Sor, and loving it

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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xcal

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by xcal » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:29 am

Hello. I'm a self-teaching (oxymoron?) aged one. And recently I got disgusted and put the guitar away for a couple of months. But then I discovered the Sor Studies with BIAB. These are the scores of Op 44 1-24, 60 1-25, 31 1-24, 35 1-24, 6 1-12 and 29 1-12; all performed by Alexander Dunn. Oh joy. I started again with the easy category and am loving it also. I find myself humming along, and I'm worse at this than Glen Gould (r.i.p). Frankly, this is just plain good music. One thing I'm now doing differently with these Sor studies (something I learned from a text on piano practicing): I practice at tempo, rather than starting slow and working up to speed. I use Transcribe which lets me mark out the measures and beats, so I can repeat as short a section for as many times as I want. I've also noticed that playing at tempo may change the way I mark the fingering. This is true (for me, anyway) on the piano also.

I'm not by any means, anti-teacher. If I could find someone in my area like, e.g. Lare, I would fire myself immediately. Shortly after I started, I tried a teacher working out of a very popular guitar store (known for classical guitars) in N.Calif. He started me out on Giuliani Op Ia. I loved doing those exercises, but he had me continually jumping around from one to another. He may have been afraid I'd get bored - so I never played any one thing well. And he seemed unconcemed about technique. He, unfortunately became ill, so my lessons were over. I probably would not have continued much longer anyway. Anyway, bravo Fernando Sor.
xCal

deathbringer07

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by deathbringer07 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:52 am

I've played a rather easy piece of Sor ages ago. It has a very warm sound to it but i guess all slow pieces sound like that. Correct me if I am wrong.

PM

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by PM » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:23 pm

Awesome composer and probably an awsome guitarist himself, but writer?????
I checked a copy of his Method for Spanish Guitar from the libraray. Mercy!!!
It is like a technical manual written by some engineering geek (not that there's anything wrong with that).
I wil stay with it a while longer.

dietrich

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by dietrich » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:32 pm

In this round I certainly will not please the overall opinion when I say that, when I first started playing CG (for over 30 years ago), I found Sor, Carcassi, Aguado and others of this time period not so atractive. I was more into Tarrega, Albeniz, Villa-Lobos. Nowadays with my interest for the romantic guitar I find things different. I think these classical guitar music comes better with a historical sound than with the modern torres-like sound. It all makes more sense, the music sounds not so brillant and comes more intimate which I find is more apropiate. Among the classical guitar composer is Sor and outstanding figure. Some say Sor is like Schubert but for guitar, but I associate him more with Mozart: the superb classical melody with the deepness of Bach. Now when I play Sor I tend to explore his other music (Variations...). His studies I just played too often.

Luis_Br
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Location: Brazil

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by Luis_Br » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:01 pm

dietrich wrote:In this round I certainly will not please the overall opinion when I say that, when I first started playing CG (for over 30 years ago), I found Sor, Carcassi, Aguado and others of this time period not so atractive. I was more into Tarrega, Albeniz, Villa-Lobos. Nowadays with my interest for the romantic guitar I find things different. I think these classical guitar music comes better with a historical sound than with the modern torres-like sound. It all makes more sense, the music sounds not so brillant and comes more intimate which I find is more apropiate. Among the classical guitar composer is Sor and outstanding figure. Some say Sor is like Schubert but for guitar, but I associate him more with Mozart: the superb classical melody with the deepness of Bach. Now when I play Sor I tend to explore his other music (Variations...). His studies I just played too often.
I think the big problem is that only few players can play Sor in the right way. Some players tend to "romantize" too much which make the music sound zilly, or they play too even which make the music sound boring. It is very difficult to surpass these extremes (I don't think I can play Sor very well too). I can remember only 2 great interpreters of Sor: Sergio Abreu and Rey de la Torre. Bream has some nice recordings of Sor, but he is very inconstant. Segovia is also nice, due to his great tone and charm, but too romantic for this repertoire. Fabio Zanon also plays Sor very well (you won't find comercial recordings) and Eduardo Fernandez also has some good recordings that make we think, at least.

metaguitar

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by metaguitar » Wed May 21, 2008 9:45 am

I'm a big fan of Sor, too, I think he has a kittenish nature in his pieces. This makes myself happy when I play his pieces. Of course, I don't play his catchiest ones, but most of his easy ones are a lot of fun already.

Actually I play etude in d-minor by him, it's quite difficulty to play it, but it sounds very nice. This why I don't give up playing, just because the music is so nice! :casque:

And of course, my Avatar has to contain a picture of his holiness, because I admire his work so much.

greets, metaguitar

Evelyn

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by Evelyn » Thu May 22, 2008 12:34 am

Metaguitar,

I agree with you 100%. I also think a lot of his studies are rather playful as well as being beautiful. I have been obsessed with Sor now for months, working on one study after another - each is better than the last, and each time I say "I like this one the best! No, I like this one the best!" I can tell I've gotten better since I started with all of the Sor.

His Holiness... now that's what I should start calling him too!

Evelyn

mjbindy

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by mjbindy » Thu May 22, 2008 2:12 am

Kudos on the thread name! And the thread itself for that matter. It must have been a very interesting scene with Aguado, Sor and the like all composing & teaching... very interesting times indeed.

metaguitar

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by metaguitar » Thu May 22, 2008 9:55 am

@ evelyn

at which piece of Sor are you working now?

greets, metaguitar

PM

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by PM » Thu May 22, 2008 1:41 pm

While it seems impossible to pick a favorite, I have got to say that Opus 60 No 10 just lifts my mood no matter what. It is easy, delightful, and I play it pretty fast just to make it even lighter.

Check it out over at Dirk's:
http://dirk.*** Site blocked for copyright reasons ***.free.fr/classical2.html

I was saddened a bit to read that both his wife and daughter died suddenly, one very shortly before the other.

"The last two years of Sor's life must have been a very sad time for him, for he lost his daughter in the summer of 1837. Sor was greatly saddened by this and seems to have gone into a state of depression, as evidenced by the last great symphonic work written by him, a Mass in honor of his daughter. It is recounted by Eusebio Font y Moresco (apparently a local journalist) that Sor himself played excerpts from this mass, on a piano, over his daughters grave as a thunderstorm gathered and it began to rain "(Jeffery Composer and Guitarist 110).

http://www.classicalguitar.net/artists/sor/

I'd like to hear some of that Mass.

Evelyn

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by Evelyn » Thu May 22, 2008 3:44 pm

Hi Metaguitar,

Here are the Studies I've learned and committed to memory since I bought my book back in January:
Opus 60 No. 22 (beautiful. Makes me think of the A mazon Jungle. Look for my thread in the "Cafe" and you'll understand!)
Opus 35 No. 22 (also beautiful. I believe this is the one you mentioned?
Opus 35 No. 8 (this one makes me think of a dance in a meadow on a spring day)
Opus 31 No. 5 (a cheerful half and a mournful half.)
Opus 31 No. 8 (beautiful. challenging.) I am going to play this one at the Guitar Society tomorrow!

And I am in the process of memorizing this one:
Opus 31 No.14 (beautiful. sounds like a lullaby)

I sight read from my book (Mel Bay's "Complete Sor Studies") every day and at the same time I look for my next victim. So many of them are truly gems. Many of them are way too hard for me! But I can tell that my reading and playing are getting much better.

My neighbor who is a pianist (and whom I play these pieces for ocassionally to make sure I really know them well enough to perform in public) says that she can't understand why this composer and these studies aren't so much better known to the wider world. She told me that the same quality of works by other composers (for the piano, say) wouldn't be "studies" at all, they would be pieces in their own right, and would all have names and be so well-known that the general public would know the tunes and be able to hum some of them! You know, like almost anyone could hum some of Bach's tunes.

Anyway, which ones have you learned, Metaguitar, and which ones are you currently working on?

Sor rules.

Evelyn :guitare:

metaguitar

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by metaguitar » Thu May 22, 2008 4:39 pm

@ Evelyn

OMG, Opus 35 No. 22 is truly a nice piece. By the way, here is a nice interpretation of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2QHaYnm ... re=related

But I'm sorry, I'm not able to say which opus name the piece has, what I'm learning at the moment. It is simply called "etude in d-minor", but I have to say that it is a German book,where I learn it from, so maybe "Etüde" is not translated to "etude" in English?

I bet that my guitar skills are worse than yours, you must be a semi professional guitarist at least, when your are able to know your pieces by heart, aren't you?

I know some easy pieces by heart, but no Sor ones, what makes me cry :cry: His pieces aren't easy to learn, aren't they?

Evelyn

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by Evelyn » Thu May 22, 2008 6:34 pm

Hi Meta,

:D

You made me smile! I'm smiling because I've only been playing the guitar for only eight months. I played for about two years about 18 years ago - but I had forgotten everything while my guitar was in a closet, even the names of the strings! And I never played any Sor 18 years ago. I study now with a very good teacher, and I practice maybe two or three hours a day, and I am obsessed with it. I am also seeking out places to play in public once in a while, so that maybe I won't be so nervous. (Oh - I also had years of piano lessons when I was a kid, and I think that has helped very much in learning the guitar and reading music.)

How long have you been playing? Do you take lessons?

Your english is very good! I was in Germany many years ago to visit a friend and I thought the people were so nice, and the country so beautiful. I even learned ein bischen Deutsch. Aber ich habe alles fergessen.

In english, the studies can also be referred to as "Etudes".

Evelyn

metaguitar

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by metaguitar » Fri May 23, 2008 9:04 am

@ Evelyn,

its quite impressive, that you are able to learn Sor's pieces by heart, after only 8 months. How do you do that?

My English teachers says my English isn't good, but I'm pleased to hear that you say it is good :D

I play since October 2007 at my own, I never had have a teacher, except my brother. He gives me sometimes some hints.

Wo warst du in Deutschland gewesen, als du dort einen Freund besucht hatest? ( Where have you been in Germany, when you have visited your friend?)

@all

Does anybody here has a good hint to learn Sor's pieces by heart?

@pm

I've read Sor's biography. Truly a hard live what he had had. Maybe he died only 2 years after the death of her daughter, because he wasn't able to handle it?

Evelyn

Re: Sor, and loving it

Post by Evelyn » Fri May 23, 2008 10:10 pm

Hello Meta,

I have been to Germany twice, once in 1982 to visit a friend and her family in a very small town called Wallerhausen which was near Siegen. I don't remember very well where it is, I don't think I could find it on a map. I was there for a month maybe... we visited Idar-Oberstein and Koln and other wonderful places... and I remember her family raised rabbits and we ate one for dinner the day I arrived as a special meal! The other time I was there in 1985 and I visited a friend at the University in Munich. A beautiful place! And even I noticed that they spoke German with a different accent.

As for memorizing the Sor pieces... My experience is this: I read the music while I play it for the first week. At my lesson I play it for my teacher, who points out the things that need improving and the things that are good. The second week, I work on the things my teacher said, and I work on the dificult parts to make them smooth. During this process, I find that many of the hard parts get memorized without my even trying! I like it when that happens. I play again for my teacher at the next lesson. The third week, if I am lucky the whole piece is in memory. If not, then I deliberately memorize from beginning to end, small phrases at a time.

How I do it is this: I play the phrase while reading and concentrating and feeling how my fingers go and hearing how the tune goes. Then I immediately play it without reading. I go back and forth like that about ten minutes, then I add another phrase and do the two together. By this time the first one seems easy to memorize compared to the second one! I work on the memorizing as often as I can during the day, maybe 15 or 20 minutes at a time. I think that frequent small bits of memorizing is more successful for me. A Sor study, if I memorize in this way, takes me about four days. Some pieces are harder than others. I find the ones that have a lot of similar but not identical parts are hard, because I have to remember which small changes and which ending sequence goes with which phrase. That can be a headache! Just try to hear the tune in your head, it helps.

I hope this is helpful! Good luck.

Evelyn

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