Agustín Barrios holds many firsts in the world of classical guitar.
He made the first classical guitar recording in 1910, was the first Latin American guitarist to perform in Europe, and according to one musicologist, was the first to perform an entire Bach Lute Suite on the guitar.
On her most recent CD, Berta Rojas pays homage to this groundbreaking guitarist in a compilation of works from his catalog; many of which she performs based on versions from Barrios’ recording and manuscript copies.
Born in Paraguay in 1885, Barrios’ career began at 13 when he won a scholarship to study at the National College in Asuncion.
From there he would go on to perform across Latin and South America, travel to Europe and return to San Salvador as a professor at the National Conservatory until his death in 1944.
The heart of this guitarist is reflected in the vitality of his music, and Berta Rojas delivers with the greatest dexterity.
Our quick pick this week is a recording of Maurice Ravel’s Daphis et Chloé, one of the first in a series of collaborations between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor James Levine.
This recording also features the voices of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.