Fernando Sor - Six Petite Pieces Op 47

I have loved the six pieces in this opus for a while, and have been wanting to give myself some time to work on them, so now is that time.

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  • Op 47 No 1 Andante Apr 7

    I have worked on this a bit in the past, so I am not playing it cold. In this initial recording, the tempo is a bit slower than I want it to be eventually. I like the fingering choices I have made, but I want to work on making it more fluid, adding more dynamics, and making my articulation clearer.

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  • Op 47 No 1 Andante Apr 8

    Here is an update on this first piece.

    What I like: there is more articulation and dynamic variety; I think the tempo is slightly higher; the damping of bass notes feels more natural than it did yesterday.

    What I don't like:  my staccato sounds forced and inconsistent;  the dotted rhythm in measure 4 needs to be crisper; some sections have a lot of string squeak; I'd like it to go a bit faster.

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips This is coming along nicely Eric - it's definitely more fluid now than in the first take. I don't know if I agree entirely about tempo, i.e. the need for it to be faster. (I looked at the piece myself a while ago and came to no firm conclusion about what works best.) The problem I found is that what seems natural for the major section gives the minor section a somewhat rushed feel. I think you're pretty close to the 'sweet spot' already. (Having said that, I realize the recorded versions by professional players are indeed taken at a slightly brisker tempo.) I agree that the dotted figures could be crisper. I note also that you are not observing the sixteenth note rests in the first two measures of the second half of the 'A' section, but perhaps this is an artistic decision. (I'm not sure why Sor wants this articulation, since it doesn't occur elsewhere in the piece, but the notation is clear enough.) As for the squeaks, I had to listen twice to notice them at all! Not, in my view, a problem!

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    • David Krupka Thanks so much for the careful listening and feedback, David.

      • I can see your point regarding tempo. A slower tempo would certainly make the dotted rhythm in measure 4 easier to execute, and since I am struggling to play the figure crisply at this tempo, maybe increasing the tempo is not the best idea.
      • Regarding the 16th note rests, I am guessing (perhaps wrongly) that Sor notated those since a slight position shift requires them to be cut short a bit. I have chosen to put the first high F onto the second string with the pinky, which does not seem to be Sor's intention, since he writes the number 4 next to the following F. Either way, I do think I prefer having the melody be more legato there than what Sor is indicating. I will play around with it a bit more, though.
      • Thank you for pulling me back on the string squeak issue! I am sure that I hear it more than the listener.
  • Op 47 No 1 Andante - Final Version (Apr 10)

    I have put in a couple more days practice now, and I am pretty happy with the result. I am going to make this my last recording (for now) of this and move on to #2.

  • Op 47 No 2 Allegretto (Apr 10)

    This one is really fun to play. I particularly adore the super-sweet melody line in the opening eight bars.

    I'd like to work on:

    • Giving more contrast in tone color and dynamics to the repeated sections.
    • Making the "snare drum" 32nd notes (in measure 17 and its repeats) as crisp and rhythmic as possible.
    • Sor probably intends it to go faster, but I must say that I really like the opening section at the slower tempo. I'm on the fence again, I guess. 馃檪
  • Op 47 No 2 Allegretto (Apr 17)

    I tried to add more dynamics and tone color changes.

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  • Allegretto No 2 Final Version (Apr 23)

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  • Andante No 3 Final Version (Apr 23)

    I eliminated the repeats. It's fairly long and a bit repetitive even without them.

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  • Allegretto No 4 Final Version

    It would be nice to do more with the articulation on this one, but I really want to start working on No 5, so I am moving on.

  • Cantabile Op 47 No 5 (Apr 30)

    I think this is the best piece of this opus. It certainly is the most difficult piece to play (at least for me). So, I will be practicing this one in some stages. Here are the first two stages:

    • Melody alone - This is such a beautiful melody, and it can be easy to miss it with all the complexity going on underneath. So, my first step was decide on the phrasing (which is pretty self-evident) and then play the melody the way I want it to sound when all the rest is added.
    • Measure 1-16 (the A section) - This is fairly straightforward. The double slur and glissando at the beginning of measure three is challenging, but doable. The fingering in measures 9-12 is a bit tricky, but not too bad.
  • Cantabile Op 47 No 5

    Now I am working on the more difficult B section (measures 17-39), which begins in the relative minor key of F# minor. Measures 17-24 are not too difficult, just a couple awkward fingerings that are difficult to play legato. Then, measures 25-39 are much more difficult for me. The texture is much thicker, and I find the RH to be particularly difficult. I also find Sor's score difficult to read for these measures, as he had to fit a lot of notes into a tight space on the staff. To help, I wrote these measures out with tablature and I am playing them here while reading the tablature.

  • Cantabile Op 47 No 5

    I finally feel ready to start putting this whole piece together, which I have done in this video. Measures 25-39 are still pretty poor, but I think with more practice, I can get it down.

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  • Cantabile Op 47 No 5

    Another update for this. I have it memorized now. Definitely some improvement, but it is slow (and I am feeling impatient). Measures 25-39 feel a little better, but still insecure

  • Cantabile Op 47 No 5

    I will make this my final update of this piece for the diary.

  • Valse Op 47 No 6

    I ended up working on this during Week 1 of the "Song and Dance Challenge", so here I am just posting the videos I first made of each section, as well as the final version for this diary.

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