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

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:57 pm

powderedtoastman wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:32 pm
Jorge, I think you have a very good functional hold on number 4.
As Yisrael has mentioned, what I'd now like to hear is a clear separation of what is harmony and melody. When I listened to my own take, I can kind of sort of hear it, but "kind of sort of" shouldn't be good enough. I'd like to bring it out and make it obvious a little more in my own playing as well.

I think for example, the first open G in the first measure is pretty obviously the melody, and the arpeggio that follows is the harmony which can be laid back. Similar in the next measure, the D is melody and the rest is harmony.
Third measure the whole descending scale run from the high G can be thought of as melody, but then something interesting happens, the bass line takes over and in my opinion overlaps a little starting with first A in the next measure while the higher voice starts to fade back to harmony.

So rather than practicing the piece as written, listen to and practice the piece while thinking of those separate voices and how they interact with each other. If you had a teacher or practice buddy around, I would say to go through and assign the voices to one player or the other and play it as a duo. I once had a teacher do that as an exercise with me for Op. 60 no. 12 and it really opened my ears to what that piece was.. This one could use the same treatment! The ultimate goal is to have it sounding as if you have two or more guitars going when in reality you're the only one.

Being aware of that of course is one thing but getting the total physical control over that... well, I will let you know when I think I've figured it out!
For the first two measures I can give you a hint that I think planting your fingers on the strings ahead of time for the arpeggio can aid us in controlling the volume, namely keeping the arpeggio in the harmony subdued. This advice courtesy of one of my teachers!
Many thanks, powderedtoastman, for you comments to my rendition of the #4 and the ensuing advice on how to improve it. This is quite a complex piece, indeed, it took me a long, long time to have in my fingers. There is, indeed, a melodic line and some notes and arpeggios that sustain it along the piece, though they sometimes seem to mix in each other as you rightly pointed out. It is not that easy for me to distinguish them, though I can see it in the work in progress posted today by Yisrael. I'm going to publish another version of the #4 one of these days and I'll try to stress a bit the melodic lines, perhaps by pushing their volume up a bit.

By the way - and referring to the advice of one of your teachers in your last phrase - I already do that. I'm a "positions" player by training and when learning a new piece I always try to apply standard positions that cover as many as possible notes of any given measure(s), even if some of the pressed notes are not played at all :D. This helps me to memorize the piece, steady my LH and minimizes as well the movement of my LH fingers.
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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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:22 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:18 pm
I just starting learning Opus 35, #04. I want to post this version. I am far from being ready to post. This version is full of mistakes and lack of control over the rest strokes (they are too percussive). I just want to show the effect of using rest strokes to bring out the melody. I am also for the first time ever following Sor's right-hand fingering indications. That means that that last four notes are all played with the thumb (and also a lot of other notes that you would not normally play with the thumb). For this piece, it works quite well. Again, I am aware of many incorrect notes and terrible articulation. I just wanted to make the one point of using the apoyando stroke to bring out the melody.Sor_Op_35_#04.wma
Bravo, Yisrael, you seem to be going in the right direction, keep it up! :D

With this first rendition of the #4, the Table of Posted Records (TPR) becomes the following:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 23Mar19.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.
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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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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:04 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:32 pm

Not exactly. The last three notes of what looks like a five-note arpeggio in both measures belong to the upper voice, as is clearly indicated by Sor. This is an important melodic figure that recurs throughout the piece. Whenever it occurs, as in Bar 1, 2, 17-21, etc, it is crucial not to execute the five-note sequence as an arpeggio but as a two-voiced texture - the first two notes belonging to the lower, the last three to the upper voice. Failure to do so and indulging instead in arpeggiation, which is all too common, results in obfuscating the melodic line at those places.
...
You are overthinking what is actually a simple structure: the melody remains on the upper voice throughout the piece, and is indicated by the upward stem whenever there are multiple voices. The passage you describe above is no exception - the first melodic phrase starts with the first G in Bar 1, continues on the upper voice, and ends with the C in Bar 4; the second melodic phrase, a logical continuation of the first, starts with the first C in Bar 5, continues on the upper voice, and ends with the first F# in Bar 8. And so it goes on until the end of the piece.

The entire study is a simple two-layered texture similar to that of the famous study Op 35 N°17. With both the main performance challenge is clear voice separation. So it may be instructive to study both works together.

Jorge - yours is an excellent rendition all round. The next step, I think, is to detach the upper voice more clearly from the lower voice. Also notice that the first note of the melodic figure mentioned above, as in Bar 1 and 2, should ring for its full notated value (dotted quarter); you tend to mute it when the bass line starts.
...
Hi Alexander:

First of all, let me thank you for listening to my rendition of the #4 and for taking the time to comment it. Then, I would like to express as well my joy for your quite positive appreciation of it. Valuing it as you did is a good reward for the hours and hours I spend these last few weeks working in it. There remains a better separation of the voices and the question of the dotted notes. Yes, Yisrael had already called my attention to the fact that I was not obeying their value. The truth is worse than that, I really damped them and the explanation is simple. I was roughly 14 years old when I came in contact with a classical guitar. At the time I was living at Coimbra, an old University town here in Portugal, and, along the years, its students had developed what is known as Canção de Coimbra, also known as Fado de Coimbra but rather different from the more common Fado de Lisboa . As in Fado de Lisboa, two instruments are used to accompany the rather operatic songs and instrumental only pieces (see, please, examples here and here): a portuguese guitar and a classic guitar, both tuned one step down. The portuguese guitar plays, mostly, the melodic lines and the classic guitar, the bass lines. And that is what I learned to do, by my own, just by listening, watching and imitating (my oldest brother played the portuguese guitar), no scores, nothing, just memory. In this folk music, the classic guitar just plays positions and bass passages in between positions. When within a position, and even during the transitions between positions, the i, m, and a fingers stay planted in the first three strings. Having playing like that for years on end, when I moved into classic guitar, already in my late twenties (and then I had to learn how to read a score :D), this way of positioning my RH stayed. Therefore, when I start a bass passage, such as in m.1, for instance, my RH fingers sort of automatically go into their rest positions and thus, the first dotted G is damped ahead of time :(. This is something I have to resist, I'll have to go against my habit and let the G to ring on. And I have to do the same with the first high D im m.2, and others along the score. It will take me some time, I'll have to start slowly, in the beginning, just to build the muscle memory and increase the tempo as I go along.

Before leaving, however, I have a couple of questions. How do I detach the upper from the lower voice in the piece? By, for instance, increasing the volume of the upper voice and keeping the lower voice a bit more subdued? And what about the long descending notes in m.3 and m.8, both part of the lower voice, should they be played in a softer way? Finally, why Fernando Sor decided that a similar group of descending notes in m.27 are to be part of the melody and not of the lower voice? I'm a bit confused, I must confess... :D

Best regards,

Jorge

Edited minor spelling mistakes…
Last edited by Jorge Oliveira on Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:36 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:57 pm
<snip>
By the way - and referring to the advice of one of your teachers in your last phrase - I already do that. I'm a "positions" player by training and when learning a new piece I always try to apply standard positions that cover as many as possible notes of any given measure(s), even if some of the pressed notes are not played at all :D. This helps me to memorize the piece, steady my LH and minimizes as well the movement of my LH fingers.
Jorge,
As I was reading the paragraph above, I thought the whole time that you were referring to right-hand position playing, until I got to the end and saw that you are speaking about left-hand position playing. The exact same thing holds true for the right hand. The right hand has 3 positions: 5th position (i on 5th string, m on 4th string, a on 3rd string), 4th position (i on 4th string), and 3rd position (i on 3rd string). Sometimes, you need to use a stretched position (i on 5, m on 3, a on 2, for instance) but it is just a stretched version of 5th R-H position. You can also use either p on a bass string or a on the first string to anchor a position. My point is, you know this already from the Portuguese guitar. Don't discard the idea. Just widen its application slightly and apply it to the classical guitar. It is very relevant to Opus 60, #4, especially if you follow Sor's right-hand fingering, which I am doing right now.
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:30 pm

Opus 35, #04
My study notes:
  • For the first time ever, I followed both Sor's left-hand and right-hand fingering.
  • I used rest strokes {apoyando) to separate the melody from the accompaniment.
  • Because of using rest strokes, I had some problems with nail noise. I have not used rest strokes in ages, and it is good to be reminded that they are needed. I hope to improve the tone quality.
  • Right-hand fingering was challenging: when playing rest strokes, you have plan out every string crossing. It seems to me that your reach is not as long as when playing tirando.
  • I missed a few notes in the last two lines. Not that that can be excused, but right now, I am more concerned about the overall musical effect.
Comments greatly appreciated. That is what this thread is about, helping each other improve.
Sor_Op_35_#04a.wma
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:30 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:36 pm
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:57 pm
<snip>
By the way - and referring to the advice of one of your teachers in your last phrase - I already do that. I'm a "positions" player by training and when learning a new piece I always try to apply standard positions that cover as many as possible notes of any given measure(s), even if some of the pressed notes are not played at all :D. This helps me to memorize the piece, steady my LH and minimizes as well the movement of my LH fingers.
Jorge,
As I was reading the paragraph above, I thought the whole time that you were referring to right-hand position playing, until I got to the end and saw that you are speaking about left-hand position playing. The exact same thing holds true for the right hand. The right hand has 3 positions: 5th position (i on 5th string, m on 4th string, a on 3rd string), 4th position (i on 4th string), and 3rd position (i on 3rd string). Sometimes, you need to use a stretched position (i on 5, m on 3, a on 2, for instance) but it is just a stretched version of 5th R-H position. You can also use either p on a bass string or a on the first string to anchor a position. My point is, you know this already from the Portuguese guitar. Don't discard the idea. Just widen its application slightly and apply it to the classical guitar. It is very relevant to Opus 60, #4, especially if you follow Sor's right-hand fingering, which I am doing right now.
Yes, Yisrael, I was referring to chord positions on my LH. I also use the RH positions you mention, but I was not aware that they were classified, that they had a name. Nevertheless, the one I use most, my rest position, the one that I apply when I first take the guitar out of its case is the LH in A Minor chord, the p planted in the 5th string, the i in the 3rd, the m in the 2nd and the a in the 1st. This is your third RH position, I think, though you do not mention where the thumb stays. In my case, the thumb is mostly used with the bass strings. In this way arpeggios become quite easy to do. You refer also to Sor's RH fingering. Are you referring to any particular edition of Sor's studies? In my Chanterelle edition, most RH fingerings are editorial, in italics...
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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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:43 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:30 pm
You refer also to Sor's RH fingering. Are you referring to any particular edition of Sor's studies? In my Chanterelle edition, most RH fingerings are editorial, in italics...
Every Sor piece has right-hand fingering indicated. The notes with stem down are played by the p. The notes with stems up are played by i and m alternating. a is only used in four-note arpeggios. To figure out whether to start with i or m in a passage, work backwords from string crossings. At every string crossing you want the i to play the note on the lower string and m on the upper string. Work backwards to figure out the other fingerings, using i, m alteratiing. There will be cases where there is no choice but to use the same finger twice in a row. Prefer i to m for that. And when you are really stuck, you can use p or a. There might be some more complex rules that I do not know, but these are the basics.
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:38 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:43 pm
...
Every Sor piece has right-hand fingering indicated….
Ok, Yisrael, I got it, thank you. In fact, this is how I do my RH fingering, except, perhaps, that I tend to use the a with the 1st string more often than Sor would have recommended it. This is due to the fact that I have a fairly strong a and also, that, due to my natural RH rest position, I tendo to specialize the i, m and a fingers each in its "own" string, the 3rd, the 2nd and 1st, respectively.
Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:30 pm
Opus 35, #04
My study notes:
I listened also to your second version of the #4 and I was pleasantly surprised with the way you so clearly separate the melody from the accompanying bass notes. Very well done, indeed, it will help me to play my V2 of the #4 the way Alexander advised me, with a better separation of the melody and bass lines. The only comment I have is that the volume contrast between the two melodies is, perhaps, too big. But you know that already and I understand that, having not used rest strokes for so long you still didn't recover the necessary control over the strength to apply.

With this second rendition of yours of the #4, the Table of Posted Records (TPR) becomes the following:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 25Mar19.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.
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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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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:40 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:38 pm
I listened also to your second version of the #4 <snip> The only comment I have is that the volume contrast between the two melodies is, perhaps, too big.
Jorge,
Many thanks for your feedback. I think that what you experience as too large a difference in the volume between the voices is actually poor tone quality. I am trying to work on that, but it is frustrating. I think that if the tone were full and rounded, that a) i could separate the voices without being so loud and b) that the loudness would not bother you so much. I am trying that direction.
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:21 am

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:04 pm
How do I detach the upper from the lower voice in the piece?
Optimally, by using a melodic free stroke. This is basically a free stroke with a deeper than usual follow through; the follow through is the distance the fingertip travels into the palm after hitting the string. For simplicity you could assign a single finger to the entire melody voice, which is possible here as the lines are not moving too fast. The important thing is to pluck with this finger deeper, not harder, as the latter would produce a harsh, not particularly melodic tone.

Depending on one's right hand approach, the melodic free stroke can range from straightforward to realize to an advanced skill that is difficult to master without a teacher. In the latter case one can resort to rest stroke, which is mechanically simpler. Just be careful to avoid rest stroke where it would muzzle the middle voice ringing on a adjacent string - e.g. the open G in m.2, the open B in m.6, the C's in m.18, the A in m.19, etc.

what about the long descending notes in m.3 and m.8, both part of the lower voice .. why Fernando Sor decided that a similar group of descending notes in m.27 are to be part of the melody and not of the lower voice?
The entire sequence in m.3 belongs to the upper voice despite the stem direction. 'Upward stem = upper voice, downward stem = lower voice' is a notation convention to visually align the voices in polyphonic music written on one staff; it is not a universal rule. In places where voice alignment is readily evident, such as in m.3 and m.27, the notation's objective is typically to keep the music visually centered on the staff, which may involve inverting stems.

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:43 pm
The notes with stem down are played by the p. The notes with stems up are played by i and m
You really pluck the note sequence in m.3 with p and the low G in m.16 with i?! And what about the accompanied sequence in m.27? In any event, your second version of N°4 is even better with voice separation than the first. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:11 am

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:21 am
You really pluck the note sequence in m.3 with p and the low G in m.16 with i?! And what about the accompanied sequence in m.27?
Alex,
Thank you for your kind words and detailed comments. As for following Sor's right-hand fingering, there are no downward stems in Measure 3, so I assume you mean what is measure 4 in the Tecla (urtext) edition. In that case, you are referring to the sequence of corcheas (crotchets in English?) E4 A3 G3 (the numbers are the string numbers, just so you know which E I am talking about). Not only did Sor explicitly instruct to play them with p, but even without Sor, it is necessary to do so, to preserve the tone quality of the bottom voice, and make sure the listener knows that they belong to the bass and not to the treble. All the notes in Measure 16, including the G6 have the stem pointing down in my edition. As for the accompanied sequence in Measure 27, I assume you mean the sequence of corcheas E4 A3 G3 in Measure 28 (in the Tecla edition): those have to be played with p regardless of what Sor says, to preserve the voice separation. However, Sor explicitly says to play them with p.
You will find that Sor uses the direction of stems to indicate fingering. There is rarely a contradiction between using stems to indicate fingering and using stems to indicate voice separation, but when there is, musicians are expected to be smart enough to figure out the voice separate for themselves,
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by powderedtoastman » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:16 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:32 pm
powderedtoastman wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:32 pm
the first open G in the first measure is pretty obviously the melody, and the arpeggio that follows is the harmony which can be laid back. Similar in the next measure, the D is melody and the rest is harmony.
Not exactly. The last three notes of what looks like a five-note arpeggio in both measures belong to the upper voice, as is clearly indicated by Sor. This is an important melodic figure that recurs throughout the piece. Whenever it occurs, as in Bar 1, 2, 17-21, etc, it is crucial not to execute the five-note sequence as an arpeggio but as a two-voiced texture - the first two notes belonging to the lower, the last three to the upper voice. Failure to do so and indulging instead in arpeggiation, which is all too common, results in obfuscating the melodic line at those places.

powderedtoastman wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:32 pm
Third measure the whole descending scale run from the high G can be thought of as melody, but then something interesting happens, the bass line takes over and in my opinion overlaps a little starting with first A in the next measure while the higher voice starts to fade back to harmony.
You are overthinking what is actually a simple structure: the melody remains on the upper voice throughout the piece, and is indicated by the upward stem whenever there are multiple voices. The passage you describe above is no exception - the first melodic phrase starts with the first G in Bar 1, continues on the upper voice, and ends with the C in Bar 4; the second melodic phrase, a logical continuation of the first, starts with the first C in Bar 5, continues on the upper voice, and ends with the first F# in Bar 8. And so it goes on until the end of the piece.

The entire study is a simple two-layered texture similar to that of the famous study Op 35 N°17. With both the main performance challenge is clear voice separation. So it may be instructive to study both works together.

Jorge - yours is an excellent rendition all round. The next step, I think, is to detach the upper voice more clearly from the lower voice. Also notice that the first note of the melodic figure mentioned above, as in Bar 1 and 2, should ring for its full notated value (dotted quarter); you tend to mute it when the bass line starts.

Yisrael - good job on bringing out the melody and the dotted melodic figure pointed out above. While rest stroke certainly works fine, I think the ultimate goal should be to develop a strong melodic free stroke by which to bring out the main voice without interfering with inner notes that might need to ring through on adjacent strings.
Interesting take, thanks for the comments. I'll try to think of it that way and see how it comes out.

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:20 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:21 am
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:04 pm
How do I detach the upper from the lower voice in the piece?
Optimally, by using a melodic free stroke. This is basically a free stroke with a deeper than usual follow through; the follow through is the distance the fingertip travels into the palm after hitting the string. For simplicity you could assign a single finger to the entire melody voice, which is possible here as the lines are not moving too fast. The important thing is to pluck with this finger deeper, not harder, as the latter would produce a harsh, not particularly melodic tone.

Depending on one's right hand approach, the melodic free stroke can range from straightforward to realize to an advanced skill that is difficult to master without a teacher. In the latter case one can resort to rest stroke, which is mechanically simpler. Just be careful to avoid rest stroke where it would muzzle the middle voice ringing on a adjacent string - e.g. the open G in m.2, the open B in m.6, the C's in m.18, the A in m.19, etc.
Ok, I think I understand now what has to be done :D, thank you. I've gone back to the piece, playing it rather slowly while trying to emphasize the melodic notes. Once I get it sort of mechanized, I'll start increasing the tempo.
Alexander Kalil wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:21 am
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:04 pm
what about the long descending notes in m.3 and m.8, both part of the lower voice .. why Fernando Sor decided that a similar group of descending notes in m.27 are to be part of the melody and not of the lower voice?
The entire sequence in m.3 belongs to the upper voice despite the stem direction. 'Upward stem = upper voice, downward stem = lower voice' is a notation convention to visually align the voices in polyphonic music written on one staff; it is not a universal rule. In places where voice alignment is readily evident, such as in m.3 and m.27, the notation's objective is typically to keep the music visually centered on the staff, which may involve inverting stems.
I got it, it makes sense to keep the music centred in on the staff :D. Thanks again!
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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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:43 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:11 am
there are no downward stems in Measure 3 .. in the Tecla (urtext) edition. All the notes in Measure 16, including the G6 have the stem pointing down
The Simrock edition has all stems in Measure 3 down and the G6's stem in Measure 16 up, essentially following the notation convention for single line music. If those stems are reversed in the Tecla urtext, then I suppose it is embracing some original source that is more reliable than the Simrock. Unfortunately my copy of the Tecla I lent out a while ago and never got back (I have the bad habit of lending things then forgetting about them). Time to buy me a new copy, I'm afraid.

the sequence .. E4 A3 G3 .. Not only did Sor explicitly instruct to play them with p, but even without Sor, it is necessary to do so .. the sequence .. E4 A3 G3 in Measure 28 .. those have to be played with p regardless of what Sor says .. However, Sor explicitly says to play them with p.
I strongly advice against this type of dogmatic view regarding fingering. We should remember that fingering is not part of the music. A competent musician will use whatever fingers s/he thinks fit to express (their notion of) the composer's musical intent. A flesh player, like Sor, may choose to execute the entire sequence with p, whereas a nail player, like myself, may find that the sound of p on nylon strings doesn't blend well with p on wound strings and then choose to play E4 with p and A3 and G3 with i or m. True that using the same RH finger on different voices is musically challenging, but that's a challenge I'm willing to handle.

I think that musicians should always be judged by the musical result, independently of the mechanical and technical means they choose to utilize. The latter is their own business and nobody's else, not even the composer's.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Location: Modi'in Illit, Israel

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:30 pm

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:43 pm

The Simrock edition has all stems in Measure 3 down and the G6's stem in Measure 16 up, essentially following the notation convention for single line music. If those stems are reversed in the Tecla urtext, then I suppose it is embracing some original source that is more reliable than the Simrock. Time to buy me a new copy, I'm afraid.
No. I have the Pacini and Sor edition from Sor's own publishing house. It has the stems like the Simrock edition. I have noticed several times before that the Tecla edition changes notation to the modern way of reading, and tries to convey Sor's intention rather than Sor's literal notation. You may question this practice, especially in an urtext.

Yisrael van Handel wrote: the sequence .. E4 A3 G3 .. Not only did Sor explicitly instruct to play them with p, but even without Sor, it is necessary to do so .. the sequence .. E4 A3 G3 in Measure 28 .. those have to be played with p regardless of what Sor says .. However, Sor explicitly says to play them with p.
Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:43 pm
I strongly advice against this type of dogmatic view regarding fingering. We should remember that fingering is not part of the music. A competent musician will use whatever fingers s/he thinks fit to express (their notion of) the composer's musical intent. True that using the same RH finger on different voices is musically challenging, but that's a challenge I'm willing to handle. I think that musicians should always be judged by the musical result, independently of the mechanical and technical means they choose to utilize. The latter is their own business and nobody's else, not even the composer's.
Of course. I am coming from a totally different viewpoint. I am struggling to develop a musical style that goes beyond just playing the literal notes. Separating the voices and varying the dynamics is new for me. I found that using p for the bass and i and m with apoyando allowed me to convey line separation very clearly for the first time. It works marvelously. But it is a first attempt at interpretation of a student. You have to take in that context. I do not yet have enough control to achieve the same effect with modern fingering. I did not mean give any suggestions about how anyone else should play this piece. For me it was a revelation and breakthrough that I could achieve this. I have not tried this in the past, because my thumb was not agile enough to play so many notes with so many string changes. This time I managed it.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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