Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Jorge Oliveira
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Location: Cascais, Portugal

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:14 pm

Hi Yisrael, thank you, you are very kind :D. My V2 rendition is, indeed, better than V1, but there are still things to be improved. This is not a simple piece at all, has lots of details one has pay attention to. I keep on practising it every day, trying to play the notes in a more legato way. An there is also the terceras notes in m.19 which do not always come out clean... :(. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to listen to your rendition as well. But I'm already working with the #4. Very beautiful! I've memorized it already but now I have to play it with the metronome to make sure the rhythm is all right... :D
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

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Jorge Oliveira
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:17 pm
Location: Cascais, Portugal

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:04 pm

Dear Friends:

February is gone and it is time now to post the corresponding statistics concerning our participation in this thread. So, here we go... :D

The first graphic depicts the number of posts published by all participants in February.

Delcamp Forum, Sor's Opus 35 thread - Feb_2019.png

The number of participants dropped considerably in respect to the starting month of Sor's Opus 35 Project, last January, but that was already expected... :D.

The graphic that follows represents the daily ramp up of posts and views in February 2019.

Delcamp Forum, Sor's Opus 35 thread, posts and views - Feb_2019.png

As for new records posted in February, not counting further versions of renditions already posted, they are shown in the graph below. As one can see, in this past month only one first record of a given piece was posted - my own rendition of the of the #3 (V1). Quite disappointing… :(.

Monthly Posted Records, Jan19-Dec19.png

The following graph presents the Table of Posted Records (TPR) as of February 28th, 2019.

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 28Feb19.png

Please notice the grading line showing the Elementary, Novice , Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate pieces in the Opus 35. Please notice also that this is just a picture file. However, by pointing at any individual cell in the corresponding TPR Excel file stored in my Google Drive, the reader is directed to the corresponding post in this thread where he will have available not only the audio file but all the subsequent comments made by other Forum members.

Finally, the next graphic depicts the total number of monthly posts and views in this Topic in this last January - quite a drop... :(

Delcamp Forum, Sor's Opus 35 thread - Montlhy Posts & Views_Jan19-Dec19.png

And this is all for this past month. I thank you all for your support to this Project.

Best regards,

Jorge
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

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Jorge Oliveira
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:17 pm
Location: Cascais, Portugal

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:33 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:15 pm
I spent quite some time on #03. Since it is not technically difficult, I wanted to work on presentation (interpretation?). I wanted to get away from the very boring emphasize-first-beat-of-each-measure. I tried to apply harmonic analysis, especially stressing passing tones (suspended notes?) between chord transitions and chords that were the furthest from home. As you will see, it was hardly a ringing success. Part of the problem is that I do not have enough control over tone quality to make convincing changes in dynamics. I tried all kinds of things to get a more convincing tone, but so far the results are discouraging. There are other ways to enhance the dynamics: louder when climbing up the scale and softer when climbing down the scale. But I think that is too obvious to be very effective. The other way around is also a possibility. I am going to continue to experiment and focus on presentation at the expense of needed work, especially in the right hand. Simply, if I do not find a satisfying way to present the music I am going to get bored.
My study notes:
  • This piece does not present any major technical difficulties.
  • I used broken chords on the first beat of every other measure to make sure that the rhythm is clear. I had some problems starting the broken chords on the beat because I was playing the bass note with an almost apoyando movement, and it was too slow.
  • As far as I know, it is impossible to play measure #5 as written. The A3-C2-E1 (the numbers refer to the string) chord at the start of measure 5 must be fingered with 1-3, not with 1-2 as written, otherwise you cannot sustain the half notes.
  • I had some insecurity in the last three measures. I also approached the last three measures completely differently the second time. I think the accentuation the second time was much better. In general, I do not think it is a good idea to completely change the accentuation in a repeat, it just confuses the listener. I have to find a different way to create variety in the repeats. Right now I am just trying to find a way to introduce some color into the overall piece by focusing on phrasing and harmonic development.

Comments welcome. That is the purpose of this group.
Sor_Op35_#03a.wma
Hi Yisrael:

Listened a couple of times to your rendition of Sor's Opus 35 #3 (by the way, you mistakenly posted it in the the Sor's Opus 60 thread :D) and my main comment is that I think you are playing it way too fast. As a larghetto, it calls, in my view, for a mournful, sad, rather slow interpretation, each note standing clearly (the dotted notes, specially). See, for instance, this rendition of the wonderful Larghetto alla Siciliana by Ferdinando Carulli (Opus 241 #42) I used to play some years ago. This mood cannot be achieved if you play it fast, you have to slow down your tempo and that is not easy because any mistake in the rhythmic pulse will be noticed. On other hand, things you may now find difficult to do - the transition to a half barré in m.5, for instance, as well as the control in the last three measures (again, the dotted notes followed by a single 16th note) - become feasible. Worth trying, I think :).

With this new rendition of yours, the Table of Posted Records (TPR) becomes the following:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 13Mar19.png

The corresponding Excel file (TPR) is stored in my Google Drive and any Forum Member can download and use it at any time. By pointing to any particular post, the reader will have available not only the sound or video file but also all the subsequent comments made by other Forum members.

Best regards,

Jorge

PS: I'm still struggling to achieve the proper speed in the #4. Not easy at all these Elementary pieces...
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1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

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Yisrael van Handel
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:26 pm
Location: Modi'in Illit, Israel

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:06 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:33 pm

Hi Yisrael:

Listened a couple of times to your rendition of Sor's Opus 35 #3 (by the way, you mistakenly posted it in the the Sor's Opus 60 thread :D) and my main comment is that I think you are playing it way too fast. <snip>

Jorge

PS: I'm still struggling to achieve the proper speed in the #4. Not easy at all these Elementary pieces...
Hi, Jorge,
Thank you very much for your comments. Good to hear from you.
  1. Yes, I posted in the wrong list. Realized only when it was too late.
  2. Ah, too fast? Thank you. That is easy to fix, and might solve other problems as you suggested.
  3. In case you are wondering why it is taking me so long to repost, the explanation is that I just received Marco Tamayo's Essential Principles for the interpretation on the classical guitar. It cost 38 euro, so I was furious when it arrived and it turned out to be a little pamphlet of 32 small pages. When I started reading, I was even more furious, because the English looks like Spanish translated by Google. However, the content is phenomenal. It is a set of principles for right-hand and left-hand fingering. It is stuff that you need to know and will not find anywhere else, as far as I know. So I am going through the rules for right-hand and left-hand fingering; and I hope that I will have more stability and control when I am finished. The book is well-worth 38 euros, but it could easily have cost half that price. If you buy the book (at your own risk), you might prefer the Spanish edition. It is a good thing that I know Spanish; otherwise how could you figure out what fuses and semifuses are?
    As soon as I see some progress in my right-hand and left-hand technique, I will start working on posting Sor again.
  4. PS. I retired last month. I am now working out how to practice more seriously now that I have more time.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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Jorge Oliveira
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Location: Cascais, Portugal

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:28 pm

Hi Yisreal:

Glad to know you have retired, you will now have now more time to dedicate to the guitar, enjoy it :D . I also searched the net for Marco Tamayo and I was impressed with his play of some of the more demanding pieces of Paganini. He was still quite young at the time... As for his book, well, at €38,00 I also find it a bit expensive... I hope you improve your technique with, just let me know how you are progressing.

As of me, I'm still building up speed on the #4, trying to reach 3/4 = 95 bpm but I'm not sure I'll succeed :(. For the moment I'm stuck at around 80 - 85. May be I'll do a record any way and post a second, faster, version later on... :D

Best regards,

Jorge
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

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Yisrael van Handel
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:26 pm
Location: Modi'in Illit, Israel

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:12 am

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:28 pm
<snip>
As of me, I'm still building up speed on the #4, trying to reach 3/4 = 95 bpm but I'm not sure I'll succeed :(. For the moment I'm stuck at around 80 - 85. Jorge
Jorge,
Why do you need to play #4 at 1/4=95? In dance pieces, a faster rhythm is sometimes essential to keep the beat from falling apart. But in an aria (melodic piece), as long as the melody makes sense, I think that speed is not critical. Try bringing out the melody with rest strokes, where possible, and see if it doesn't sound fine at a slower tempo. Let me know, because it is relevant for my practicing also.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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Jorge Oliveira
Posts: 850
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Location: Cascais, Portugal

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:36 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:12 am
...
Jorge,
Why do you need to play #4 at 1/4=95? In dance pieces, a faster rhythm is sometimes essential to keep the beat from falling apart. But in an aria (melodic piece), as long as the melody makes sense, I think that speed is not critical. Try bringing out the melody with rest strokes, where possible, and see if it doesn't sound fine at a slower tempo. Let me know, because it is relevant for my practicing also.
No special reason, indeed, Yisrael, it's simply that both powderedtoastman and Steve Gallagher played it that fast in this thread and I liked their interpretations. But I guess you are right, the score does not have any indication of speed so I don't have to aim that high. In fact, I managed to record it yesterday night at 1/4 = 90 bpm. By persisting I could mechanize my hands to go even further but it would take me a further week or so and I'm getting tired of it, I must move on... :D. I'm going to post it now and I'll be waiting for your comments.
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

User avatar
Jorge Oliveira
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:17 pm
Location: Cascais, Portugal

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:27 am

I'm posting Sor's Opus 35 #4 (V1) below. This piece is classified as Elementary. The learning period, which refers to the dates I started with the piece and the day I considered it to be fully memorized and “in my fingers”, was 28Nov18 - 10Mar19. From then on I was most of the time building up speed with the help of a metronome. Quite a lengthy period of time indeed for an Elementary piece… (those from Sor's Opus 60 were easier, no doubt). The score does not call for an assigned speed but I liked the interpretations of powderedtoastman and Steve Gallagher in this thread and tried to play it as fast as I could. I settled, eventually, at 1/4 = 90 bpm, slightly lower than intended. Perhaps I'll post a faster V2 later :D. Listening to this rendition, however, I realize that it is played, perhaps, too much mechanically. Indeed, I relied on a metronome stuck in my ear :lol: to make sure that no beat was lost (though there are a couple of spurious "clicks" in measure 15 :( I have no idea where they came from...). Comments are mostly welcome.

The record was produced with the Zoom Handy Recorder app on my iPhone, the sound capture being made by an iRig microphone that connects to the iPhone via a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter. The guitar used was my Ryoji Matsuoka No. 50 (1976), fitted with Knobloch Actives Carbon CX, High Tension strings (2 months and 10 days old and 34,84 hours of effective playing time). The resulting .wav file was then processed with the Audacity audio editor on Windows 10 to produce the .wma and .mp3 files below. Apart from cutting and splicing the audio wave file to eliminate some not so well succeeded sections, no special effects were added during the recording and editing sessions.

Sor, Fernando - Opus 35 #4 (V1).wma
Sor, Fernando - Opus 35 #4 (V1).mp3


With this new record, the Table of Posted Records (TPR) becomes the following:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 21Mar19.png

The corresponding Excel file (TPR) is stored in my Google Drive and any Forum Member can download and use it at any time. By pointing to any particular post, the reader will have available not only the sound or video file but also all the subsequent comments made by other Forum members.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/52, Spr, IN RW, Tokyo, JP
1976 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.50, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40, 650/53, Ced, IN RW, JP
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CA Ced, MG RW, Banyoles, ES

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Yisrael van Handel
Posts: 686
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:26 pm
Location: Modi'in Illit, Israel

Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:14 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:27 am
I'm posting Sor's Opus 35 #4 (V1) below.
<snip
  • Bravo for posting. I know you had some doubts, but there was no reason not to post.
  • As you suspected, your tempos are a bit mechanical now. Please get that metronome out of your ear. The piece needs a little bit of breathing between phrases. You have solved your timing problems. I am not suggesting that you abandon the metronome altogether, but I think that you do not need it any more and do not want it after you understand the tempos of the piece.
  • The first beat of the even measures is a long note (blanco or negro puntado) that needs to be held for its full value.
  • Try just playing the melody (upper line) and see if you can get it to stick together better: perhaps more legato and stronger focus on the melody. I am not quite ready to post #4 yet, but I found it quite effective to play much of the melody apoyando both to give a richer quality and to separate it better from the accompaniment. In these kind of pieces that are highly melodical, it is the melody that holds the piece together and around which the piece is organized. If you practice the melody by itself, it will give you a lot of insight into how to phrase the piece and express the music.
I feel that I sound pedantic or preaching. Maybe it comes from spending 15 years in seminary. Maybe it is difficult to give properly nuanced feedback in writing. It is meant with all the warmth, regard, and respect that I feel for you as a close friend.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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