Julian Arcas


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Julian Arcas
Fantasía 'El Paño'

María Esther Guzmán, guitarra


Fantasía "El Paño"


(guitarra A. Fernández, Madrid 1989)


1. Fantasía sobre El Paño'; o sea,

"El Punto de La Habana" 6'07"


2. El sueño de Rosellén 3'53"


3. Polaca Fantástica 5'40"


4. Fantasía sobre "La Favorita" 9'37"


5. Rondó 7'17"


6. Andante 5'45"


7. "Vísperas Sicilianas" Melodía y Bolero 10'00"


8. Andante y Estudio de Prudent 5'29"


9. `El Delirio" 10'40"



Duración total / Total timing: 66'42"




Julián Gabino Arcas Lacal was bo.rn in María (Almería) on 25th October 1832. His father, Pedro Arcas, was a good amateur guitarist who followed the work of Dionisio Aguado and his school. At an early age he was to start teaching his sons Julian and Manuel, both of whom immediately showed a natural affinity for the instrument. When Julián is 12, the Arcas family moves to a Malaga, perhaps attracted by the economic boom the city was then experiencing. Here, he is taught by José Asencio, Dionisio Aguado's favourite guitarrist, who was capitalising on Aguado's methodology in his lessons, although we can distinguish in his own belated work an appreciable evolution towards decidedly romantic criteria. For this reason we can deduce that Asencio, from Aguado's classical platform, introduced Arcas to the new musical fashion at the time of his apprenticeship: Romanticism.

In Málaga Arcas would establish deep roots to which he would return time and again during his life, as we will see later. He was also a regular at the `Salon of Study and Criticism' set up by the guitar—maker Antonio de Lorca in his workshop in Calle Carretería. It is also here that the then fa-mous guitarist Trinidad Huerta is introduced to Julian Arcas. Alter hearing him play, surprised by his proficiency, the maestro congratulates the young Arcas and encourages him to continue his studies and to follow a career in music. Thus in Malaga, aged 18, he plays in public for the first time. His triumph sends him to Granada where he gives two equally successful auditions. From here he goes straight to Madrid where he again receives enthusiastic notices. Hereafter he would set out on his first tour of various Spanish cities.

At the beginning of the 1850s, on one of his visits to give recitals in Seville, he is introduced to Antonio de Torres, a part—time guitar—maker, al-so born in Almería but resident in Seville. The purpose of the meeting was that Arcas should test and set the pitch of a guitar made by Torres. So harmonious did he find it that he heaped Torres with compliments and suggested he dedicate himself to making the instruments. This was to have a major effect on the history of the guitar.

Encouraged by Julian's enthusiasm Torres became the most legendary guitar—maker in history. His prestige was so dazzling and his instruments so perfect that the way they were made, both in their external form and their internal design, be-carne a model to be followed, creating a school and passing on to posterity as an indisputable classic. Arcas and Torres developed a close friendship which would last forever. Domingo Prat wrote of the two: 'Arcas had a decisive influence on the work of the great guitar—maker Antonio Torres. The definitive change in the format of the box is due to them both.'

Aged just 20, Julian Arcas is already a consummate guitarist launched on a brilliant concert career. The effect of his virtuoso playing was apotheosis. Proof of this early success is this comment of the influential and reputed Mariano Soriano Fuertes in his `Historia de la Música': ".. he is justifiably claiming the attention of public and critic alike. "