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.