Clip: Weigel plays Barrios
Agustín Barrios-Mangoré was a Paraguayan composer and guitarist who was born in San Juan Bautista de las Misiones on May the 5th, 1885 and died in San Salvador on August the 7th, 1944. Barrios was famous both in Latin America and Europe especially for his phenomenal performances and he is considered one of the greatest guitar virtuoso who ever existed.
His compositions can be divided into two main categories: folkloric and classical romantic. In the first one, Barrios paid tribute to the traditional music of his native land and, in the second one, he produced such wonderful classical romantic music that he was even considered as the Chopin of the guitar.
Among the romantic compositions, we can find also Julia Florida which was written in December of 1938 while Barrios lived in Costa Rica. It was apparently a difficult time for the composer due to his diminishing health and a lack of regular employment. Julia Florida was dedicated to Francisco Salazar’s niece, Julia Martinez whom Barrios taught.
The specialist in Barrios, Richard Stover, wrote in an e-mail to the guitarist Benjamin Verdery: “I met Julia in Costa Rica. She told me that Barrios smoked a lot and was a bit nervous. Maybe because she was so beautiful and he of course wanted her but restrained himself…. or maybe not? She never let on to me that anything at all went down between them and I somehow think that was the case. Why did her family called her Julia Florida? She grew very fast in adolecence, “bloomed” and “shot up” at an early age (“florida’ means “bloomed” form florece = to bloom or flower).”
Enjoy one of the most beautiful interpretations of this piece which Wolfgang Weigel recorded for Guitar TV World in October 2014 in Münster, Germany.