Guitar Heritage 2020
SOR, Fernando
Complete Works for guitar and guitar duo
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Fernando Sor (1778-1839)
Generally considered to be the most renowned guitarist-composer of his time. 2 A child prodigy born in Barcelona, who also played the piano and violin, he was composing from the age of five. His Opera Telemaco was completed when he was only seventeen and first performed in 1797. Caught up in the upheavals of Spanish politics, he had to leave Spain for France in 1813. After a short stay in Paris, he came to England and stayed from 1815 to 1823. While in London his works were also being published in Paris. Sor then went to Russia, passing through Berlin and Warsaw, and stayed in St. Petersburg and Moscow. He returned to Paris around 1827 and collaborated with the luthiers, Panormo and Lacôte. He was an intimate friend and collaborator of Aguado who lived in Paris from 1826 to 1839. For some time they both stayed in the Hôtel Favart in Paris. Sor published his celebrated Méthode pour la Guitare in 1830. Generally, it would be fair to say that Sor’s strongest works are his shorter ones eg Studies and Minuets. Bone 3 said of him “... In the clearness and directness of his music, the spontaneity of his ideas and a certain charm pervaded the whole, he was to the guitar what Mendelssohn was to the piano. Sor’s music contains no mere bravura writing but possesses grace, finish, and charm.”