Fernando Sor – Galop for guitar op. 32 no. 6

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This galop by Sor was absolutely up to the minute in dance terms when he published it in 1828, because the galop as a dance had only just been introduced to Paris ballrooms at that moment. The galop went very fast, hence its name, from a horse’s gallop. The galop was the ancestor not only of the polka but also of the can-can which as is well-known can sometimes go at breakneck speed.

So this Galop, like the Mazurka which is also from this op. 32, should be played fast and very much with the dance-floor in mind, with immense liveliness. And whereas the mazurka may have been fast, this galop was surely even faster.

It shows Sor’s intense interest in dance. He was himself a skilled dancer. He counted many young ladies among his pupils who would certainly have been very interested in dancing. His talented young daughter Caroline who was with him in Paris at that time would certainly have gone to dances and if her father was so up-to-the-minute about dances, did he accompany her to those Paris dances?

This galop is intended for beginners on the guitar, as we can see from the title-page of the 1828 collection from which it comes, Six petites pièces faciles et doigtées avec soin (Six short and easy pieces, carefully fingered).

You can hear this Galop played by Marek Cupák here.

The complete set of Sor’s Six petites pièces op. 32 is available from Tecla Editions at www.tecla.com as part of the new 2019 second edition of Sor’s New Complete Works for Guitar edited by Brian Jeffery. For details about Sor’s music and his biography, please see www.tecla.com.