FERNANDO SOR (1778 - 1839)
The Catalan composer and guitarist Fernando Sor is chiefly known for his many guitar compositions. Although originally opposed to the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, he later accepted a position under the French government. He was, in consequence, subsequently obliged to seek refuge abroad (London and Paris) but established himself as a successful performer, teacher and composer.
Sor published a quantity of music for guitar, some of it pedagogical in purpose and some of it for concert performance. His Méthode pour la guitarre, published in 1830, is among the most important books on guitar technique.
Sor wrote a number of boleros and seguidillas for voices and guitar, in addition to Spanish, Italian and English songs and duets for voice and piano.
Sor’s opera Telemaco nell’isola de Calipso (‘Telemachus on the Island of Calypso’) was staged in Barcelona in 1797. His other theatre music was principally for the ballet, including a successful Cendrillon (‘Cinderella’), a march from which he arranged for guitar.