • PRELUDIO : PHC-2148.
    • PRELUDIO.
    • 3.

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