La Catedral (The Cathedral) 2 – Andante Religioso

La Catedral (The Cathedral) 2 – Andante Religioso

This is the second lesson on La Catedral (The Cathedral) and it is going to help you learn the second movement – andante religioso. It will help you nail this modern classical guitar piece composed by Agustín Barrios. We will help you learn it through small bite size micro studies.

Get the Score

Get your copy of the original fingerings for La Catedral’s Prelude below. This is a faithful reproduction of Barrios’ original manuscript, with TAB, so you can actually see what he had in mind when he wrote this amazing prelude.

La Catedral – Andante Religioso

la catedral guitar lesson andante
French Baroque opening

La Catedral – Andante Religioso is the first movement to La Catedral (The Cathedral) by Barrios. It was originally composed in 1921 as a two movement piece. The Prelude in B minor was later added, around 1939, to form the now three movements we know today.

Andante Religioso for Bach

This is a programmatic piece, here we have Barrios in a church in Montevideo, listening to the organist play Bach. That is why we have so many wonderful full open voiced chords, counterpoint, and ideas in series. There is also the French idiom of notes inégales, uneven notes (long to short) that give French baroque music it’s swing. (And Bach’s mixed German baroque style too.)

In this first video lesson, we cover the opening section with its modern high notes against open strings. So you will learn how to get that melody to pop out and sing. There are some extra lessons at the back of the video to help with those chord shapes, and to explain what the hell are open chords, as opposed to closed chords. It has every thing to do with voices.

Andante Religioso Organ Chords

La catedral guitar lesson andante religioso ending

This second video lesson deals with that B section full of open voiced chord shapes. Barrios fully exploits the guitar’s sonority to project the feel of an organ playing a baroque piece of music. We also take a look at the ending to this second movement. So how to nail those slurs and harmonics.

Manuscript vs Live vs Modern score

It is worth noting that the original manuscript, and the live version that barrios recorded on La Catedral differ to what is considered the modern score. Take a look at bar 22 above, and compare it to the manuscript below, and you will see vast differences in bass, and chords. The manuscript follows Barrios live recorded version.

La Catedral Agustin Barrios manuscript score

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Want More?

Check out this lesson on Barrios’ mighty tremolo piece below. Not for the faint-hearted.


Classical guitarist who strives to share a little #6stringinspiration.

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