Barrios "Villancico de Navidad" - Use of harmonics

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DeeKay
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Barrios "Villancico de Navidad" - Use of harmonics

Post by DeeKay » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:13 pm

Looking at the calendar I thought I might give "Villancico de Navidad" by Barrios a try. I listened to several recordings here and on youtube and I noticed that there seem to be different versions for the phrase starting in bar 17: Some play it with open strings, while others use harmonics. Does anybody know what the "original" version is?

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David Norton
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Re: Barrios "Villancico de Navidad" - Use of harmonics

Post by David Norton » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:47 pm

The "original" is shown with open strings. It was first published by Richard Stover (Belwin-Mills) that way, and it was recorded by John Williams that way as well. However, someone* worked out that it would be very odd for a person of Barrios' compositional nature to write a longish passage with only open strings. They also determined that, by use of natural harmonics on these same strings, a very close approximation of the main theme is created.

So, best guess is that Stover/Williams were working off a manuscript which was "incompletely marked" (by Barrios or by a copyist) for using harmonics.

*Angelo Gilardino, I think...
David Norton
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First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

DeeKay
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Location: Heidelberg, Germany

Re: Barrios "Villancico de Navidad" - Use of harmonics

Post by DeeKay » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:37 am

Thanks a lot for this interesting information. To me the open string version also sounds quite out of place. Too bad there is no recording by Barrios himself. Guess I go for the harmonics, although it is harder for me to get them sounding as clear as I want them.

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rinneby
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Re: Barrios "Villancico de Navidad" - Use of harmonics

Post by rinneby » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:46 am

I like it way better with the harmonics, the open strings just sound odd to me...

/Jon
1964 - Masaru Kohno
1967 - Masaru Kohno
1989 - Antonio Marin Montero
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

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Dave
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Re: Barrios "Villancico de Navidad" - Use of harmonics

Post by Dave » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:57 pm

Stover's newer edition has the harmonics, says the source is Barrios' handwritten manuscript from 1943. Stover probably didn't have that as a resource for his first edition.
Dave

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