Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

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reentune

Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by reentune » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:23 pm

I'm starting on a Barrios jag currently, and so as not to completely burn out and give up too quickly, I'd like to get opinions on which are the easiest to play.
I have a degree in classical guitar performance, so I'm not a beginner, but Barrios is particularly difficult (in my opinion).
I can play Bach all day long because of the mathematical perfection and logic of it all, but that Barrios has his own kind of different perfection—all heart and soul. It really has to sing while it contorts your hands!

I have the 4-book Complete Works from Belwin Mills.

Let me know what you all think, and please direct me to any other discussion links with pertinent info about proficiency performing Barrios.

Gracie!

Jeffrey Armbruster

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:24 pm

I just started working on "Oracion"-which is NOT "Oracion por todos". It has three distinct sections. the first and third section are manageable for me (I'm just shy of a year in playing classical). the second section has parts that seem beyond me. But it' funny: sometimes you plunge in and find a section of music manageable after all. In any case, Oracion is still satisfying with just the two sections...hope that this isn't blasphemy!

Gary Macleod

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Gary Macleod » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:14 pm

I am amazed that you have a degree in classical guitar but have never played any Barrios ! However,I would say without doubt that I find Barrios much easier than Bach if that helps.

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David Norton
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Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by David Norton » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:17 pm

reentune wrote:
I have the 4-book Complete Works from Belwin Mills.
Presuming these are the Stover editions from the 1970s, the first three volumes are more or less laid out in order of difficulty. Bear in mind that "Easy Barrios" is a far cry from "Easy Carulli"! Vol IV came out later, and is mostly on par with what's in Vol II or III.
David Norton
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Mikkel
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Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Mikkel » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:41 pm

Julia Florida is quite easy. The first two movements of La Cathedral aswell, and the 3rd movement should be doable with some work - it's difficult but in a very guitarist way. Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios is quite easy assuming you have good tremolo.

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David Norton
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Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by David Norton » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:01 am

Mikkel wrote:Julia Florida is quite easy. The first two movements of La Cathedral aswell, and the 3rd movement should be doable with some work - it's difficult but in a very guitarist way. Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios is quite easy assuming you have good tremolo.
You have an interesting definition of "quite easy"! I suspect you have rather large hands? For myself, I find the last page of Una Limosna (the E major section) almost impossible to stretch, even on a 640mm board. The tremolo part is fine, it's the left hand that fails me.
David Norton
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First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

Ancient

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Ancient » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:18 am

La Cathedral Was the first Barrios piece that I learned. I chose it because I really liked it.
At first it seemed difficult but as I worked on It it became easier. It took me about a year to learn all 3 movements. I think there is some difficulty in all Barrios pieces. Some of them don't interest me and I would not spend the time working on them but I fell in love with La Cathedral and just had to learn it.

reentune

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by reentune » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:37 am

Excellent.
Thanks for the replies.
And, yes, somehow Barrios never landed in my lap, so to speak.
Plenty of Ponce, Lauro, Brouwer, Bach, Scarlatti, Villa-Lobos, Tarrega, Duarte, Rodrigo…
But no Barrios.

And I think his stuff is mostly mental for me. I've played plenty of stuff that I didn't think was going to be possible only to have it fall into place quite nicely.
But I'm sure we've all been scared of some pieces at one point or another.
I just want that early success so I'm encouraged instead of discouraged.

Keep the recommendations coming.
I have the three-volume Naxos recordings and I'm going through the Barrios videos here on the forum, so I'm doing my research.

Mikkel
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Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Mikkel » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:52 am

David_Norton wrote:
Mikkel wrote:Julia Florida is quite easy. The first two movements of La Cathedral aswell, and the 3rd movement should be doable with some work - it's difficult but in a very guitarist way. Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios is quite easy assuming you have good tremolo.
You have an interesting definition of "quite easy"! I suspect you have rather large hands? For myself, I find the last page of Una Limosna (the E major section) almost impossible to stretch, even on a 640mm board. The tremolo part is fine, it's the left hand that fails me.
In this context I was mostly thinking compared to the rest of his production. But you're right. Everyone encounters different difficulties and I can see that it could be a challenge if you have small hands (my hands are average size but I've been doing stretching/flexibility/finger independance excersises for years, so I can stretch quite a lot).

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Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by pogmoor » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:09 am

Mikkel wrote:Julia Florida is quite easy. The first two movements of La Cathedral aswell, and the 3rd movement should be doable with some work - it's difficult but in a very guitarist way. Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios is quite easy assuming you have good tremolo.
For what it's worth Julia Florida was a Grade 7 set piece in the Trinity College exams 1986 - 89.
Eric from GuitarLoot
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Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

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Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by OldPotter » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:59 am

For what it's worth Julia Florida was a Grade 7 set piece in the Trinity College exams 1986 - 89.
That's useful to know.

Thanks

Tim
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

Polifemo de Oro

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Polifemo de Oro » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:23 pm

Barrios did not write very much stuff that was easy. Probably the easiest thing of his to play is his Villancico de Navidad, which is a very nice piece. Then follow a few of his Preludes in various keys (not the one in C minor!), and Julia Florida. After that, bring your lunch. :mrgreen:

reentune

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by reentune » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:35 pm

Polifemo de Oro wrote:Barrios did not write very much stuff that was easy. Probably the easiest thing of his to play is his Villancico de Navidad, which is a very nice piece. Then follow a few of his Preludes in various keys (not the one in C minor!), and Julia Florida. After that, bring your lunch. :mrgreen:
I heard that!

FWIW, I did the three Canciones Populaires Mexicanas by Ponce on one of my recitals in college.
They sound simple and beautiful (they're not!), but making them sing is a real challenge.
That's how I view Barrios.
It's probably also the reason I've never learned any of his pieces.
But I have the fire now. I can and I will!
Eye of the tiger!

Polifemo de Oro

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Polifemo de Oro » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:10 pm

Oh, those Canciones by Ponce are beautiful. And, you're right--they are much harder to play than they sound. I love those pieces.

Good luck with Barrios. He wrote so much really beautiful music. Start on his Villancico!

Pat Patterson

Re: Rank Barrios' music by degree of difficulty

Post by Pat Patterson » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:18 pm

You might want to try the Maxixe. It is a very impressive piece and sounds more difficult than it is. It falls right under the fingers and is very comfortable with absolutely no awkward stretches. The biggest challange is the right hand fingering, it must be planned carefully. The speed comes pretty easily as long as you learn it slow and precise. Of course that should be the case for everything you learn.

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