Sor studies

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Sor studies

Postby Yisrael van Handel » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:25 am

2handband wrote:My very strong opinion is that he'd be named in the same breath as Mozart if he hadn't used all of his best melodic ideas for guitar music. I don't know why he seems so undervalued amongst guitar players.

I am also a devoted fan of Fernando Sor. Obviously, this is totally a question of taste. Music, to hold my interest over time, must have polyphony, harmony, counterpoint, melody, rhythm, and proper voice leading. There is virtually no competition. The only composer for the guitar who achieves that is Fernando Sor. However, to compare him to Mozart is stretching things a little bit. Sor lacks Mozart's ability to spin out drama. He also does not have Mozart's ability to drive music to a glorious climax. Sor's opera, Il Telemaco nell'isola di Calipso, is no Don Giovanni, although perhaps it would be more suitable to compare it to Mozart's first opera, Bastien und Bastienne, which I happen to like. I have not heard Sor's opera (it disappeared for 200 years and was only recently found), but you can read a review here: http://www.zazzerino.info/Sor/Oper/1797_01/index.shtml. And we can certainly directly compare Mozart's and Sor's works for the fortepiano. Sor's works for fortepiano are available on YouTube, played by Josep Maria Roger. Likewise, we can directly compare Mozart's art songs with those of Sor. Sor's Seguidillas are well represented with several performances on YouTube. I think that you will come to the conclusion that Sor reached the height of his abilities on the guitar, and that far from being limited by that instrument, he reached his maximum potential there. He is not a Mozart. But neither is any other classical composer. And there are many classical composers who wrote excellent and very enjoyable music even though they are not Mozart. And Sor is certainly on that second list that includes Salieri, Clementi, Soler, Cherubini, and too many others to mention. Anyway, you cannot listen to Mozart all day every day. You need all the others to make music wothwhile and interesting.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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djajasoekarta
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Re: Sor studies

Postby djajasoekarta » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:43 pm

Suggestion for OP, take a look at David Tanenbaum's Essential studies book. One of them is complete guide and analysis of Sor/Segovia studies. He thought that the Segovia set is not graded gradually. If it's realistically graded than the no.12 should be placed last. From My personal experience, the last 10 generally more difficult than the previous and sure I found that the no.12 is the most difficult etude.

Anyway, besides the generous Luis & Ysrael suggestion before, complete 'grading' for entire Sor etudes is also provided by Richard Savino on his Complete Sor studies book.

Cheers,
'The woolen cloth of his suit made me question the value of Chinese silks. His fountain pen made me ashamed of my writing brushes and Chinese writing paper' - Puyi

'I don't write music to be difficult, only to be more like itself' - Harrison Birtwistle

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David_Norton
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Re: Sor studies

Postby David_Norton » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:12 pm

I've always thought of the first 10 in Segovia's book to be intended as pairs. You end up with:

#1 C slower & #2 C faster.
#3 A treble melody & #4 D bass melody.
#5 B minor slower arpeggio and #6 D major faster arpeggio.
#7 F major & #8 D minor, both require left hand stretches.
#9 A minor staccato & #10 A major repeated notes, both are right hand exercises.

This pattern breaks with #11 to #20. #20 clearly is meant to bring the whole thing back to the home key of C, firmly established with the pairing of #1 & #2.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

TheRoadGoesOn4Ever
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Re: Sor studies

Postby TheRoadGoesOn4Ever » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:45 am

vesa wrote:Some of them are ¨concert studies¨.
I play sometimes a set of them in my solo recitals.
Last ones are more difficult e.g. Bb major is one of the toughest pieces
for left hand existing.



Right on that. It doesn't sound hard but... Ouch on the left hand.
"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

vesa
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Re: Sor studies

Postby vesa » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:17 am

TheRoadGoesOn4Ever wrote:
It doesn't sound hard but... Ouch on the left hand.

No not at all hard but light and elegant,
as the easiest thing to do in the world is to play guitar.
You really don´t get any cheap points for bravando there.
When I told one of my colleagues that I play sometimes in my concerts, his comment was: ¨Are you insane?¨
I would like to know what Sor was thinking when he wrote it.
Vesa Kuokkanen

David Rubio ws. E. B. Jones 1979
Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Sor studies

Postby RobMacKillop » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:29 pm

Well, he had a shorter string length and lighter strings...

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djajasoekarta
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Re: Sor studies

Postby djajasoekarta » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:54 pm

I wonder, was the Op.6 or Op.29 had been performed entirely? I know some guys could play VL etudes in single performance but haven't heard about Sor's. Judging from recording, the complete set of Op.6 & Op.29 is pretty rare (I only know 5) compared to VL
'The woolen cloth of his suit made me question the value of Chinese silks. His fountain pen made me ashamed of my writing brushes and Chinese writing paper' - Puyi

'I don't write music to be difficult, only to be more like itself' - Harrison Birtwistle

Mr.Rain
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Re: Sor studies

Postby Mr.Rain » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:35 am

RobMacKillop wrote:Well, he had a shorter string length and lighter strings...


Rob, I saw your videos in youtuve, the number 60, it show really how simple studios can sound extremely beautiful ...

I am going thru the whole Sor studies with a Panormo replica(630mm, is definitively easier than a normal guitar) and the Chanterelle edition (it has a splendidly accurate list of all the Sor studios by difficulty,not always in order).

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Sor studies

Postby RobMacKillop » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:11 pm

Thanks, Mr.Rain. I wish you well with your studies. 630mm is a good length.

2handband
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Re: Sor studies

Postby 2handband » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:52 pm

I just found the chanterelle edition in a twin cities music store the other day. It was in with a bunch of books they were clearancing out (some of them looked like they'd been sitting there awhile) so I grabbed it along with a couple of other things. I'm not sure what to think of it... I've been doing Sor from facsimiles and I'm kinda feeling a bit ambivalent about this editor. I'm probably still gonna grab the Tecla edition next month.

powderedtoastman
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Re: Sor studies

Postby powderedtoastman » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:32 pm

If you want to study Sor from a lower level, I think the first few pieces each of Op. 31, 35, 44, and 60 are great places to start! You can find some very old editions scanned online, or for a nice modern engraved version the Tecla editions I think are quite nice.
There are even some relatively easy pieces that I think are quite performance worthy in there (Op. 35 no 8 is beautiful!)

I tried Segovia number 1 about a year ago and was able to fight through everything except the last couple measures with my teacher, and I learned some nice little things that really helped my playing since then, but ultimately I shelved it for a while because it was really quite difficult.

Since then I've also done about the first 9 or so pieces from Carcassi Op. 60, which I think is great preparation for this as well. Worth looking at even if you ultimately prefer Sor from a musical standpoint. You may be surprised at the nice things you'll find in Carcassi actually.

I just came back to the piece last week and I'm not all the way there but I got through it a lot quicker and have noticeably less trouble with the tricky spots.. I think it'll be manageable now!

Daires Roberto
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Re: Sor studies

Postby Daires Roberto » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:50 pm

Méthode pour La guitare(1830) by Fernando Sor is a complementary tool for the interpretation of Fernando Sor´s music. This is method is associeted with his technical and compositional concepts for the process of constructing an interpretation for the Sonata Op.25.

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Justfun
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Re: Sor studies

Postby Justfun » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:55 pm

Fernando Sor, I love you.
Richard Reynoso, Cypress \ Spruce 2016
Lozano Spruce 2001
Inofuentes 1997

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Sor studies

Postby Yisrael van Handel » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:44 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:Well, he had a shorter string length and lighter strings...

Rob, how much difference does shorter string length really make? I have always heard that it is supposed to explain why Aguado's music is so difficult, with big stretches. But we have Aguado's guitar (in a museum in Paris) and the string length is 648 mm. Even if Sor's guitar was 630 mm, that only makes 4.5 mm difference in the distance from the 1st fret to the 4th fret. It is not nothing, but I have increased by horizontal reach by probably more than that by just a slight change in the way I sit. I now use the Stanley Yates position (left foot straight forward, guitar to the right of the body and held very high--nut level with ear), and elbow slightly forward of natural position; rather than the Aaron Shearer position that I learned 40 years ago (left foot to the left, guitar held to the left of the body). It is actually the elbow forward that imporves the reach. Of course, their fingerboard was about 2 mm narrower from 1st string to 6th string. It all adds up. But does it really explain how they played very difficult reaches? You can judge better than I can, because you have the guitars to check.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Sor studies

Postby RobMacKillop » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:40 pm

True, 2mm wouldn't make a huge difference, but you would probably notice it. I'll be honest, I didn't know his guitar - or one of his guitars - survives, and that the string length is 648mm. Thanks for that info. Well, he probably had big hands ;-)

I imagine he had quite a few guitars, and perhaps some of them were shorter/longer than others.


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