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Interview with Daniel Fortea (1878-1953) in 1918

Maestro to Regino Sainz de la Maza

by: Randy Osborne - Published 09/02/2023 12:57 PM and updated 09/02/2023 12:57 PM

From: the daily "El Heraldo de Madrid" 9/24/1930 pages 8 and 9

From an article: "El arte de la guitarra y sus mas prestigiosos interpretes" (The art of the guitar and its most prestigious interpreters)

Photo Caption: Daniel Fortea, "the magician of the guitar", with the thorax over the curvature of the Vihuela, fingering the strings with agility." Daniel Fortea is holding his 1904 Enrique Garcia guitar, fabricated in Barcelona, by the award winning guitar maker.- 1st prize Chicago World's Fair 1893.

"In a brilliant article in "El Liberal", already published about twelve years ago, Prudencio Iglesias Hermida named "the guitar sorcerer" as Daniel Fortea. And

indeed. As the Indian snake charmer Fortea has a lot of the witch, of sorcery. He knows the magic of sound and starts filling of the sum of guitar

precision. Pujol and Fortea, only disciples who have the personality in our "cittern" (English Guitar), had as a teacher Francisco Tarrega. Daniel Fortea is the enemy of excessive display. Consecrated to guitar pedagogy, he neglected he is always the concert artist and has discarded good propositions outside of Spain. Studious and hardworking he claims a name as a preceptor of the vihuela. He aspires to show off as he flaunts, a unity in the world of art. He wants to

look like Dionisio Aguado and Fernando Sor. Fortea, as we have said, is an enemy of the exhibitionism. Chopin, admired by "George Sand", as Alfredo

de Musset disgusted the concert public. Your target audience it was made up of ladies. Daniel Fortea, like Chopin, like more than the select gatherings,

of refined taste, that of touching before the heterogeneous mass of a public that he pays He prefers to give away his art to verify a trade with him and

meet forced to serve a program that everyone likes.


In which concerts did you perform?


In many. But among all for the pleasant remembrances of art that stores my memory, only I want to remember those who with Tarrega I intervened in.



The one at the Teatro Principal, in Castellon.



I don't know!... You asked me one!


What guitar preceptors are there?

Aguado, Sors and Tarrega.


Beloved Fortea... and Huerta, and Arcas, and Cano?


I have said that, as didactic, as preceptors. Aguado, Sor and Tarrega.


Who will remain of those of now?


No one. They are all dedicated to the execution of performance. Starting with Regino Sainz de la Maza, my disciple, and continuing on an ascending scale with Miguel Llobet, Andres Segovia and Emilio Pujol, qualified as soloists front row, none is the Pestalozzi (Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) was a Swiss pedagogue) of the future.


"And you, Fortea?"


Daniel Fortea smiles. With his eyes clearly he looks at us fixedly. and with a affirmative nod he stresses:.

I do.


A pause. With the thorax on the guitar the curvatures of fingers agilely on the strings he seems like that he has not given importance to his affirmation of himself clearly, precise statement done simply, without petulance. We remain silent... Daniel Fortea continues...


Little, very little music for the guitar has been written. After Aguado and of Sor, Tarrega then, nobody- really existed a lot music adapted for the vihuela

Schubert, Wagner and Paganini!  composers for the same specialized guitaristic music, few. Similarly, in art to play the guitar there are few, very counted that they do it in accordance to what is prescribed by Sor. Fernando Sor, the eminent composer, a Catalan, he published his works in France. He was the one who introduced the art, modern in execution. Then later, Francisco Tarrega perfected it.


Fernando Sor and Dionisio Aguado were great friends. And once in an intimate grief he said, Sor:


"I can't resist the guitar plucked by the nails. For being Dionisio Aguado, already old, and for being a friend of mine besides, only to him I can bear the stridency of the ringing of the guitar produced by the nails. The guitar player gets a round, opaque, perfect sound, without the stridency of the mandolin or the bandurria that is, a harmonic filling of the notes one must play the instrument with the skin as of the fingers of Fernando Sor, despite the prescriptive of him, as before I said and I repeat, it did not reach perfection, the brilliant name, the preceptor par excellence was Francisco Tarrega... An anecdote!...


Francisco Tarrega, according to what he told me once, he couldn't get used to touch with fingertips... Desperately, one fine day he cut his nails off forever!...


Excuse me, who are the who according to the modern art of playing the guitar, that play it with the fingertip of the fingers.


The truth, between us 


The truth, that I will stamp on later to mold it. Don't forget one thing.




That the reporter, like a disc on a phonograph, I repeat what they tell you.


"Pujol and me. the only disciples of Tarrega that, with science and conscience, we took on the excellent master with this new modality."


Daniel Fortea, like everyone else he knows, he is the teacher of the aristocracy.  In the sumptuous halls and the intimate gatherings of the nobility know much of the art of Fortea. Daniel Fortea, externally, take care much the line dapper in clothing, sparing in conversation, serene in judgment and discussion, He always looks with the most seedy of Arts and Letters.


Who has more facilities for the guitar? the woman or the man?


The woman, listen gentlemen, for being more sensitive, more romantic, perhaps because that in the guitar she sees a continuation of herself! ..., she adapts it further. And it is that the guitar, something intimate, with its whispering notes, of amorous colloquium to "sotto voce" (whisper), possess the charm of the mysterious.


Who are those who currently, in Spain, they write for the guitar?


Falla, Turina, Espla, Moreno Torroba and Salazar.


Does it take a lot of time to play well, perfectly, the guitar?


According to: Regino Sainz de la Maza, my disciple, he needed three years. In this tiring desert of information journalisticaly, Daniel Fortea, he gave us an oasis of rest.


"Estudios poeticos", from the classic piece "La Andaluza", on motives of the Soleares and Tangos, with all the flavor from the southern sky from Spain the "Nocturno", a work that arose from Toledo and his childhood songs, based on folklore themes popular, caressed our ears and gave a moment of solace to the weary spirit of the interviewer. The photographer, meanwhile, prepared the magnesium and us, to flee of the indiscretion of the objective, we left embedded in his magic creations to Daniel Fortea."


En un brillante articulo en "El Liberal", publicado ha ya unos doce años, Prudencio Iglesias Hermida llamaba "brujo de la guitarra" a

Daniel Fortea. Y, en efecto. Como el encantador de serpientes de la India, Fortea tiene mucho de brujo, de hechicero. Conoce la magia

del sonido y arranca empastes de suma precision a la guitarra. Pujol y Fortea, unicos discipulos que tienen personalidad en nuestro

"sistro", tuvieron como maestro a Francisco Tarrega. Daniel Fortea es enemigo de la exhibicion. Consagrado a la pedagogia de la

guitarra, descuide siempre el concierto y ha desechado buenas proposiciones del Extranjero. Estudioso y trabajador, pretende un

nombre como preceptista de la vihuela. Aspira a ostentar, como ostenta, una unidad en el mundo del arte. Quiere quedar como

quedaron Dionisio Aguado y Fernando Sors. Fortea, como hemos dicho, es enemigo de la exhibicion. Chopin, admirado por

"Jorge Sand" como Alfredo de Musset repugnaba el concierto publico. Su publico dilecto era el compuesto por señoras. Daniel Fortea,

cual Chopin, gusta mas de las tertulias selectas, de gusto depurado, que de tocar ante la heterogenea masa de un publico que paga.

Prefiere regalar su arte a verificar un comercio con el y verse obligado a servir un programa que a todos agrade.


En que conciertos actuó usted?


En muchos. Pero entre todos, por las gratas remembraizas de arte que almacena mi memoria, solo quiero recordar los que con

Tarrega intervine.




El del teatro Principal, de Castellon.



lNo se!... lMe pidieron ustedes uno !

Que preceptistas de la guitarra existen?

Aguado, Sors y Tarrega.

Querido Fortea ... Y Huerta, y Arcas, y Cano ?

He dicho que, como didacticos, como preceptistas. Aguado, Sors y Tarrega.

Quien quedara de los de ahora?

Nadie. Todos se dedican a la ejecucion. Empezando por Regino Sainz de la Maza, mi discipulo, y continuando en escala ascendente

con Miguel IJobet, Andres Segovia y Emilio Pujol, calificados como concertistas de primera fila, ninguno es el Pestalozzi del futuro.

Y usted, Fortea?

Daniel Fortea sonrie. Con sus ojos claros nos mira fijamente. Y con un movimiento afirmativo de cabeza subraya.

Yo, se.

Una pausa. Con el torax sobre las curvaturas de la guitarra dedea agilmente en las cuerdas. Parece como que no ha dado importancia

a su afirmacion. Afirmacion clara, precisa, hecha con sencillez, sin petulancia.

Callamos... Daniel Fortea prosigue

Poca, muy poca musica para la guitarra se ha escrito. Despues de Aguado y de Sors, Tarrega luego,nadie- En verdad existe mucho

adaptador de musica para la vihuela, Schubert Wagner, Paganini, compositores para la misma especializados para la musica guitarristica,

pocos. De igual suerte, en el arte de tocar la guitarra existen pocos, contadisimos que lo hagan con arreglo a lo preceptuado por Sors.

Fernando Sor, eminente compositor y artista en la guitarra—Sors era catalán—, publicó sus obras en Francia.

El fue quien introdujo el arte moderno en la ejecucion luego, mas tarde, Francisco Tarrega lo perfecciono. Fernando Sors y Dionisio

Aguado fueron grandemente amigos.

Y una vez en una peña intima decía Sors:

"No puedo resistir la guitarra pulsar por las uñas Por ser Dionisio Aguado ya viejo, y por ser amigo mio ademas, unicamente a

el puedo soportarle las estridencias del tañido de la guitarra que producen las uñas. El tocador de guitarra que quiera un sonido

redondo, opaco, perfecto sin las estridencias de la mandolina o la bandurria es decir, un empaste armonico de las notas debe

tafier el instruinento con las yemas- de los dedos. Femando Sors, a pesar de su preceptiva, como antes les dije y repito, no llego a la

perfeccion: el nombre genial, el preceptista antonomasia fue Francisco Tarrega... Una anecdota!...

Francisco Tarrega, segun me contó una vez, no podia acostumbrarse a tocar con la yema de los dedos... Desesperado, un buen dia

corto las uñas para siempre!...

Perdone, Quienes son los que, con arreglo al arte moderno de tañer la guitarra, la tañen con la yema de los dedos?

La verdad, entre nosotros?

La verdad, que estampare en letra de molde. No olvide una cosa.


Que el reportero, como una. placa de fonografo, repite lo que le dicen.

Pujol y yo. Los unicos discipulos de Tarrega que, a ciencia y conciencia,

Aprendimos del excelso maestro esta nueva modalidad. Daniel Fortea, como todo el mundo sabe, es el profesor de la aristocracia.

Los suntuosos salones y las tertulias intimas de la nobleza saben mucho del arte de Fortea. Daniel Fortea, en lo externo, cuida

mucho la linea. Atildado en el indumento parco en la conversacion, sereno en el juicio y la discusion, se ve Siempre con lo mas

granado de las Artes y las Letras.

Quien tiene mas facilidades para la guitarra: la mujer o el hombre?

La mujer, señores, por ser mas sensible, mas romantica, acaso porque en la guitarra vea una continuacion de si misma!..., se adapta

mas. Y es que la guitarra, algo intima, con sus notas susurrantes, de coloquio amoroso a "sotto voce", possee el encanto de lo misterioso.

Quienes son los que actualmente, en España, escriben para la guitarra?

Falla, Turina, Espla, Moreno Torroba y Salazar.

Se necesita mucho tiempo para tocar bien, a la perfeccion, la guitarra?

Segun. Regino Saiinz de la Maza, mi discipulo, preciso tres años . En este desierto fatigoso de la información periodistica. Daniel Fortea

nos puso un oasis de reposo.

"Estudios poeticos", de clasica factura "La andaluza", sobre motivos de soleares y tangos, con todo el sabor del cielo del Sur de España

el "Nocturno" obra q u e le sugirio a Toledo y sus canciones de la infancia, basada sobre temas del Folklore y popular, acariciaron nuestros

oidos y dieron un instante de solaz al fatigado espiritu del entrevistador. El fotografo, entretanto, preparo el magnesia y nosotros, para huir

de la indiscrecion del objetivo, del objetivo dejábamos embebido en sus mágicas creaciones a Daniel Fortea."



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