WEEK 1: Exploring Sor's Music!

WELCOME TO THE MAIN THREAD FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF "Ferndando Sor" PRACTICE CHALLENGE! 

  1. Select a mesmerizing piece from Fernando Sor! Whether it be a delicate Sor etude, a powerful solo work , or a little miniature, the repertoire is in your hands 🎼
  2. Dedicate yourself to consistent practice and share your musical evolution with our community. Aim for daily practice sessions and upload a minimum of two videos each week to document your progress. This will not only fuel your dedication but will also allow us to partake in your musical expedition within our tonebase family!
  3. Contribute your most cherished performance or recording that resonates with the "Sor Guitar Soiree." Your contribution will not only motivate but also help curate a diverse anthology of pieces for our members to discover and enjoy.. 🎧

↓ Happy Sharing! ↓

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  • Martin,

    Count me in.  I'd like to work on a Sor piece I've always wanted to learn - Andante
    from 6 Petites Pieces Faciles, Op. 45. I will plan to get an initial video up of the first 15 measures by this weekend. Until then, let me reference my video of Sor's Fantasie "Les Adieux" which is up on the Sor mini challenge from 5 months ago. I'm playing it in a recital next week! We can never have to many challenges from Maestro Sor! https://guitar-community.tonebase.co/profile/36r55l

    Like 2
    • Rick Lord your rendition of «Les adieux» is absolutely beautiful, can't wait to hear the Andante!

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  • hi Martin, beginner here. i've never submitted any recordings before. I'm thinking of submitting one- Etude in B minor. Not sure though, although I'm eager to open my account in the recording submissions section.

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    • Nijwm Bwiswmuthiary Welcome to the challenge Nijwm, just post in this thread your YT video of the B min study.

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    • Blaise Laflamme thank you for the welcome. I'll try to post a practice session of a few measures this week hopefully.

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  • martin

    I am also in as there are many beginner Sor pieces to choose from.

    I just hope that our Sor Master Eric Phillips will be able to join the challenge

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    • Andre Bernier I'm happy to see you in this challenge André, I also hope Eric will join in this time!

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

      Andre Bernier Glad to hear it Andre! Sor indeed wrote a lot of music suitable for just about every level. He was not only a great virtuoso, but a fine pedagogue too! I second (along with Blaise) your hope that our friend Eric will join in for this challenge.

      Like 1
  • Here is day one with Andante from Op. 45, No. 5.  I'll try to remember to turn off the metronome when speaking next time!

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

      Rick Lord You're off to a fine start, Rick! That's a beautiful practice space you have, btw. Out of interest, do you always use the same guitar or do you switch them up? (I notice a number of cases behind you!)

      Like 1
    • Rick Lord thank you for sharing your practice session with us, always a pleasure to listent to you Rick!

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    • David Krupka I think Rick only has one guitar and switches it from case to case everyday 😆... but in any «case» he has a great music space where he produces great material 💪

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    • Rick Lord well done Rick. Beautiful piece from Sor. Thanks for sharing with us.

      Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Rick Lord Great start, Rick - especially for day one! I am always glad to see your postings. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

      Like 1
    • Rick Lord Sounding great, Rick. Such a wonderful piece of music, and a bit more manageable than Op 21 (which you performed masterfully).

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    • Rick Lord Hi Rick!  So nice to see you again.  I always enjoy your posts.  The Sor Andante is off to a fine start.  It’s nice to see how you approach a new piece.

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    • Marilyn Blodget thanks for listening.  Glad to connect with you here.  I have always enjoyed your posts as well!

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      • Derek
      • Derek
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Rick Lord Sounds great Rick - it's a good job you mentioned the metronome - I thought I had a leak in a water pipe somewhere :-)

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  • Thanks David! Yes, I was fortunate to remodel a small rectangular room in our basement with no windows (good for audio recording) and add some acoustic treatment on the walls.  I have 5 different classical models I have collected over the years.  My primary rotation is between a 640 Michael Thames, a 640 Marcus Dominelli (in this video), and a 650 Marcus Dominelli. All cedar double tops.  Oh, and there's a Les Paul Standard 50's, model in one of those cases!

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

      Rick Lord Well, at least you have one good guitar, lol! (Actually, an embarrassment of riches is closer to the mark.) I too have a small collection of instruments, although nothing I own is particularly distinguished. I do have one luthier made guitar (Pat Lister, 1966) that I bought used a while back. Apparently, it had been tested (and given a stamp of approval!) by Segovia himself during a visit to Toronto many years ago. Possibly an apocryphal story, but I like to think it's true!

      I just discovered your interesting (and beautifully designed) website, btw. (I'm very impressed that you were profiled in AG magazine, which I used to read 'religiously'.) I really like the 'Thought of the day' section - the most recent entry captures my own view of our place in nature. (I also love the short video from Hydra! 'The rose in the garden' is one of the first pieces I learned when I returned to the classical guitar as an adult.)

      Like 1
  • Fantasie Elegiaque Op 59 Nov 7

    Okay, when I got an email inviting me to join this challenge, I just could not resist. And so it is with more than a little fear and trembling that I have started working on this monumental piece of music, knowing full well that I will not finish working on it by the end of this challenge (if I ever finish at all).  It’s all about the journey, though, right?

    This piece is dedicated to Madame Charlotte Beslay, who had been a student of Sor’s, but who died in childbirth in 1835, less than a year before Sor wrote the piece. It is widely suspected that Sor was in love with her. It is one of Sor’s last pieces, as he himself died in 1839.

    With a piece this size (it generally lasts between 15-20 minutes, depending upon the tempo) dividing it into sections is vital. Sor himself has already divided it into two parts: an Andante Largo and a Marche Funebre. For now, I will only be considering the Andante Largo.

    Carlo Marchione has a video lesson here on TB in which he divides the Andante Largo into five sections, and I really like his breakdown. He says that it follows the five parts of a “grave speech” according to the rhetorical norms of Sor’s time. Here is my best understanding of the five parts:

    1.       Measures 1-34 Introduction. Here the announcement is made that the person is dead, and this section expresses universal mourning for the dead person. Notice the descending chromaticism and the rhythmical “heartbeats” in this section.

    2.       Measures 35-50 Personal Lament. Here the individual giving the speech expresses his grief over the dead person. The music here is like a deeply sorrowful aria. Marchione likes to play this section somewhat piano.

    3.       Measures 51-66 More intense despair. The individual giving the speech now expresses grief with even more powerful emotion. Musically, Sor repeats the material from the previous section, but with more ornamentation that suggests deeper emotion. Marchione likes to play this section more forte.

    4.       Measures 67-107 Consolation. The person giving the speech now begins to express a bit of hope, albeit still tinged with sadness. Musically, Sor changes the key to G major. There are still several dark harmonies and chromaticism, however, that make it clear that the happiness is still a bit false, like a mask.

    5.       Measures 108-134 Conclusion. Like the introduction, this section of the speech expresses more universal lament. Musically, there are several similarities between this section and the first section, most notably the triplets.

    Here is an initial video with just the first section, measures 1-34. An unfingered score is attached.

      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Eric Phillips I just knew your Spidey senses were tingling at the prospective of a Sor Challenge and you wouldn't be able to resist. 

      This is a very impressive beginning, Eric. Beautiful tone and phrasing. You are well on your way. Really looking forward to your progress. And it is great having you back in the fold. All is right with the world (well, not all I guess, but in our little corner).

      BTW, I just watched Marchione's TB lesson and I agree it is wonderful.

      Like 1
    • Eric Phillips 

      Great to see you back. This is a great and complex piece of music and I like the explanation you provided. As usual, you are doing great. 👍

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart Thanks, Jack. Marchione's lesson was excellent for helping me to see the big picture as well as the sheer magnitude of the music. I have to admit, though, that I would love to hear some his thoughts about fingering of some parts. I suppose if he had opened up that can of worms, however, the lesson could have lasted for several days!

      Like
    • Andre Bernier Thanks, Andre. I hope we hear from you soon as well.

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