In “A London Roundabout”, Jan Gordon wrote, “Instrumentally we were not professional musicians, only enthusiastic dilletanti. Few persons realize what a great gap sunders the one from the other. Few realize the hours of incessant practice, in season and out, which has drilled the professional artist to an almost mechanical state of precision.” I'm in this same "enthusiastic" camp, despite an obsessive phase of playing Chopin Études for five hours a day as a teenager.
The guitars of the Gordons were given to the Horniman Museum in London in 1950 following the death of Cora Gordon.
Last Friday (November 30th 2012) at the Banos de Sierra Alhamilla I had the pleasure of listening to Antonio de Quero and his sister Ana Mar playing flamenco. One song remembered Antonio de Torres (1817-1892) from Almeria who established the design of the modern guitar.
Jan and Cora Gordon knew the guitar maker Julian Gómez Ramirez (born Madrid 1879, died Paris 1943) in Paris - "Ramirez almost makes his guitars out in the street."
"“A good guitar maker,” repeated Perez. “In Madrid, eh? Frankly, no, I do not know of one at the moment … The best guitar maker at the moment lives here, here in Paris. His name is Ramirez. Yes, a relative of that other Ramirez. He has found a new form for the guitar. More fine, more powerful. Each one like a genuine Torres. You come with me. I will show you one or two that he made from an old piano which he pulled to pieces for the wood. Exquisite!”