with Bernard Hebb
Professor Bernard HEBB & composer Jovan Pesec
is a long standing member of the International Guitar Festival Rust.
In 2006 he recorded together with Gabriel Guillén a CD "twi.light",
guitar duets classic offside
Interview with Professor Bernard Hebb:
Question: Who do you think is the most overrated and the most underrated composer for the classical guitar?
for the guitar that are very popular at the moment, are based on effects and
are, in many cases, composed by guitarists themselves. They sound very
brillant – technique wise – pleasent to listen to, easy to interpret and are
well received by the public, but the content of these compositions has
little or no deep meaning. Basicaly I have nothing against these
compositions as long as they do not constitute a whole repertoire and a
recital does not consist of only this type of music.
Bernard Hebb: I do not know of any slogans that would be of benefit to the guitar. What is often missunderstood by the average person is the title „Classical Guitar“. I would rather have a title - for example - like Acoustic Guitar with nylon strings“.
Bernard Hebb: There is a certain prejudice connected with the guitar that is still prevalent today and that is, that the guitar is only an accompaniment for the voice. In Germany the so called „Wandervogelzeit“ (that started around 1920 when the guitar was strongly connected to voice with guitar accompaniment) and the time after that, helps to strengthen this prejudice.
Bernard Hebb: To talk about the typical attributes of guitarists is not easy without falling into generalizations. From my point of view, there are negative and positive sides: On the positive side, guitarists have, over the years, developed a very high technical standard, so that many students at the beginning of their studies at a college or university are very well equipt. The negative side is, that the technical aspect of a performance is predominant and the musical and dynamic sides are of secondary importance.
Bernard Hebb: From a musical standpoint I have, on the whole, accomplished what I set out to do. On the non musical side I regret not being diligent enough in the area of languages. Privatly, I wished I had had more time.
Bernard Hebb: Internationaly I would like to give more guitar masterclasses. Eventhough I have done quite a lot of recording over the years (CD, Radio and T.V. productions), it has always been a wish of mine to record seldom or not yet recorded solo compositions like Hans Erich Apostel´s „Sechs Musiken“. At the end of the 1970s I recorded Hans Erich Apostel´s „Sechs Musiken“, „Three Faces“ by Hans Georg Lotz, „Suite for guitar alone“ by Ernst Krenek etc. for Radio Bremen and now I would like to do a new recording of – among others - these compositions for a CD production.
embarrassing for one person is not so for the other. So, embarrassment
is a very personal feeling. To be quite honest about it, I remember, for
example, a situation which was quite embarrassing for me. In this case the
embarrassment resulted from a positive situation which I was involved in.
As my parents moved from a village called Surry, in the state of New Hampshire
to the town of Keene, I had to change schools. In the new school (Keene
Junior High School), there was a mandatory class in music that everyone had
to take. When I first arrived in the class – George Wilson was the teacher
– Mr. Wilson wanted to test my knowledge in solfeggio to see how advanced I
was in that area. Eventhough I had never had anything to do with solfeggio
before, the results were excelent and Mr. Wilson then used me, to show the
other pupils what could be accomplished if they did their homework. Praise
can be very difficult to digest if you receive dirty looks from the rest of
the class; I was very happy when that class was over.
Bernard Hebb: I do not have only one philosophie that describes my life, but my father had many philosophies that were very good. One of them I find particularly good: „Do not let anybody tell you that you are not able to do something until you have proven to yourself that you are not able to do it“.
Bernard Hebb: The hypocritical use of democracy.
Bernard Hebb: People like Willy Brandt (politician) or Clara Wieck Schumann (pianist and composer), two different personalities who – in spite of the conflicts that they had with themselves or society – managed to contribute to and to change their profession for the betterment of others.
Bernard Hebb: There is no special question(s) that I would like to be asked. What I like though, are questions that bring out the best of what I have to offer.
Bernard Hebb: Nobody. The last guitarist to follow in Segovia´s footsteps was Julian Bream and Julian Bream will be 73 years old on July 15th 2006. Miguel Llobet, Andres Segovia and Julian Bream are the three performer personalities of the 20th century. Do not understand me wrong, we have many guitarists today that are very excelent performers, but none with such a distinct personality in their tone and style as Llobet, Segovia and Bream. In all instrumental areas, not just the guitar, there is a lack of individualisum with a strong tendency to comformity. This I find very unfortunate since art (music, theatre or the pictorial arts) is a very individual and personal matter.
Thank you very much Bernard for this interview.
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