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The Tremolo Standards

Tremolo gets a lot of focus in the various classical guitar forums and online communities. Tremolo is really one of the ultimate tests of a guitarists arpeggio technique. Just sustaining an even, balanced tremolo is hard, but making it musical? Another level of difficulty.

There are a few standard tremolo pieces most guitarists play. Here the are.

1. Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega

This is the standard tremolo piece, and chances are you’ve already tried to play it. You can get a nicely typeset edition of this piece from The Guitar School. There’s also an older edition from on the International Music Score Library.

Here’s Johannes Moller performing Recuerdos.

2. Una limosnita por el amor de Dios by Agustin Barrios

Una limosnita is close behind Recuerdos in popularity. There’s a good edition of this piece on The Guitar School.

Una limosnita was Barrios’ final composition. The title, “An Alm for the Love of God”, is said to have been inspired by a beggar who came to his door. Here is John Williams performing the piece.

3. Campanas del Alba by Eduardo Sainz de la Maza

It’s a shame that Campanas del Alba doesn’t more performances: it’s a great piece. And one of the easier examples of a tremolo work. Eduardo Sainz de la Maza was born in Spain during 1903, and died in the early 1980’s. Because this work is under copyright, it’s only available for purchase.

Here’s Fabio Zanon performing Campanas del Alba. The performance doesn’t start until a few minutes in.

6 Responses
  1. 2011 March 30
    Jayy permalink

    Another very important tremolo-work is “Sueño en la Floresta”. Here’s a superb performance by Xuefei Yang:

    “Campanas del Alba” is also played by the great Alirio Diaz

    and by Ricardo Cobo:

  2. 2011 March 30
    Justin permalink

    “It’s a shame that Campanas del Alba doesn’t get more performances… Because this work is under copyright, it’s only available for purchase. ”

    And there is your answer. 75 years from now, everyone will play it, until then… Wasn’t it Frank Zappa (unbeknownst to many as a composer) who complained that symphonies only play free music?

  3. 2011 April 3
    Derek permalink

    Scott tennant playing campanas del alba
    playing starts at 1:15

  4. 2011 May 9

    I am almost at the point where if I hear Recuerdos one more time, I will walk out of the concert (not exaggerating). There are so many great tremolo pieces out there to choose from, that I do not understand why everyone clings to that one. “Campanas del Alba” is one of my favorite pieces, as well as “Sueño en la Floresta,” already listed by Jayy . And if a student is determined to work on a Tarrega tremolo, “Sueno” would be a beautiful choice.