A few years ago I was in the market for a new guitar. Maurine and I made the drive to Guitar Salon, International in Santa Monica, CA. I couldn’t find what I was looking for in Yuma. I wanted to play a really fine instrument.
The Guitar Salon is not your “run of the mill” music store. They deal exclusively in classical guitars. When I was there last I had a great time playing several of their beautiful instruments.
One of the managers, John Paul, put a bunch of guitars on stands around me so I could make comparisons.
Then he did something I really appreciate: He left me alone with them.
This trip was a little different, though. I had enough money to buy a concert level instrument!
When we arrived, John Paul once again brought out a gorgeous selection of guitars in my price range. I played several, but was really “wowed” by a Purnell that was handmade in England by Jake Fuller. The intonation was wonderful and the guitar felt great in my hands.
This was going to be my purchase.
I spent quite a bit of time getting to know the Purnell. As I played it, John Paul brought out an instrument I recognized.
John Paul replied, “Right. But this is a special one: This is Segovia’s 1969 Ramirez.”
Andres Segovia, by the way, is the most famous classical guitarist of the 20th century.
He then did the unthinkable. He handed it to me!
I spent some time just looking at it. Segovia had played this guitar for about 10 years. As I admired the wood I thought about all the places Segovia had traveled with THIS guitar.
Of course, I played it too. 🙂 The sound was beautiful. The action was perfect. I played some pieces that Segovia doubtlessly had played on it, and they sounded wonderful. . . . certainly not as wonderful as Segovia played them, of course!
This Ramirez was not for sale. I couldn’t have afforded it anyway. Maurine snapped several candid shots of me playing it. Above, you can see me as well as a photo of Segovia from the 1970s playing the same instrument.
I aspire to play on the same level as Segovia. As I get older though, I doubt I will quite get there. If you’re interested in what he sounded like, there are some beautiful recordings of him on You Tube.
After you listen, feel free to send me a message with any comments you might have.
If you haven’t already asked me to do so, let me send you two free downloads. I’ll e-mail you a download of me playing El Testament D’Amalia plus the Mazurka Choro. Click here to get the downloads.
Segovia died in 1987. He left a tremendous musical legacy behind. I’m really grateful to say that I was able to play one of his guitars.
One thing I do share with the great master is his conservative taste in music. A sample of the music I love playing and listening to is on my CD, “Soothing Guitar.” You can listen to some sample tracks here. But PLEASE use earbuds or good speakers! Most of the external speakers our mobile devices won’t do this music justice.
And, by the way: I love my Purnell. I use it to record and to play in intimate gatherings. I have a concert scheduled for next year in Yuma. I think the location will really bring out the acoustic beauty of the Purnell.