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X Guitar Convention

X Guitar Convention, Bologna, Circolo delle Cinque Arti, December 5 1948

The Bologna Convention of last December 5th - hastily arranged to coincide with the fortunate presence of Andrés Segovia - gained so much in importance, to hint at the numerous people there convened, that the convention would become a true Congress, under the name of Tenth Italian Guitar Convention and Second International Guitar Convention.

Among those who were present we noticed, besides Prof. Romolo Ferrari, President of the Unione Chitarristica Italiana (U.C.I.), Bčrben the publisher, Maestro Guidi and Prof. Barbieri from Modena; Dr. Murtula from Fratta Polesine; Mr. Pini and Orsolino from Genova; Romani, Cigarini, Dr. Orlich and Prof. Piccinini from Reggio Emilia; Rossi and Mr. Rigacci from Siena; Volpini from Prato; Ferracin and Salomon from Rovigo; Speciale from Naples; Cabassi and Miss Padovani from Parma; Prof. Squarzoni from Ferrara; Mr. Roveri from Milan. Of course, besides many others and the large group from Bologna: Prof. Rezio and Alessandro Buscaroli, Maestro Pignocchi, Mr. Suzzi, Prof. Salvi, Mr. Sonnino, Mr. Bassi, Esq., Mrs. Sara Stegani Forti, the Pezzolis, Rizzolis, Mr. Visani, Luthier Gamberini, etc..

Particularly welcome was the presence of Mrs. Vaccari, the widow of the unforgettable master.

The day began at 9.30 A.M. at the Circolo delle Cinque Arti in Indipendenza Road, with a brief welcome Prof. Ferrari gave to the multitude convened. Sitting at the table of the Presidency, besides Prof. Ferrari, were Mr. Jahier, Esq., Prof. Rezio Buscaroli, Maestro Murtula and secretaries Guidi and Sassoli.

The Chairman then opens up the debate on the opportunities to create new methods for teaching the guitar, and proposes to send to press a method conceived by him, supplemented by various excerpts and pieces by well-known authors, renouncing to give his name to the work.

Then take the word Prof. Buscaroli, Maestro Murtula, Mr. Orsolino and others, expressing their opinions on the matter. We will summarize them briefly.

Prof. Buscaroli is in favour of adopting the method compiled by Prof. Ferrari, accompanied by an appendix of pieces from the best authors, as he considers as fundamental the creation of a common programme of study which would constitute the basis of guitar teaching. Each teacher may then, if desired, integrate this method with all the additions deemed necessary.

In contrast, Mr. Orsolino's opinion is that it is not possible to standardize the method of teaching, because every guitar player, especially in Italy, has its own, personal technique. He would rather prefer a method exclusively consisting of exercises and studies drawn from different authors. Even Dr. Murtula agrees with the opinion of the Mr. Orsolino, and he remarks that in fact every teacher uses his own method.

Then takes the word Pietro Jahier, Lawyer. First of all, he gives the public Maestro Segovia's greetings and thanks for being offered the appointment of Honorary President of the U.C.I.. He adds that the Master, sorry not to be able to attend the meeting in the morning, hopes to be present in the evening.

Mr. Jahier continues by outlining a crucial problem that needs to be answered: that of making the art of the guitar known, in Italy. In our Country the Guitar is virtually ignored by the public; the concerts are rare, and there exists not even one chair for its teaching, in any conservatory. It is therefore necessary to feed interest with frequent meetings and exchange of ideas, so as to achieve concrete results.

As for the methodological discussion, Mr. Jahier agrees in part with the views expressed by Prof. Buscaroli, while not withholding the adoption of a single teaching method as totally advisable.

At 11, Professor Ferrari leaves the convention to go and pay homage to Maestro Segovia, and the presidency is assumed by Prof. Buscaroli, while the discussion about the methods is momentarily suspended.

Mr. Orsolino, after deprecating the oblivion, a fact utterly undeserved, in which the Italian music for guitar is nowadays abandoned, invites the public to enhance its value and to make it known.

Dr. Murtula then pronounces a few words to commemorate Umberto Giordano, who recently passed away, and two great masters of the guitar, Mozzani and Vaccari, whose loss so deeply saddened the guitarists of Italy and of the world.

He then urges the participants to contribute actively to the propaganda and to the wider spread of our Journal, which proved a highly effective tool in order to establish closer and more cordial relations among all lovers of our instrument.

Mr. Orsolino then performs some music on his seven-stringed guitar, to show the participants the more harmonic possibilities deriving from the addition of the seventh string. He plays a Preludio by Giuliani, Pensiero melanconico, Studio tremolo and Nostalgie sarde by Murtula.

At 1 P.M. the meeting is adjourned.

After many people have had the lunch in the rooms of the same Circle of Artists, all guitar players go to the theatre in order to attend to Segovia's Concert.

At 9 P.M. the Guitarists gather again at the club where, after some minutes' waiting, Maestro Segovia comes on the scene. He is accompanied by Mr. Jahier, by Mrs. Olga Coelho and Prof. Ferrari, and his appearance is greeted by a long, affectionate and enthusiastic ovation of those present, who crowd around him. Having regained silence, Prof. Ferrari reads the letter of appointment with which the U.C.I. appoints the Great Guitarist as Honorary President. So it says, literally:

«The Central Committee of the Unione Chitarristica Internazionale - surely interpreting the great family of guitarists from all over the world - in cheering Andrés Segovia as the supreme virtuoso of the Art of the Guitar, - grateful and proud that so great a name brings prestige and wishes for the best fortunes of the Society, - under suggestion of the Italian Guitarists, appoints and designates Maestro Andrés Segovia as Honorary President of Unione Chitarristica Internazionale».

Then, Prof. Ferrari announces that Maestro Segovia will soon return among us, probably next April, thus giving us the joy to listen to his inimitable art.

To the Master is then shown at Stradivarius guitar, to which He, after having carefully examined it, affixes his signature.

Then begins a brief performance of some guitarists: Mr. Orsolino plays, with his seven-stringed guitar (Pensiero malinconico e Nostalgie sarde by Murtula); Giorgio Pezzoli (his own Serenata nostalgica and Andante armonioso); Giorgio Rizzoli (Tarantella by Calvaruso) and Francesco Pini (Studio by Sor, Danza Mora by Tárrega and Fifth Andalusian Dance by Granados).       

Then speaks Mr. Jahier, on behalf of the Master, expressing to the public the satisfaction of Andrés Segovia for the fervent and passionate enthusiasm displayed by the Italian guitarists for the art of the guitar.

Then, interpreting the feelings of all, he addresses the Master warm thanks for the honour that He graciously pleased to bestow on the guitar players of Italy, giving them the joy of spending some time with Him.

After which, prompted by the vibrant applause of those present, Mrs. Olga Coelho, the famous Brazilian singer and guitarist, performs two well-known and exquisite pieces from her repertoire: a sparkling and witty comic song, El sapo, and a Cancion de Cuna transcribed by Maestro Segovia for her, and she sings with grace and dreamy melancholy, beautifully accompanying herself on the guitar.

There are vivid applauses at the end of her delightful interpretations, then we continue to applaud while asking the Maestro, more by the eyes than by the voice, to play. And the Master graciously agrees.

On the same guitar that was used by the Lady (an excellent «Gallinotti» owned by Mr. Suzzi), Segovia plays a Argentinian Folk Song, embellishing the delicate texture with that exquisite craftsmanship and unmistakable touch that he alone knows. Eventually, the enthusiastic ovations seem to wish never to come to an end.

Guitarists are now huddling around the Master, who signs autographs upon autographs, and they wish not to break away from Him. But the hour is now late, and Andrés Segovia, greeted by a last standing ovation and revered by the directors of the U.C.I., takes leave from all.

Before going out, he stops a moment in the adjoining room where he affixes his signature on a wall, by drawing it with a thin brush dipped in red, and so does Mrs. Coelho. The Club of the Five Arts will thus keep an autograph of the Master.

After his departure, some guitar performances still take place, by Mr. Orsolino, by Mr. Giorgio Pezzoli and Mr. Francesco Pini. The Serenade di Lindoro by Dr. Murtula is then played (Orsolino playing); Feste Lariane and Carmela by Mozzani (Pezzoli playing); Gavotte by Bach and Chopin's Nocturne (Pini).

At 1 A.M. at night the great event closes.

On behalf of all guitar players, we are particularly pleased to express our most heartfelt applause and best thanks to Prof. Rezio Buscaroli, to Mr. Suzzi and to Mr. Luigi Sassoli who provided the organization for the Day; to Prof. Vignoli, President of the Circolo delle Cinque Arti, to the Management and to the Secretary Prof. Dinamo Ferri who so courteously offered themselves to provide the beautiful place and make it as welcoming as possible.

La X G
iornata Chitarristica, in «L’Arte Chitarristica», II, n. 12, 1948, pp. 2-3.