April 17, 2009

Agustín Barrios - How to write a poem with a guitar

25994347 Agustín Barrios Mangoré, born in Paraguay in 1885, is one of the most important classical guitar composers of the 20th century. At the young age of 15, he started his music studies at the Asuncion National University. Just 8 years later, in 1909, he made the first commercial classical guitar recording in history.

His broad knowledge of music, allowed him to make compositions that ranged from baroque to folk music arrangements. The following work, interpreted by the Colombian guitarist Fernando Ramirez, is one of the finest arpeggio studies for guitar.

Las Abejas

Many world-class guitarists were fans of Barrios, with Andrés Segovia, David Russell and John Williams among them. John Williams, who plays the piece Choro da saudade in the following video, said of Barrios:

As a guitarist/composer, Barrios is the best of the lot, regardless of era. His music is better formed, it's more poetic, it's more everything! And it's more of all those things in a timeless way.

Choro da saudade (Recorded in 1979)

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