Updated: November 1st, 2012

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Actualizado: 1ro de Noviembre, 2012

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Classical Music Archives Recognized Contributor


Regino Sainz de la Maza (Spain, 1896-1981)

Regino Sainz de la Maza y Ruiz was born on September 7th of 1896 in Burgos.

At age ten he began his studies as a guitar performer with Daniel Fortea in Madrid.

He held his first public appearance in Bilbao at age eighteen.

In 1916 he went to Barcelona where he met the great guitarists Miguel Llobet (1878-1938) and Andrés Segovia (1893-1987)

After a intensive career as a concert artist in Europe and America, Sainz de la Maza was appointed in 1935 as the Guitar Professor at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid.

On November 9th of 1940 he played the world Premiere of the “Concerto of Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999), which Rodrigo dedicated to Regino Sainz de la Maza.

Regino Sainz de la Maza died in Madrid on the 26th of November of 1981.

The work “El Vito” is an old folk song from the Spanish Region of Andalucía.

It is known that as early as the XVI century the people from Andalucía used to sing some verses of “El Vito”.

The first arrange for guitar was made by Federico García Lorca (1898-1936). García Lorca was born in Granada and he was one of the most important Spanish lyric poets and playwrights of the twentieth century. His work captures the spirit of his native Andalucía as well as reflecting his own passionate response to life. He was a member of the group named “Generation of 1927”.

The "Generation of 1927" was a group of Spanish young intellectuals, writers and poets who work together along with musicians giving to the group a special character and appeal in contraposition to others traditional movements in Spain, whose writers never mixed up with musicians.

Many members of the 1927 Generation were also musicians. García Lorca worked together with the composer Oscar Esplá and the guitarist José de Azpiazu in several projects. This kind of alliance was considered despicable in the Spanish cultural circles by those years.

In fact, García Lorca had a musical background since childhood. In 1920, when the great composer Manuel de Falla came to Granada, the idea of García Lorca about recovering the old folk songs and traditions was deeply reinforced.

This is the reason that led García Lorca recovered and compiled a number of traditional folk songs, specially those from his natal region of Andalucía, where “El Vito” was widely known.

The style of this piece is predominantly flamenco, with a very strong yet jocose character where the typical "Andalusian cadence" is performed several times. The Andalusian cadence is a melodic formula that occurs at the end of each musical phrase. The last three notes of the main melody have a whole tone between the first and second note. Then, there is a semitone between the second and the final note of the phrase.

Regino Sainz de la Maza and Federico García Lorca became very close friends and this is one of the reasons that inspired Sainz de la Maza to write an arrange for guitar of “El Vito” based on the previous one made by García Lorca.

This arrange for guitar of “El Vito” by Sainz de la Maza is a remarkable example of a master piece made by a guitarist and composer who has a deep knowledge of the technical and the sonority resources of the classical guitar, getting a very well stylized score based upon the technical and traditional manners of the flamenco guitar.

The following are some verses used as lyrics with “El Vito” music.

Con el vito, vito, vito,
con el vito, vito, va.
Con el vito, vito bueno,
con el vito, vito, va.

Por el sí que dio la niña
al señor cura en la iglesia
por el sí que dio la niña
entró libre y salió presa.

Con el vito, vito, vito,
con el vito, vito, va.
Con el vito, vito bueno,
con el vito, vito, va.

Una vieja vale un real
y una muchacha dos cuartos
y yo como soy tan pobre
me atengo a lo más barato.

Con el vito, vito, vito, etc.

As a final comment:

In this photograph Regino Sainz de la Maza is testing the guitar number 255 constructed by "Hernández y Aguado" in 1964.

Manuel Hernández and Victoriano Aguado are hailed as the greatest guitar makers of all times. Each one of their just scarcely 450 guitars they constructed is considered a genuine master piece of art and they are very well pursued all around the world.

Due to many and very intricate fate reasons, that guitar, precisely the number 255, belongs to my own personal guitar collection.

Classical Guitar Music