Sor: More Seguidillas. First US performance, November 1999.

The first performance in the US of “Sin duda que tus ojos”, a song by Sor now newly published for the first time in Sor’s Seguidillas Book 2.An e-mail (29 November 1999) from Steven Blier, Director of the New York Festival of Song, published here with his permission.


We did our first semi-performance last night of “Sin duda” at a cocktail-party/runthrough of the LATIN LOVERS concert. The piece went over beautifully, and Jamie Bernstein Thomas, who hosted the party, asked us to include it on the radio broadcast of concert excerpts in January. (She also co-hosts the radio show with me.) I let the gathering in on the fact that they were certainly hearing an American premiere, if not a Twentieth Century premiere as well, of the trio, and thanked my English guitar-guru benefactor (you) for directing me to it.

I chose the Peruvian song, “Los tristes,” to end the group of songs with guitar [“Los tristes” comes from Songs for Voice and Guitar, Tecla 0044]. The singers love it, and each of them takes a verse.


Below–an excerpt from the program notes

Steven Blier

Director, New York Festival of Song

PROGRAM NOTES, from the November 30, l999 program of The New York Festival of Song. The concert was at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.

The famous guitar works of Sor (1778-1839), especially his exercises which form a part of every classical guitarist’s training, have almost completely eclipsed the bulk of his musical output. Like many Spanish intellectuals, he had to flee his native country for political reasons in 1813. His musical gifts gave him entrée in many countries and he adapted his style as he went, dispensing Italian ariettas, English songs, and French ballet music to suit the occasion. But his musical heart belonged to Spain and especially to the guitar, where his proficiency and freedom had no equals in his day. The “Seguidillas” were written early in his life, around the turn of the century. These youthful pieces were meant for singing, dancing, improvisation, and carousing–they were party music, not high art. “Las mujeres y las cuerdas” is one of the best of them, with a wonderful, non-P.C. lyric. We’re also presenting the American premiere of “Sin duda que tus ojos,” culled from a new collection of Sor duets and trios [that is Seguidillas Book 2]. For this song, I am greatly indebted to publisher and scholar Brian Jeffery of Tecla Editions, who shared it with me before the book was published last month. For any guitarist or singer, his catalog is a veritable candy-store of enticements (and–a word to the wise–it’s easily accessed on his website,


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