'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Monday, December 10, 2007

Robin Hill plays Agustin Barrios

The final track to discuss on 'Virtuoso' is track 16, 'Villancico de Navidad' , by Agustin Barrios.
I saved this one until the end to get you all in a festive mood as it is an arrangement of a Paraguayan Christmas song.

Agustin Barrios (1885-1944) was born in San Bautista de las Misiones, Paraguay, and was a guitarist and composer.
In 1910 he left Paraguay for a week of concerts in Argentina but was so successful that he was away for 14 years playing in Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
I do hope that Robin doesn't do the same thing...

By 1934 Barrios travelled to Europe where he gave concerts in Brussels, Germany and Spain, and in 1936 he returned to Latin America where he taught in the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica, San Salvador.

Barrios composed over 100 works, many attributed to obscure European composers, as he believed they would be taken more seriously.
He's not alone in this practice, somewhere out there is a piece of music played on two guitars, by the composer 'Anna Naneek'.
I'll give you a clue, my maiden name was Keenan, and so far, only one person has spotted this...

Barrios is thought to be the first classical guitarist to make a record, in 1910, and also to have played a complete Bach Suite (Lute Suite No.1).
He was quite a character and in the later stages of his career he reinvented himself as 'Nitsuga Barrios Mangore', the Paganini from the jungles of Paraguay, and appeared on stage in full South American Indian costume!

Thankfully, as Robin is from Huddersfield, I can't think of any national dress that he may choose to wear on stage, and anyway my needlework skills would probably not be up to it.


Pablo said...

Congratulations, very good interpretation.

Yes, Agustin Barrios Mangore is the best

Anna said...

Thanks very much for the comment, especially as you are such a Barrios fan!
Your site looks really interesting, I'll keep checking up on it.