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Check out Agustin Barrios- La Catedral, Iii. Allegro Solemne by David Solis Olson on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD’s and MP3s now on. Check out La catedral: No. 3, Allegro solemne by Carsten Pedersen & Agustín Barrios Mangoré on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD’s and MP3s . Recently, I started learning “La Catedral” by Agustin Barrios. Originally, “La Catedral” had only two movements: “Andante Religioso” and “Allegro Solemne”.

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Therefore, they argue the name of this cathedral was wrong if this was Barrios source of inspiration.

But, we know as a fact that Gloria Zevan was with him at the moment of his death in August, in El Salvador. For more information on the subject please refer to the following books: Historical Background on Repertoire. The real motive for writing this movement is unknown.

Genio de la Guitarra by Candido Morales. We could mention that half way in the 20 th century it was a common trend in Europe to write music with 3 movements. Regardless of the motivations for writing this movement, I believe we all agree that this prelude just enhanced the beauty of this incredible composition.

There are some differences in the facts shared by people about this masterpiece. Pictures of sheet music retrieved from: So far, a pretty straight forward compilation of details; now the question, where are the differences in the accounts?


So what I want to do, is share some information and historical background of this composition. Generally, this kind of music was highly regarded by listeners, it was considered intellectual music. There is one belief that it was written because of financial problems and another that Barrios was suffering from a kind of depression that lead him to compose the prelude. This was his birthplace and it is said that after spending some time out of the city he came back to his home town and went to the cathedral.

It is by these two movements that he described his experience with the Cathedral. It was intended to portray the beauty and the extravaganza of the Baroque period. This is information I retrieved from interviews, written documents and blogs from some of the most dedicated professors, performers and historians on the music of Agustin Barrios.

He was a great admirer of J. This undeniable fact is commonly agreed by all Barrios researchers. The story said that he was able to hear the bells of the church from his hotel room and that was his inspiration for the composition.

“La Catedral” – Agustin Barrios Mangoré | Samuel Ortiz

Several concert programs from Habana, Cuba and El Salvador witness this fact. This is why we can hear a clear contrapuntist style in the different movements and sections of this masterpiece.

The contrasting sections are meant to represent the differences in his experience from the inside and outside of the Cathedral.

I believe that knowing the circumstances, motives and historical background in which a song was written can and should make a difference in your performance.


This concludes my little research of this magnificent composition. While still in his sublime experience he walks out of the church and was shocked by all the chaos outside the walls of the church. Also, there is a discrepancy about this movement in regards to the motives for writing it.

On a different note, you agusti be wondering about the style of the suite. This could have been one of the motives for the elaboration on the prelude and make it a whole suite. The differences found are related to places and motives for writing the composition. This movement represents the abandonment of tranquility and the spiritual atmosphere he experienced inside the cathedral.

“La Catedral” – Agustin Barrios Mangoré

Also, it clearly adds to the marks of religiousness and spirituality portrayed in the suite. Many believe that because vatedral these circumstances he decided to write this as a totally separate work.

Also, as mentioned before, his woman at the time had died and he decided to write the prelude as a grief or mourning song. So I decided to start reading and researching about the song. It is said that this composition was Barrios tribute to Bach.

To bariros surprise, the information found on the subject is diverse. Amir April 16, at 8: