Fernando Sor

Biography

Born: February 14, 1778; Barcelona, Spain   Died: July 10, 1839; Paris, France  
Spanish composer Fernando Sor (originally Sors), despite having composed prolifically for various vocal and instrumental ensembles, is remembered today chiefly as a virtuoso guitarist whose hundred-plus compositions for that instrument constitute a vital part of its concert repertory. While the exact date of Sor's birth remains unknown, he is known to have been born in Barcelona and baptized on Valentine's Day in the year 1778. Of Catalan Read more ancestry, Sor attended the choir school at Montserrat monastery and later enrolled in Barcelona's military academy. After the production of his opera Telemaco nell'isola de Calipso in 1797 he moved to Madrid, where he served in a number of minor administrative positions and continued to compose privately. During the French invasion of 1808 Sor's military background and patriotism roused him to fight against the invaders, though by 1810 he had resigned himself to the presence of the new regime; when the French withdrew three years later Sor opted, along with countless other Spanish artists and intellectuals, to return to Paris with them.

After two years of teaching guitar and performing in various Parisian venues, Sor moved to London and remained there for eight years (1815-1823). Many of his works were published there, and his thirty-three Italian vocal ariettas (published in groups of three) made a particularly strong impact. Sor also gained fame after directing his energies toward the ballet; Cendrillon (1822) achieved the most favorable critical and public response and was successfully transplanted to Paris in 1822. When the Bolshoi theater in Moscow showed an interest in the work for the 1823 season, Sor accompanied the lead dancers to Moscow. He limited his compositional activities to music for the guitar while staying in Russia, and by the time he returned to Paris in 1826 he had several works for the instrument ready for publication and had completed much of the work on a Méthode pour la guitare, eventually published in Paris in 1830. Except for occasional trips abroad, such as a journey to London in 1828 to oversee production of a new ballet, Hassan et le calife, Sor remained in Paris, composing and teaching guitar, until his death in 1839.

Much of Sor's music that has survived (two symphonies, three string quartets and any number of smaller pieces have been lost since his death) has been abandoned by performers, but his music for the guitar lives on. Much of his reputation is based on the continued use of his Méthode by teachers and students of classical guitar. Sor's musical style derives largely from an awareness of the late eighteenth century German masters (in particular Haydn); his guitar music, with its independent voices and occasionally contrapuntal textures, shows a tendency to move away from the largely chordal textures that had been common up to that point. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 205 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sor: 24 Progressive Lessons & 6 Little Pieces / Kraft, McFadden
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573624 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Sor
    Performer:  Norbert Kraft,  Jeffrey McFadden
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  • 2.
    The Art of the Guitar
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555261 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fernando Sor,  Narciso Yepes,  Francisco Tarrega,  Miguel Llobet  ... 
    Performer:  Turibio Santos,  Pierre Laniau,  Ernesto Bitetti,  Wulfin Lieske  ... 
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  • 3.
    John Williams: The Complete Columbia Album Collection [58 CD + 1 DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 309294 Release Date: 03/04/2016   Number of Discs: 59
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Isaac Albeniz,  Francisco Tarrega,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Julian Bream,  Carlos Bonell,  Brian Gascoigne  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves,  Daniel Barenboim,  John Williams,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta,  String Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
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  • 5.
    Guitar Magician / John Williams
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1253 Release Date: 07/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Manuel Ponce,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Jorge Gomez Crespo  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
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  • 6.
    Semi-awake, Semi-dream...
    Label: Contrastes   Catalog: 1201503 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Sor,  Francisco Tarrega,  Alexander Borodin,  Stepán Rak  ... 
    Performer:  Rovshan Mamedkuliev
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  • 7.
    The Beginning Of A Legend, Vol. 3
    Label: Idis   Catalog: 6701 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luis de Narváez,  Gaspar Sanz,  Fernando Sor,  Federico Moreno-Torroba  ... 
    Performer:  Narciso Yepes
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  • 8.
    Sor: Studies In The Form Of A  Suite  / Paolo Cherici
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7722 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Sor
    Performer:  Paolo Cherici
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  • 9.
    Cavatina At The Opera / Cavatina Duo
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9448 Release Date: 03/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Borne,  Mauro Giuliani,  Fernando Sor,  Francisco Tarrega  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cavatina Duo
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  • 10.
    Nocturne - Romantic Guitar Miniatures / Flávio Apro
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94875 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel Ponce,  Manuel de Falla,  Flávio Apro,  Antonio José  ... 
    Performer:  Flávio Apro
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  • 11.
    Homages: A Musical Dedication / Christoph Denoth
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 404 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Malats,  Luis de Narváez,  Miguel Llobet,  Fernando Sor  ... 
    Performer:  Christoph Denoth
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  • 12.
    Fernando Sor: Complete Studies For Guitar
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94791 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Fernando Sor
    Performer:  Enea Leone
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  • 13.
    Memorias: Guitar Music By De Narvaez, De Visee, Schmid, Hagen, Sor
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7398 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert de Visée,  Joachim Bernhard Hagen,  Fernando Sor,  Martin Schmid  ... 
    Performer:  Admir Doci
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  • 14.
    Alhambra: Spanish Guitar Music
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 1972 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Regino Sainz de la Maza,  Fernando Sor,  Francisco Tarrega,  Federico Moreno-Torroba  ... 
    Performer:  Tilman Hoppstock
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  • 15.
    Romantic
    Label: La Ma De Guido   Catalog: 2124 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Luigi Legnani,  Fernando Sor,  Napoléon Coste  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Viloteau
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  • 16.
    La Voix de l'Emotion II / Montserrat Figueras
    Label: Alia Vox   Catalog: 9904 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Bartolomé Cárceres,  Ginés de Morata,  Giovanni Batt. Bovicelli  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Figueras
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  • 17.
    Sor: 24 Selected Etudes
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 3050390 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Sor
    Performer:  Frank Bungarten
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  • 18.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 19.
    Label: Warner Brothers   Catalog: 540778 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arlo Guthrie,  Rolfe Kent,  Vashti Bunyan,  Federico Moreno-Torroba  ... 
    Performer:  Arlo Guthrie,  Lisa Dondlinger,  David Ewart,  John Wittenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Rolfe Kent
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 20.
    The Birth Of Classical Guitar - Sor, Giuliani / Wulfin Lieske
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 872 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Sor,  Mauro Giuliani
    Performer:  Wulfin Lieske
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  • 21.
    Cuatro / Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10786 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Ian Krouse,  Isaac Albeniz,  Fernando Sor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
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  • 22.
    Fernando Sor: Menuets
    Label: Emec (Editorial De Musica Espanola)   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Sor
    Performer:  Agustín Maruri
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  • 23.
    Essential Guitar - Giuliani, Scarlatti, Sor, Albeniz, Villa-Lobos
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300542 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Mauro Giuliani,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Fernando Sor,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Victor Villadangos,  Guiseppe Feola,  Cristiano Porqueddu,  Frédéric Zigante  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Magnifica Comunitŕ,  Ensemble Ottocento
    CD: $12.99
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  • 24.
    Souvenir De Barcelone: Starlight Hours / Javaloy
    Label: La Ma De Guido   Catalog: 2119 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jaume Bosch,  Francisco Tarrega,  Miguel Llobet,  Emilio Pujol-Villarrubi  ... 
    Performer:  Miguel Javaloy
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  • 25.
    Watercolor
    Label: Dan Hopson   Catalog: 5638174285 Release Date: 09/06/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maximo Diego Pujol,  Santiago de Murcia,  Francis Cutting,  Joao Pernambuco  ... 
    Performer:  Dan Hopson
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