Medium: Solo Marimba
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Adapted: 2001 (orig. composed in 1921)
Difficulty: Grade 5
Solo Marimba (5-octave)
Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885-1944) was one of the most successful and influential guitarist/composers of the first half of the twentieth century. His compositions range from simple etudes to wildly virtuosic multi-movement works. The majority of these works fall into one of three categories: folkloric, in which pieces were modeled after South American folk songs; imitative, in which composition styles and techniques were borrowed from the Baroque and Romantic periods; and religious, in which pieces were inspired by Barrios’ own religious experiences and beliefs.
Las Abejas (“The Bees”) falls loosely under the category of imitation. Written in the fall of 1921 as an arpeggio etude for guitarists, the piece has been compared to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” for its quick tempo, virtuosic techniques, and its title.