Study in e minorJanuary 5th, 2017
I studied in New Zealand with Karl Herreshoff. Karl was a phenomenal musician and an extraordinary human being. His exploits with Segovia when he was seventeen was immortalized by author Gina Berriault in the short story, “Nights in the Gardens of Spain.”
As the story chronicled, the precocious teenager was not impressed with the pompous Spanish master and decided not to go to Europe to study with him, and instead opted to go to Mexico City to study with the Dutch guitarist, Frederick Mulder. Mulder was a student of Miguel Llobet, Tarrega’s star student.
Somehow, through a strange twist of fate, Karl was in New Zealand when I went there to study law. (So if I have to blame someone for my choosing the path of a poor itinerant musician, I’ll have to say Karl is the one largely to blame.)
Karl’s full name was Karl Frederick Herreshoff III. Who was K F Herreshoff I? The love child of a Captain in the court of King Frederick the Great of Prussia by the name of Herr Epshoff. Legend goes that the king loved the boy and named him himself, hence the middle name.
I won’t go into all the details of this great and unique human being but suffice it to say that it was an honor and a privilege to have known Karl and studied with him.
Study in e minor is a favorite of mine and one which I often use to teach the tremolo. The proportions of the melody are perfect and its very simplicity makes it a great vehicle to learn phrasing too.
And being a work of the great Tarrega makes it even more special. I recorded a few things on Thanksgiving Day 2016 and this was one of them.