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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:51 pm

powderedtoastman wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:33 pm
Glad to see this topic!
I have already recorded myself doing number a couple years ago:
...

And here's number two from a couple years ago:
...
I agree, powderedtoastman not bad at all, both your #1 and #2. And your guitar replica is superb :D. Thanks for joining this Project, I look forward to your renditions and comments :D.
Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:38 pm
My study notes:
  • Obviously not perfect. I stumbled in one place, and had an insecure moment in another.
  • But what bothers me more is that the rhetoric here is insipid and could have been much better. This will be part of my focus in future pieces.
  • The main challenge here other than finding a suitable interpretation, was reading far enough ahead to prepare properly and avoid right-hand errors.
Please comment. That is what this thread is about. Suggestions for improvement welcome.

...
Welcome also to our Opus 35 Project, Yisrael. Concerning your rendition of the #1, the things that strike me most are the wonderful tone of your record and your courage to tackle this piece at such high tempo (around 1/4 = 140 bpm, I guess?) :). One notices some changes of rhythm here and there but these are things that can be ironed out with practice. As for me, I played this piece at 1/4 = 125 bpm with a metronome in my left ear :oops:, but I'm now rising to the challenge of Alexander Kalil and will do a V2 one of these days with 140 bpm, or slightly higher, with no metronome help and with some "expression"... :D

With your renditions, powderedtoastman and Yisrael, the Table of Posted Records is now the following:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 05Jan19.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

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:26 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:58 pm
mainterm wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:30 pm
Yisrael - <snip> you could perhaps improve this with more consideration of dynamics and how they may be used to create a more musical phrase and melodic line.
Thank you for your kind comment. That was precisely what I am missing. The question is how to get started. I know where the phrases are and how they relate. And then? How do you get a proper statement-response feeling within a phrase? How do you distinguish a phrase from its repeat?
My first and simplest suggestion would be to take the first four measures, and measures 5-8 where both start on two Cs, and play the first one loud and maybe in "normal" position with the right hand. Then the second one quiet and possibly a bit tasto (RH toward the neck) for an echo effect. Or you could start mezzo forte and crescendo to where the melody is at its peak and back off where the melody is going downward. You could then do the same swell and diminish effect for the second set of four measures, but tasto for a sweeter sound and with a lower peak.

Then measures 9 and 10 can be a bit louder, 11 and 12 quiet (also notice whether the B in the bass note is a half note or a whole note). Then crescendo from measure 13 to 14, stay up for measure 15 and drop volume for measure 16.

Just some ideas!

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:01 pm

Study notes:
  • Followed poweredtoastman's suggestions for phrasing. Not so easy to make the distinction between loud and soft really clear.
  • Technically an unchallenging piece.
  • Musically not much to work with.
Sor_Op35_#02.wma
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Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:04 pm

powderedtoastman wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:26 pm
My first and simplest suggestion would be to take the first four measures, and measures 5-8 where both start on two Cs, and play the first one loud and maybe in "normal" position with the right hand. Then the second one quiet and possibly a bit tasto (RH toward the neck) for an echo effect. Or you could start mezzo forte and crescendo to where the melody is at its peak and back off where the melody is going downward. You could then do the same swell and diminish effect for the second set of four measures, but tasto for a sweeter sound and with a lower peak.

Then measures 9 and 10 can be a bit louder, 11 and 12 quiet (also notice whether the B in the bass note is a half note or a whole note). Then crescendo from measure 13 to 14, stay up for measure 15 and drop volume for measure 16.
Just some ideas!
Many thanks for your ideas and for taking the time to respond. I attempted to apply your ideas (I had similar ideas) to #02, which I just posted. Effect is underwhelming, but I think it is the right direction to explore.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:25 pm

Nicely done for a first pass! The one thing that jumps out to me for this one, Yisrael, is a little bit of on and off discontinuity between the successive notes for each voice.
I think you're very right in emphasizing beats three and one and keeping the middle beat (sort of a droning open G) subdued. But in some spots the transition between the third beat of one measure and the first beat of the next is not quite legato enough, like you cut off the third beat note a little early and then the next downbeat sounds a little abrupt. This may be where practicing the upper and lower voices separately (without the middle Gs) and maybe even singing the two voices separately will help as an exercise to open your ear to what each voice should sound like on its own.

This brings me to an idea for expression and variation. On one go around you could play the melody as all eighth notes as the score seems to be written, and on the repeat you could do extra legato and let the first beat of each measure be a quarter note which overlaps the middle beat some, except maybe when the middle beat is a D or something that clashes a little.
Or actually I would do the more legato one first and the as-written note durations second probably, just personal taste.
This is specifically not what's written in the score of course, but I think this is where we can take these liberties to give the music more flavor and variety on the performance side.

My own link to my performance of #2, I would say I'm quite bothered with how much the open Gs are ringing over everything in the second section. But they are written as quarter notes so they should ring over beat two but the score says to rest that the next down beat. I bet if I did it again now I could take better control over that... so that's one thing I will shoot for in my upcoming re-post.

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:32 pm

My other thought, is that measure 15 where we have the F-sharp accidental (secondary dominant - the D7 chord is dominant to G, which is dominant to our tonic C) is where there is the most drama in the second section... so this should be the pinnacle in terms of dynamics!

And since you mentioned that you feel the effect of your attempt to do the dynamics came out a bit subtle, a great thing to practice would be to just pick single notes or chords, and play them pianissimo, as quiet as you can get them while still barely sounding the note, and then slowly crescendo and go through the whole range to fortissimo or fortississimo or whatever, as loud as you can get it, and then back down to nearly nothing.
This should be a daily thing we do, myself included! I don't do this nearly often enough.

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:10 pm

Here is a retake for number 2, and a first cut for number 3:




For number 2.. my take from a couple years ago I had the basic technique down to play all the notes and stay in time and all that but it is very flat, without variation. Hopefully now it's more interesting to listen to with all the dynamics and varied articulations, though I may make some mistakes because of the experimenting with those things on the fly. Well, I'll let you guys be the judge!

Number 3: Pretty close, but I may need to be patient and bring the tempo down a little. Also I'm not entirely happy with the 3rd position barre chord C and 1st position barre chord B-flat/F. I think the second time around I pulled some notes sharp while doing the barre chord, and sometimes I don't lay them down consistently and get a little bit of a buzz or dead note.

Lastly I really really need work on the grace notes on that sort of closing recapitulation of the first musical idea. It may actually make sense to play it in 5th position, as my friend Jon Mendle has done here:


At any rate, I don't think I'm quite ready to make these two the official versions that go on my "Complete Sor Studies" blog... but I hope you'll enjoy and hopefully we can find some other nice discussion points!

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:52 pm

My other thoughts on number 3...
I think the multiple voices are very important in this one!
Just as an example, try playing separately the middle and lower voices in measures 5 through 8.
The middle voice goes:
C, C, B, C, A, G, D, E
while the lower voice goes:
A, A-flat, G, A, F, E, G, C

However if we do a little bit of mixing and matching I also hear embedded within there for the last four notes, F, E, D, C.

The little circle of fourths thing happening near the end is similarly interesting with the harmonies. This is the essence of why the Fernando Sor studies are great! This music would sound excellent with four separate instruments or a choir.

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:54 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:01 pm
Study notes:
  • Followed poweredtoastman's suggestions for phrasing. Not so easy to make the distinction between loud and soft really clear.
  • Technically an unchallenging piece.
  • Musically not much to work with.
...
Well done, Yisrael, beautiful tone, nice tempo and a steady rhythm. Not a very challenging piece, you are right, but it's a nice little tune.

The Table of Posted Records is now as follows:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 06Jan19.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

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

Post by mainterm » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:24 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:58 pm
mainterm wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:30 pm
Yisrael - <snip> you could perhaps improve this with more consideration of dynamics and how they may be used to create a more musical phrase and melodic line.
Thank you for your kind comment. That was precisely what I am missing. The question is how to get started. I know where the phrases are and how they relate. And then? How do you get a proper statement-response feeling within a phrase? How do you distinguish a phrase from its repeat?
One suggestion I have is to sing this little piece - applicable primarily to the higher voice in this mostly two voice texture. I think we tend to be more facile with expression using our voice, so listening to how you sing it may help. Or if you simply cannot sing at all (doubtful), visualize the singing.

In the vein of mimicking vocal expression experiment with crescendo in ascending lines, decrescendo with descending lines (we do this naturally as singers due to the relative amount of air pushing we have to do in order to produce lower and higher pitches). There are many gradients of this from very subtle, to melodramatic.

Another consideration is to think about where tension lies in the phrase and how it is resolved - you may find ways to inflect the music with this idea either using dynamics, tone, accent(s)/articulations etc.

Repeated phrases are often varied using different dynamics and/or tone production. Same ideas of inflection apply - you may simply inflect the repetition a little differently.

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

Post by mainterm » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:29 am

powderedtoastman wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:10 pm
Here is a retake for number 2, and a first cut for number 3:
<snip>
I'm curious if you would share which edition(s) you are working from on these. For no.3 most of the notes match the original edition I'm looking at (Simrock 1830, don't have the 1826 in front of me), but some differ. Many folks seem to like the Chanterelle or Tecla.

In any case, one example is a 1/4 note C below the first E in the pickup measure. There are few other cases like that in your rendition.

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:55 am

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:54 pm
<snip>Not a very challenging piece, you are right, but it's a nice little tune.
Jorge, many thanks for taking the time to listen and your constant encouragement.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:12 am

mainterm wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:24 am
One suggestion I have is to sing this little piece - applicable primarily to the higher voice in this mostly two voice texture. <snip>

In the vein of mimicking vocal expression experiment with crescendo in ascending lines, decrescendo with descending lines (we do this naturally as singers due to the relative amount of air pushing we have to do in order to produce lower and higher pitches).<snip>
Another consideration is to think about where tension lies in the phrase and how it is resolved - you may find ways to inflect the music with this idea either using dynamics, tone, accent(s)/articulations etc.<snip>
mainterm, thanks for your comments. Actually, I know all of this. There is an excellent book on the subject, METODOLOGÌA DE ESTUDIO PARA LA EJECUCIÒN E INTERPRETACIÒN DE LA GUITARRA CLÀSICA by MARIO ALBERTO AMAYA SUÀREZ, available free on the Internet. I recommend this book highly. I have studied it myself, and I intend to go through it again in the near future. He covers exactly all the subjects you mentioned (and a lot more, such as correct fingering strategies, how to identify phrases, etc.)
However, the hard part is doing it in a way that the listener can clearly understand what you mean. In addition, you need to have good notions of what is effective where. This is especially true of articulation (staccato, portato, marcato), which I have avoided until now, because I am really not sure when to apply it and what it is supposed to achieve. I think it emphasizes rhythm, in which case it should probably be treated as an ornament on accented notes, but I am not sure about that. I would be happy to hear what others have to say.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:27 am

mainterm wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:29 am
powderedtoastman wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:10 pm
Here is a retake for number 2, and a first cut for number 3:
<snip>
I'm curious if you would share which edition(s) you are working from on these. For no.3 most of the notes match the original edition I'm looking at (Simrock 1830, don't have the 1826 in front of me), but some differ. Many folks seem to like the Chanterelle or Tecla.

In any case, one example is a 1/4 note C below the first E in the pickup measure. There are few other cases like that in your rendition.
Absolutely, I am most often looking at the Mel Bay edition edited by David Grimes. I know people regard Chanterelle or Tecla as better, but I also got an e-book edition of the Mel Bay/Grimes one so it's really nice having everything in one PDF with bookmarks on it so I can skip to the beginning of each opus. I take the written fingerings with a grain of salt anyway.

Assuming you're referring to #3, the quarter note C is indeed here in the pickup measure at the beginning, and sometimes I do play it. That particular take I missed it.
I think when I'm not looking at the score I get confused about which one is which. Because there's a quarter rest underneath at the end of measure 4 picking up to measure 5, so you would only play the E. Same thing in the second section (must be pickup to measure 9) and then again picking up to measure 17, those have the E by itself in this score.

So thank you for pointing that out... I plan to do a more "final" take of this one in the near future so I will try to get that right.


And while I'm here... here's a sneak preview of number 5:

This is at a very reduced tempo and with the metronome, no repeats. Also I stopped and re-took in one place where I flubbed... I think the spirit of "learning" the opus means we can and should share snippets as we go along as part of the discussion.
This piece is a bit of an oddity because it seems a little more like a technical exercise and slightly less musical than the other pieces in this opus. None the less it is a melody and a harmony.

I spent some time practicing this maybe a year ago or more, but then shelved it so I've just picked it back up.
My approach used to be alternating p,m, p, i, but I played a similar Giuliani study out of Opus 1 part 2 (right hand interval exercises) for my teacher and he recommended doing mostly p and i only I think for consistency's sake. I feel like I might be able to get faster doing pmpi but it might not be as smooth or even that way. Maybe I should do both and see what the results are?

Anyway, here are my recommendations for this one:
Before playing as written, it will be VERY helpful to play only the lower 8th notes with the thumb, because (I believe) this is the melody and it will give you a sense of what the piece is actually doing musically.
Step two: add the upper notes, BUT instead of playing as written musically, play them simultaneous with the thumb notes.

Another good thing to practice will be the G major scale in thirds, going up to B and G on the 7th and 8th frets of the first and second strings respectively, and maybe down to the lowest G on the 6th string. Also great to do this with the thirds played simultaneously first, and then with as many different rhythmic patterns as you feel like... do it inverted, repeat each pair of thirds, do triplets, pip, ipi, etc.

Do the piece almost as written, but play it as if it's a dotted 16th and a 32nd note instead of an 8th and an overlapping 16th... then maybe do the inverse of that?
Do the piece written, but play each pair of notes twice instead of once.

I think if you did all of these variations and built up tempo with the metronome, you'd kick this thing's butt pretty good and hard.
My goal I think is to perform this at quarter note = 100 bpm.... and I think I will do some of the exercises I've thought up, and post them here!
And 100 bpm is about double what I've just done. So, ambitious to say the least! But I think doable. :D

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:42 am

powderedtoastman wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:10 pm
Here is a retake for number 2, and a first cut for number 3:
...
Great, powderedtoastman, the new version of the #2 sounds way better than your old rendition. I'll chnage the reference in the Table of Posted Records of the #2 (V1) by this last one. Thank you also for the #3 as well as for the rendition of your friend Jon, quite nice. I've already started with the #3 but, I have to confess, it's quite challenging for me. I also play it slower (as you yourself feel you should), with the same tempo as in the Larghetto alla Siciliana from Ferdinando Carulli (do you know it? Beautiful...).

Right, with these renditions of yours, the Table of Posted Records becomes:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 06Jan19.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.
[/quote]
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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