1. Vals Tropical. 2:38”
2. Variaciones sobre un tema de Schubert. 4:33”
3. País de abanico. 3:58”
4. Canción de la Hilandera. 3:19”
5. Oración. 3:30”
6. Oración por todos. 2:30 “
7. Vals de la primavera. 5:56”
8. Sarita (mazurka). 2:50”
9. Romanza en imitación al Violonchelo. 3:12”
10. Altair. 2:21”
11. Contemplación. 5:14”
12. Dinora. 2:40”
13. Preludio en Mi menor. 0:36”
14. Preludio en La menor. 2:40”
15. Preludio en Re menor. 1:14”
16. Estudio número 3. 2:17”
17. Tua imagen. 4:31”
18. Don Pérez Freire (tango). 3:29”
19. Caazapá (aire popular paraguayo). 3:52”
20. Danza Paraguaya. 2:11”
TOTAL TIME 63:20”
JOSÉ CARLOS CABRERA
Legendary, and one of the great guitarist composers of in the history of the guitar, Agustín Barrios “Mangoré” (1885-1944) was largely forgotten after his death other than in his native Paraguay. The revival of his almost forgotten-music, starting in the 1970s and lead particularly by John Williams, has restored his reputation and stature, sometimes even adding a touch of further exoticism and mystery to an already exceptional man. Born in San Juan Bautista de las Misiones in rural Paraguay to the south of Asunción, his story is that of a prodigy discovered young, taken to the capital, admitted to its principal conservatory at an unusually young age, then spending his life performing, composing and touring, principally throughout Latin America. He began his concert concert career at the age of eighteen and spent most of the following forty years touring incessantly. He is reported to have played in every country in South and Central America, and he left behind him a legacy of over 300 works for guitar and, moreover, over thirty recordings, from as early as 1911. He was one of the most prolific of early twentieth-century guitarists.
The collection here includes many little-known works have not been central to the Barrios revival. In that sense, they allow us to listen to Barrios’ music with fresh ears. One of the best known, Contemplación, is the longest of the works here and, even if not directly religious, can clearly be associated with the spiritually-inspired music already mentioned. It is another of Barrios’ beautiful tremolo studies that spins out a meandering melody, almost unpredictable in its direction yet never abrupt, creating the impression of a reflective soliloquy. Similarly, although not a tremolo piece, Oración para todos (Prayer for all) shares the same type of melodic introspection. Romanza no 1 shares many of the same traits; its main difference is that the melody is in a lower register with the chordal accompaniment above. The Canción de la hilandera (Song of the spinner) is another of Barrios’ magical tremolo although, in this case, with the lower part weaving a counterpoint to the tremolo melody rather than than simply providing a harmonic background. The shortest of the three preludes is a sophisticated yet fleeting arpeggio-like study while the other two recall the Romanza and Contemplación.
Barrios also drew extensively from traditional popular music, appropriating dance rhythms and inventing his own melodies if not quoting directly from traditional sources. His Danza paraguaya is the best known of these and the one that serves as a point of reference. Most of the others, including the Mazurka Sarita, Dinora, País de abanicos, Tu imagen and Don Pérez Freire, draw from the style of salon music from Europe that enjoyed widespread popularity in urban centres. Despite the independence won by the new American republics during the nineteenth century, this repertory shows that the cultural ties with Europe were still strong. It is in these works by Barrios that the influence of Jiménez Manjón and Tárrega is most evident.
Given its simplicity, its authenticity and its sophistication, this is music to be savoured and enjoyed whether we are listening to the most introspective of the compositions or the most effusive. José Carlos Cabrera understands this full well and brings us interpretations that overflow with the essential joy of the music and Barrios’ unrelenting love of the guitar.
RELEASE DATE: 23-25 June 2017
Item#: CR 201901
Artist: Jose Carlos Cabrera
Label: Contrastes Records