Sor’s Six petites pièces op. 32 were first published in Paris in 1828 with the title Six petites pièces faciles et doigtées avec soin (Six short and easy pieces, carefully fingered). They are:
- Andante pastorale
The Mazurka op. 32 no. 4 and the Galop op. 32 no. 6 are FREE TO EVERYBODY.
Sor dedicated this collection to a pupil whom he praised in his Method, Miss Wainwright.
The waltz, mazurka and galop in this collection show his great interest in dance, particularly perhaps the galop which was absolutely up to the minute in dance terms when he published this collection 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. It 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 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.
Sor 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?
These dances and indeed all the six pieces are intended for beginners on the guitar, as we can see from the title-page of this 1828 collection, Six petites pièces faciles et doigtées avec soin.
You can hear the Galop played by Marek Cupák here.
This edition comes from the new 2020 second edition of Sor’s New Complete Works for Guitar edited by Brian Jeffery. The Introduction and Index to the entire series can be seen here on this site.