Biography

Fernando Sor, (baptized Joseph Fernando Macari Sors or José Fernando Macarurio Sors February 14, 1778 – July 10, 1839) was a Spanish guitarist and composer, born in Barcelona. In Spain he is sometimes known as the "Beethoven of the Guitar."

Born to a fairly well-off family, Sor was descended from a long line of career soldiers, and intended to continue that legacy, but was distracted from this when his father introduced him to Italian opera. He fell in love with music and abandoned a military career. Along with opera, Sor's father also introduced him to the guitar, which, at the time, was little more than an instrument played in taverns, thought to be inferior to orchestral instruments.

Sor studied music at a monastery on the slopes Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona, until his father died. His mother couldn't afford to finance continued studies and withdrew him. It was at this monastery that he began to write his first pieces of music for the guitar.

In 1808, when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain, Sor began to write nationalistic music for the guitar, often accompanied by patriotic lyrics. After the defeat of the Spanish army, Sor accepted an administrative post in the occupying government. After the Spanish repelled the French in 1813, Sor and many other artists and aristocrats who had befriended the French (afrancesados) left Spain for fear of retribution. He went to Paris and never returned to his home country again.

He began to gain renown in the Parisian art community for his skills of composition and for his ability at playing the guitar, and eventually began to tour across Europe, gaining considerable fame. In 1827, due partly to his advancing age, he settled down and decided to live out the rest of his life in Paris. It was during this retirement that he composed many of his better works.

His last work was a mass in honour of his daughter, who died in 1837. Her death sent the already sickly Sor into serious depression, and he died a miserable man in 1839. He died of tongue and throat cancer.(Cecilia Ruiz de Ríos, Nicaraguan historian).

Works

How history has viewed Sor's style can be summed up in a quote from William Newman: "The creative worth of Sor's guitar sonatas is high. The ideas, which grow out of the instrument yet stand up well enough apart from it, are fresh and distinctive. The harmony is skillful and surprisingly varied, with bold key changes and with rich modulations in the development sections. The texture is naturally of interest too, with the melody shifted from top to bottom, to middle, and frequent contrapuntal bits added. Among the extended forms, the first Allegro movements still show considerable flexibility in the application of 'sonata form', especially in the larger number of ideas introduced and recalled. For that matter, the style still goes back to that of Haydn and Mozart, especially in the first movement of Op. 22, which has all the neatness of syntax and accompaniment to be found in a classic symphony, and its third and fourth movements, which could nicely pass as a Minuet and Rondo by Haydn."

Method for the Spanish Guitar was first published in French under the name Méthode pour la Guitare (1830) and was translated to English in 1832.

List of opuses

* 1800-1808 Seguidillas (12 songs for voice with guitar accompaniment and some with piano)

(1.) Cesa de atormentarme
(2.) De amor en las prisiones
(3.) Acuérdate bien mío
(4.) Prepárame la tumba
(5.) Cómo ha de resolverse
(6.) Muchacha, y la verguenza
(7.) Si dices que mis ojos
(8.) Los canónigos, madre
(9.) El que quisiera amando
(10.) Si a otro cuando me quieres
(11.) Las mujeres y cuerdas
(12.) Mis descuidados ojos

* 18?? 1. 6 Divertissements
* 18?? 2. 6 Divertissements
* 18?? 3. Varied Theme and Minuet
* 18?? 4. Fantasy
* 18?? 5. 6 Short Pieces
* 18?? 6. 12 Studies
* 18?? 7. Fantasy
* 18?? 8. 6 Divertissements
* 1821 9. Introduction and Variations on a Theme from "The Magic Flute" by Mozart
* 18?? 10. Fantasy
* 18?? 11. 2 Varied Themes and 12 Minuets
* 18?? 12. Fantasy
* 1819 13. 6 Divertissements
* 1822 14. Grand Solo
* 18?? 15a. Folies d'Espagne et un Menuet. 1822. (Meissonnier). 1810. (Castro)
* 18?? 15b. Sonata seconda in C major. 1822. (Meissonnier). 1810. (Castro)
* 18?? 15c. Thème varié in C major. 1822. (Meissonnier). 1810. (Castro)
* 18?? 16. Cinquième fantaisie. (Introduction, Theme and Variations on "Nel cor piu" by Pai[sillo]).
* 18?? 17. 6 Waltzes
* 18?? 18. 6 Waltzes
* 18?? 19. 6 Airs from the "Magic Flute"
* 18?? 20. Introduction and Varied Theme
* 18?? 21. "Les Adieux"
* 1825 22. Grand Sonata
* 1825 23. Divertissements. (1825, Meissonnier)
* 1825 24. 8 Short Pieces
* 1827 25. Grand Sonata
* 1827 26. Introduction and Variations on Que ne suis-je la fougère!
* 1827 27. Introduction and Variations on Gentil houssard
* 1827 28. Introduction and Variations on Malbrough s`en-va-t-en guerre
* 18?? 29. 12 Studies. (Continuation of op, 6.)
* 1828 30. Fantasy and Brilliant Variations
* 18?? 31. 24 Progressive Lessons for Beginners
* 18?? 32. 6 Short Pieces
* 1828 33. 3 Society Pieces. 1828. (Last Publication by Meissonnier)
* 1828 34. L`Encouragement. (Duet). 1828. (Pacini)
* 1828 35. 24 Exercises. 1828. ( First Publication by Pacini)
* 18?? 36. (In Simrock Edition this opus number is given as Three Society Pieces. But it is the same composition as opus 34.)
* 18?? 37. Serenade
* 1830 38. Divertissements. (Duet). 1829-30. (Pacini)
* 1830 39. 6 Waltzes. (Duet). 1829-30. (Pacini)
* 18?? 40. Fantasy and Variations on a Scotch Air
* 1830 41. Les Deux Amis. (Duet). 1829-30. (Pacini)
* 18?? 42. 6 Short Pieces
* 18?? 43. "Mes Ennius" - 6 Bagatelles
* 18?? 44. 24 Studies
* 1831 44, bis. 6 Easy Waltzes. (Duet). 1831. (Pacini)
* 18?? 45. 6 Pieces
* 1831 46. "Souvenir of Friendship"
* 1832 47. 6 Short Pieces
* 1832 48. "How do you like this ?" - Rondo
* 1832 49. Military Divertissement. (Duet). 1832. (Pacini)
* 1832 50. "La Calm." 1832
* 1832 51. "À la Bonne Heure" - 6 Waltzes
* 18?? 52. Fantasy Villagoise
* 1832 53. "The First Step." (Duet). 1832. (Pacini)
* 1832 54. Concert Piece. 1832
* 18?? 54. bis. Fantasy. (Duet)
* 18?? 55. 3 Easy Duets. (Duet)
* 18?? 56. "An Evening in Berlin"
* 1834 57. 6 Waltzes and a Galop
* 18?? 58. Easy Fantasy
* 18?? 59. Elégiac Fantasy
* 18?? 60. 25 Progressive Studies
* 1837 61. 3 Easy Duets. (Duet). 1836-7. (Pacini)
* 1838 62. Divertissements. (Duet). 1837-8. (Pacini)
* 18?? 63. "Souvenir of Russia." (Duet) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

Fernando Sor Music Catalog

  

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