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Fernando Sor (1778-1839)

Fernando Sor      Fernando Sor was born in Barcelona. Primary he studied guitar playing by his father. The musical education he got in the abbey, where he was a chorister. Because of political motives Sor left Spain, but his musical studies were not in vain.
     Fernando Sor was the first guitarist honoured to perform in London philharmonic society where on the 24th of May 1817 he played his symphony for guitar and stringed instruments. Estimating Sor's concerts in London the english press affirmed that he "surprised the audience with his incomparable performing".
     Already being famous composer and artist, after his brilliant concert in Paris and London, Sor came to Russia 1824. He is accompanied by his wife - famous ballet-dancer F. Gyullen-Sor. In Moscow they spent two years, they were in the centre of musical life. Sor performs as guitarist-soloist. In memory of Russia he composed "Reminiscences of Russia" for the guitar duet (op.63) where were used russian songs melodies.
     Returned to France in 1826, the musician lives in Paris where he makes acquaintance with his famous fellow-country man D. Aguado. He continues to lead concert activity. In a year was issued his "Treatise of guitar", where are elucidated all niceties of guitar technique at that time. This work was recognized in France, England and Russia.
     Masterly performance of Sor was connected with his technical innovations approved today by all guitarists (wide use of barre method, providing free application of keys, new position of the left hand giving opportunities for technical improvement).
     The activity of Fernando Sor concurred with the rising of guitar art, connected with the names of Mauro Giulliani, Dionysio Aguado, Luidgi Leniani. The artistic merits of Sor's compositions marked him out among the pieces of his contemporaries. The brilliant virtuoso he doesn't seek to demonstrate his technical achievements. His compositions are different on genre - sonates, duets, variations, phantasies, divertissements, many minuets, etudes - showed the richest chances of the guitar. Just to these compositions with their melodical generosity, elegance, classical lucidity of forms belongs by right the significant role in rising of guitar art in the XIXth century.


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