Music: Mastering The Sounds of Silence

Andres Segovia: 1893-1987

They laughed when Andres Segovia sat down to play the guitar. The nerve of the ( man, bringing a flamenco instrument into the hallowed precincts of the concert hall. "That stupid young fellow is making useless efforts to change the guitar -- with its mysterious, Dionysiac nature -- into an Apollonian instrument," wrote one skeptic after Segovia's 1910 debut in Madrid. "The guitar responds to the passionate exaltation of Andalusian folklore, but not to the precision, order and structure of classical music."

That assessment was, to say the least, inopportune. When he died last week at 94 in the Spanish capital,...

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