Inspired by a visit to the Cathedral of San Jose in Montevideo, the broad, horizontal chords of the andante represent Mangore's impressions of the organist playing Bach chorales in the cathedral. The ensuing allegro symbolizes his leaving the calm, spiritual atmosphere of the cathedral and entering out into the street, where the hustle and bustle of the real world is represented by incessant sixteenth note arpeggio figures.
Genre: Marimba (4-mallet) | # of Players: 1
Level: Medium | Duration: 7:00
Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944) was one of the most successful and influential guitarist/composers of the first half of the twentieth century. His compositions range from simple etudes to wildly virtuosic multi-movement works. The majority of these works fall into one of three categories: folkloric, in which pieces were modeled after South American folksongs; imitative, in which composition styles and techniques were borrowed from the Baroque and Romantic periods; and religious, in which pieces were inspired by Barrios' own religious experiences and beliefs. As a performer, his virtuosic abilities have been compared to other composer/performers such as Niccolo Paganini.
The works of J.S. Bach influenced greatly the music of Barrios. It is said that the composition of his most famous work, La Catedral, was inspired by a visit to the Cathedral of San José in Montevideo. The broad, horizontal chords of the Andante Religioso represent his impressions of the organist playing Bach chorales in the cathedral. The ensuing Allegro Solemne symbolizes his leaving the calm, spiritual atmosphere of the cathedral and entering out into the street, where the hustle and bustle of the real world is represented by incessant sixteenth note arpeggio figures. While living in Havana in 1938 (17 years after the composition of the other two movements), he revisited the piece and added the Preludio Saudade (“nostalgia”), creating a 3-movement work. This was a time of declining health for Barrios, as well as financial and marital problems. The Preludio reflects this sense of sadness and longing for something better.