Friday, August 28, 2020

Narciso Yepes (1927 –1997)

This montage from our Podcast Vault revisits a post from July 28, 2017. It can be found in our archives at


We are inching closer and closer to the end of our musical alphabet, and the end of our year-lom=ng journey through the Western Classical repertoire we began four years ago. Today’s montage, part of Part 1 of that journey, dates back a little more than three years with a contribution to a chapter that looked at different instruments.

In a fine page from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, we learn that the term Spanish guitar has been used differently across the centuries in different countries. Today it is often used interchangeably with the term classical guitar and is certainly not limited to instruments made in Spain. The recorded history of the guitar begins in the Renaissance, with the earliest written sources dating to the fourteenth century. The guitar emerged in Europe alongside musical traditions that came out of the Arabic world, among instruments like the lute and the viol . Johannes Tinctoris, writing in the fifteenth century, identifies Catalonia as the birthplace of the guitar, yet regardless of the instrument’s origin, the country of Spain has had an extraordinary impact on its development.

The same can be said about the rich tradition of music written for the instrument by Spanish composers (Sor, Tarrega, …) and of course its many, many fine virtuosi, chief among them today’s artist, Narciso Yepes.

As the original article does a good job of summarizing Yepes’ accomplishments, I will just introduce our bonus material, a fine early 1963 recording by Yepes of many Spanish guitar favourites, some of which overlap with today’s montage and an another one from this past January dedicated to Joaquin Rodrigo.



I think you will (still) love this music too.

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