Agustin Barrios Mangoré, "La Catedral" (TAB)
Version and Fingering: Renato Bellucci
Barrios dedicated this monumental work to a beautiful Cathedral in downtown Montevideo (for many years it was thought that the piece was dedicated to Asuncion Cathedral in Paraguay or San Jose Cathedral in Uruguay... one thing is for sure, the three Cathedrals are very much similar). The Andante is a religious, mystique and deep movement which prepares the terrain for the impressionistic Allegro Solenne. In the picture you see Ana Vidovic playing my restored Barrios Guitar.
Barrios promoted his career depicting himself as a virtuoso Guarani Indian chief (the aborigine population of Paraguay) who played the guitar and composed in all styles. His artistic name Nitsuga Mangore was created reverting his first name from Agustin to Nitsuga, and adding the name of a mythical guarani indian chief Mangore. He actually played on stage dressed like an indian with feathers and all. In the picture, you can see a close up of Barrios' 1918 Marin Guitar completely Restored by my team of luthiers.
The top of the poster reads: Domingo 10 de Septiembre (1935)-Sunday, Sept. the 10th (1935)- A las 9 pm en punto -At 9 PM sharp- Definitiva despedida, Un solo concierto, precios popularisimos -A final good bye, one concert only, extremely cheap price -To the left of the image it reads: Ultima oportunidad para escuchar al gran artista guarani -last chance to hear the great guarani artist - To the right: Su arte eleva el espiritu a las regiones de la gloria- His art elevates the spirit to the vicinity of glory.
Under the picture: Mangoré, la guitarra en sus manos se convierte en una gran orquesta -Mangore, the guitar in his hands turns into a grand orchestra. The program: Part 1: Fantasia en Mi, Vinas; Capricho Arabe, Tarrega; Les Patineurs, Waldteufel; Tarantela, Mangore. Part 2: Preludio y fuga, Bach; Minueto, Beethoven; Preludio, Schumann; Gran fantasia, Arcas. Part 3: Fandanguillo, Turina; Gavota romantica Czibulka; Un sueno en la floresta, Mangore; Diana Guarani, Mangore.
The outer left side of the poster reads: No habra matinee a las 10:30 am -There will be no matinee at 10:30 AM The outer right side Nunca volvera a oir a otro artista de igual fama- You will never again hear an equally famous artist.
Mangore's La Catedral is one of the most challenging guitar pieces you will ever play. If you want to include a major work in your repertoire, this is definitely the one piece to have. The challenge does not lie in any of the single sections of the work but in the sum of all the different sections. The left hand is drained of all its energy by the time you reach the mid part of the third movement, right where a major run comes and numbness is all you get if you did not work your way up to it properly.
Staff, TAB and Video 1
In the same spirit as the C minor prelude, Barrios presents a smooth arpeggio with the singing top notes. Fijacion in the a finger is what it takes to achieve the effect. Hold the high E in measure 3 all the way into the high G. This prelude was written a few years after the other movements. It is as if Barrios wanted to put some more icing on the cake.
Staff and Video 1
The notes with the arrow are meant to stand out. See the paragraph that covers this issue in the technique pages. The yellow triangle stands for pivot (technique pages). The hand will rotate around finger 4 to change presentation in order to play the A chord. If you can live without the portamento between the F and the B in measures 2 & 3, you can play the high B on string 2 and simply rotate the hand for the upcoming chord.
Staff and Video 1
The reason I lift finger 1 is to allow for less energy to be wasted during performance, energy which will be badly needed towards the middle section. What I think makes the Allegro one of the most challenging pieces for guitar is the fact that it requires total control over technique. The performer must learn how to use the strength and stamina in both hands. It is the key to success in trying to play the allegro and every demanding piece in general. Take the first measure and repeat it slowly. Move the model down the fingerboard all the way to the D on string 5 and than go back to the B on the same string. (this is the "make your own exercise" concept which is at the base of creative technique.. your technique. Apply the same principle to measure 2 and so on. The arpeggio can be quite a finger twister unless practiced separately.
Asunción, September 16,
Revision: San Bernardino, January 12, 2013
Revision: Asunción, October 2, 2018, NEW Recording