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Profiles in Classical Guitar: Fernando Sor
Here I play an easy piece by Fernando Sor if you want to listen to it: Andante - (48 second piece WAV Fil 4.18 Mb - WMV File 782 Kb) - - I have also put together a youtube video page with some of his more popular compositions being played by performers like Segovia. Videos of Fernando Sor Music
Fernando Sor was a classical guitarist and composer who was born in Spain from 1778 to 1839. He was a contemporary of Beethoven and is often referred to as the "Beethoven of the Guitar". He wrote many different works for the guitar including his famous Sor Method for the Guitar and his 20 Studies for the Classical Guitar. Both of these works are still in use today.
Sor grew up in tumultuous time is Spain. It was during the time that Napoleon and the French were attempting to take over Spain and Sor spent time in military service. For a period of time the French successfully occupied Spain but eventually they were ousted. After the war was over and France had been successfully ejected from Spain Sor moved to Paris (around the age of 35) and he never returned to his homeland. He also spent time living in Russia and in London but he eventually returned to Paris where he would live out the remainder of his years. It was during this time in Paris that he achieved a significant amount of fame as a composer, a teacher, and a performer, and he spent many years touring the great cities of Europe.
As a Performer
In Spain during his younger years and early adulthood he achieved an amount of fame that began with a performance of his opera "Telemachus on the Calypso's Isle" and this lead to a short lived sponsorship by the Duchess of Alba. While living in Europe he reached the height of his fame as both a composer and performer and he performed concerts all over Europe including Russia and London.
As a Composer
As a composer of music he had a remarkable wide variety of pieces that ranged from instructional in nature to songs, duets, vocal music for voice and guitar, and even an opera. His style of music ranged from sheer classical to very Spanish in sound.
Some of his more famous work
A lot of his work is no longer played but he does have some pieces that have withstood the test of time and are still regularly performed to this day. Or course there is his method for guitar and his twenty studies and while these are instructional works they are also comprised of many pieces and arrangements that stand alone on their own right. A couple of his more famous pieces include his Opus 35 number 22 in B minor which is often called "The Moonlight Etude". If you are searching for a piece to listen to you can readily find recordings of this haunting piece which is probably his most famous. Another of his famous pieces is his variations on Mozart's Magic Flute (Opus 9). This is a very recognizable piece and a perennial favorite of guitarists.
Recordings and More
Many contemporary classical guitarists have incorporated Sor's compositions into their repertoire and you can readily find works. There are also many CD's by current performers that are devoted solely to the work of Sor.
There is also a book about Fernando Sor. It is a comprehensive and detail account of his life written by Brian Jeffery. The first edition was published in 1977 and a new second edition published in 1994.
More Sor! Free Sheet Music too!
Play classical guitar and want an easy piece by Fernando Sor to try? Here is a nice little piece that is Andante. This is a jpg image of the sheet music so you can download it and print it out. It is one piece from his Method for Guitar. Andante by Fernando Sor Right click and select save as then save it to your desktop.
Fernando Sor: Composer and Guitarist by Brian Jeffery
Andres Segovia - 20 Studies for the Guitar: Book/CD Pack -
20 studies for the classical guitar written by Beethoven's contemporary, Fernando Sor, revised, edited and fingered by the great classical guitarist Andres Segovia. These essential repertoire pieces continue to be used by teachers and students to build solid classical technique. Features a 50-minute demonstration CD.
Fernando Sor: The Complete Studies for Guitar
Classical Guitar of Fernando Sor -
This book provides guitarists with an essential collection of 22 exquisite pieces by the great Sor, an extensive biography, and playing notes for each piece. Includes: Variations on a Theme from Mozart's "The Magic Flute" * Minuet in D Major, Op. 11, No. 5 * Minuet in E Major, Op. 11, No. 10 * Divertimento in C Major, Op. 13, No. 3 * Les Folies d'Espangne, Op. 15(a) * Bagatelle in D Minor, Op. 43, No. 5 * and more. Includes tablature.
Fernando Sor (Music for Voice and Guitar) - Mel Bay Book -
The most complete collection of songs with guitar by Fernando Sor to appear to date. This collection is arranged by language of the lyrics and by the format and character of the songs: Spanish Songs, Songs for 2 or 3 Voices and Guitar, Spanish Patriotic Songs, Italian Songs, and French Songs.
Fernando Sor: Une guitare a l'oree du Romantisme -
The Classical Guitar: Its Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1800 (Book)
We proudly present the fifth edition of Maurice J. Summerfield's highly acclaimed ultimate reference book on the classical guitar. This brand new book features all the original biographical entries updated with new photographs where applicable, plus 100 new biographical entries in the players, composers and makers section - for a total of over 485. This new edition gives the reader a full and clear picture of the classical guitar's development since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Also included are informative sections on composers, scholars, flamenco guitarists and guitar makers. The book's collection of several hundred photographs is the most complete to be published in one volume. There are extensive listings of the most important classical guitar recordings. The final section, Sources of Supply, guides readers to where they can obtain the books, recordings, music and magazines listed in the book. Without a doubt, this new edition will be the essential work of reference on the subject of classical guitar for years to come!"My sincere congratulations to Maurice Summerfield."- Andres Segovia