• chrisdumigan

Two books of Agustin Barrios


Two books of Agustin Barrios

a) Complete Preludes for Guitar : 15 pages

b) Complete Studies for Guitar 55 pages


Both volumes from Ut Orpheus, edited and fingered by Marco Caiazza


Reviewed 15th January 2018



The eight Preludes in the first book are some of Barrios’ most famous works and justifiably so, being the absolute zenith of guitar composition. They range from the Preludio in La Menor which moves through some very distant harmonies along its Andante Appassionato path, whilst managing to sound perfectly natural and reasonable, the mark of a great composer. The Adagio Preludio in Do Menor, with its sextuplet sixteenths is another entirely and uniquely playable work in such a rare key for the guitar, whilst the Allegro Preludio in Mi is a delightful yet tasking work destined to give the lesser players a bit of a hard time! The final Preludio Op5 No1 (in Gm) is a satisfyingly lengthy work that played correctly, shows off any player’s technique to his audience.

The larger book of Studies has 14 solos and seven duets, wherein Barrios has provided a second part to various pieces by Coste, Sor, Aguado, and Carulli, and include both Estudios de Concierto, Arabescos, both Estudios del Ligado as well as the beautiful Estudio – Vals, and the epic Les Abejas.The fact that they are indeed studies tells anyone unfamiliar with these works that they are very difficult, and yet musically wonderfully satisfying to play. The editor Caiazza explains his modus operandi in the Prefaces, and both books are worthwhile additions to anyone’s library, and can be highly recommended.

Chris Dumigan

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