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

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

Post by Clayton » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:09 am

Thanks for the encouragement Yisrael and Jorge. I had just written a longish post with my aims for a v. 2 of this piece now that I heard the other versions, and a few other comments which may/may not have been of interest - but when I pressed submit I was taken to the login page and what I had written vanished. Anyway I learnt something from all the versions I listened to, so thanks for posting. I am away for a few days now but will post a recording of No. 2 when I get back.

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:13 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:02 am
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:44 am
<snip> accented some notes and subdued others, slowed momentarily in m.24 and also towards the end as well, and, in the last measure,<snip>
Jorge, excellent rendition of music as written, phrasing improved, melody brought out, rhythm solid. I am inclined toward Clayton's rendition in 2/2 time with even more bringing out of the melody. I have the same comment on my own performance. However, I do not mean that we should stay on #1, but rather apply what we learn to the next study.
Many thanks, Yisrael, it is always good to have your encouragment. Yes, I agree, Clayton's interpretation was a surprise for me, I was not expecting the quite fast tempo he used. But, no doubt, it sounds quite nice that way. It seems that he is already an advanced guitar player and it's quite good, then, to have him aboard in this thread :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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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:05 pm

Clayton wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:09 am
I had just written a longish post with my aims for a v. 2 of this piece now that I heard the other versions, and a few other comments which may/may not have been of interest - but when I pressed submit I was taken to the login page and what I had written vanished.
Clayton, can you be convinced to reconstruct your comments? Hint: check Remember me on the login page. I think that prevents login you out automatically in the middle of a session.
Yisrael van Handel
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Clayton
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Clayton » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:30 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:05 pm
Clayton, can you be convinced to reconstruct your comments?
Well, these aren't my original comments but I listened to your rendition again and thought about what you said here:
Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:58 pm
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?
I am interested in that too. I thought your second 4 measures did come across as a response to the first 4 though.

I had a couple of more general ideas -

I think the note that joins the phrases counts for a lot. It seems as though the more you make it sound like an upbeat, the more what follows will sound like an answering phrase. It also seems that you can make it sound more like an upbeat by moving it a tad closer to the downbeat (so playing it slightly late) and by making it noticeably quieter than the downbeat.

Otherwise I think it's a matter of keeping the phrasing of the bits that stay the same consistent and maybe drawing attention to the bit that's changed by altering the dynamics. I was going to say by making it louder, but you seemed to make it quieter and that worked too.

I know people often talk about statement/response but the response often feels more like a kind of expansion on the statement to me, with the real response coming in the next long phrase.

Where the second bit is just a repeat, or not much more than that, I think you just change the dynamics and/or timbre. At least, that's what I tried to do, although I was going for a much bigger contrast than I actually achieved. Your tone production seems to be quite a bit ahead of mine so you may have an easier time varying the timbre.

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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 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:17 am

Clayton wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:30 am

I think the note that joins the phrases counts for a lot. It seems as though the more you make it sound like an upbeat, the more what follows will sound like an answering phrase. It also seems that you can make it sound more like an upbeat by moving it a tad closer to the downbeat (so playing it slightly late) and by making it noticeably quieter than the downbeat.

Otherwise I think it's a matter of keeping the phrasing of the bits that stay the same consistent and maybe drawing attention to the bit that's changed by altering the dynamics. I was going to say by making it louder, but you seemed to make it quieter and that worked too.

I know people often talk about statement/response but the response often feels more like a kind of expansion on the statement to me, with the real response coming in the next long phrase.

Where the second bit is just a repeat, or not much more than that, I think you just change the dynamics and/or timbre. At least, that's what I tried to do, although I was going for a much bigger contrast than I actually achieved. Your tone production seems to be quite a bit ahead of mine so you may have an easier time varying the timbre.
I am practicing applying the ideas to Opus 35 #03. I am having some success, and I hope to post soon. There are some very difficult fingerings in Exercise #3 (playing with hinged bar is required in several places, if you take the score literally). Rather than take liberties with the score, I decided to completely refinger the exercise, which improves the sonority and avoids the necessity of advanced techniques. It will take me another week to learn it well, as it is considerably more difficult than previous pieces.
Yisrael van Handel
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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:36 am

I'm posting Sor's Opus 35 #2 (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: 12Nov18 - 13Dec18. The piece has a couple of repeats and the assigned Tempo is Andantino. I looked at the Wikipedia and, today, it means to play it at 1/4 = 78–83 bpm. I settled at 1/8 = 130 bpm for the moment, slightly slower than recommended. Perhaps I'll post a faster V2 later :D. Comments are 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 Kuniharu Nobe #8 (1972), fitted with Knobloch Actives Carbon CX, High Tension strings. 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.

Fernando Sor - Opus 35 #2 (V1).wma
Sor, Fernando - Opus 35 #2 (V1).mp3


The Table of Posted Records (TPR) becomes the following:

Sor's Opus 35 recorded pieces as of 15Jan19.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

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

Post by Clayton » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:47 am

You're well ahead of me Jorge. I have only just started looking at No. 2. The RH fingering hasn't settled yet, I do it differently every time. On your recording it sounds as though some of the bass notes are possibly played with i, although I can't be sure. For now I have p on all of them.

I thought your rendition had a nice momentum to it. Since you ask for comments, my inexpert opinion is that the slight rall just before the repeat was well done but made that bit sound like the very end of the piece, especially with no rall second time round. I also thought it would be nice to put in some dynamics.

I will try and post a recording soon.

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:47 am

Thank you for listening and for your comments, Clayton, they are most welcome. This is my first rendition of the piece and I may record a second version later in the Project, I don't know. But if yes, then I'll pay attention to your rallenti and dynamics observations, rest assured. And yes, I may have used the i occasionally for a bass note. I do that in b.1 of m.7. I may also do it in other parts of the piece but, in general, most of the times I reserve the p for those notes that have to be played with the bass strings and the other three fingers for the treble strings - the a for str.1, the m for str.2 and the i for str.3. But this is not a must rule and some bass notes in str.3 I play them with the p, as they should. When I use the i for a bass note, almost always the note happens to be in str.4 and is accompanied by a note in str.3 nearby, such as in b.1 of m.7.

I'm glad you are already studying the #2, but I'm not that ahead of you :D. I don't sight read well, you see, therefore, I have to memorize everything, and this hinders my progress. Anyway, I had already looked into the #3 end of last year and I'm now "remembering" it. For the looks of it, it will take me still a while before I'm ready for a record. Thus, you will catch on me in no time, I'm sure :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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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:45 pm

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:47 am
I had already looked into the #3 end of last year and I'm now "remembering" it. For the looks of it, it will take me still a while before I'm ready for a record.
Yes, I actually find #3 simply difficult. There are a lot of places that require considerable practice to make them smooth. I am working on it quite a bit, but progress is slow. It is encouraging to see that I am not the only one that finds it more difficult.
Yisrael van Handel
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powderedtoastman
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by powderedtoastman » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:09 am

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:45 pm
Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:47 am
I had already looked into the #3 end of last year and I'm now "remembering" it. For the looks of it, it will take me still a while before I'm ready for a record.
Yes, I actually find #3 simply difficult. There are a lot of places that require considerable practice to make them smooth. I am working on it quite a bit, but progress is slow. It is encouraging to see that I am not the only one that finds it more difficult.
I can voice my agreement! I've been playing this one for a while and only recently starting to have a handle on it. Still not 100% what I'd like it to be but good enough to move on while keeping it in my rotation.
I do plan to post numbers 4 and 8 in the coming days.

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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 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:31 pm

powderedtoastman wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:09 am
<snip>I've been playing this one [Opus 35, #3] for a while and only recently starting to have a handle on it. Still not 100% what I'd like it to be but good enough to move on while keeping it in my rotation.
I do plan to post numbers 4 and 8 in the coming days.
Oh, that's a good idea. I might do the same.
Yisrael van Handel
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Alexander Kalil
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Re: Fernando Sor, Opus 35 - shall we learn it together?

Post by Alexander Kalil » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:08 pm

Jorge, I just listened to your second rendition of N°1. This is much more musical than the first one. You see that being bolder and doing without metronomic pulse and overcautiously slow tempo pays off musically!

I also listened to your rendition of N°2 and found it pretty good. Just two remarks. Try to play repetitions slightly different each time, e.g., by adding ornaments or just varrying tone color. Further, pay special attention to the third beat of each measure; often the chord/note you play there is clipped and the transition to the next chord wobbly; a few times you also forgot to play the bass note there. Make sure you can play the chord and the transition there smoothly, then decide afterwards if and where you really want it to sound staccato.

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

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:53 am

Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:08 pm
Jorge, I just listened to your second rendition of N°1. This is much more musical than the first one. You see that being bolder and doing without metronomic pulse and overcautiously slow tempo pays off musically!
Thanks fo your kind words and encouragement, Alexander. Yes, yours was, indeed, a good advice :D.
Alexander Kalil wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:08 pm
I also listened to your rendition of N°2 and found it pretty good. Just two remarks. Try to play repetitions slightly different each time, e.g., by adding ornaments or just varying tone color. Further, pay special attention to the third beat of each measure; often the chord/note you play there is clipped and the transition to the next chord wobbly; a few times you also forgot to play the bass note there. Make sure you can play the chord and the transition there smoothly, then decide afterwards if and where you really want it to sound staccato.
I'm glad you liked my rendition of the #2 as well, thank you. Nevertheless, I'll prepare, one of these days, a second rendition where I'll try to implement your recommendations. Two questions, though: I don't dare to include ornamentations on the repeats that are not in the score, at my present level of playing I feel that it would be presumptuous of me to attempt it :D. But I could change the tone colour by perhaps, moving the RH a bit up or down along the neck, no? Secondly, I'll pay attention to the third beat as you say, but as for the bass notes, I'm pretty sure I played them all. However, as I explained in a post a few days ago answering to a Clayton's observation, I play some bass notes with my i finger, specially if they are in the str.3 or in str.4 together with a nearby note in str.3 :(. But I'll check it out and make sure that I'll use the p finger for bass notes whenever possible. On the other hand, I'm curious, do you still find it difficult to hear my renditions without distortion? You see, the loudspeakers of these days ultra thin PCs are not good enough to reproduce bass notes, they are, either not heard well enough, or they are distorted.
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 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:45 am

As promised, here is my first take of Op. 35, No. 4:


I think the audio level was a little quiet on this one. I tried to bump it up but that only got me so far.
There are a couple places where I buzzed, especially a few measures from the end where you kind of have to simultaneously shift and jump the left hand fingers 1 and 2 from the 4th and 5th string to the 3rd and 6th, to go from D and F-sharp to G and A.
So I may eventually do a re-take with hopefully better audio level and with a smoother transition on that trouble spot.

Next up will be numbers 8 and 5. I tried to do a take today but there were just a few too many things that I wasn't yet satisified with, so maybe some time this week I'll get the practice in and get a clean take.

To be honest I'm not very fond of number 6 so I will probably put that one off for much later down the road. Number 7 I like just fine, but haven't put in much practice yet, so I think numbers 9 and 10 may also come before number 7, as I have played those a bit before.

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

Post by powderedtoastman » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:57 am

And for some inspiration, here's our very own forum member Marek who has done this piece to a higher quality level that I would like to aspire to:


His recording setup is clearly a bit more sensitive, there may be better room acoustics or just a tasteful amount of reverb added in, and it seems like as a more experienced player he has the freedom to take more risks and kind of "go for it" a little more than I do. He just has this slightly more refined touch overall, which I admire.
I notice that on the difficult shift/jump that I was describing, he has chosen to do one of those "take your time" sort of moments, which helps to avoid making the sort of hard landing that I did in that spot.

I've seen some visiting performers say in their masterclasses that we should avoid falling out of tempo for the sake of technical facility, but for every teacher who says that I think there's another one who will encourage it if you can pull it off to great musical effect as Marek has done in this example.

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