Fernando Sor – Study for guitar op. 6 no. 1

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In this study op. 6 no. 1 by Sor the bass line is important, so make sure that it is sonorously heard, especially at bars 21-24. It is a good idea to practice playing the bass line by itself, without the higher notes, until you are interpreting and phrasing that bass melody in its own right, and only then gradually add those higher notes.

This piece opens the collection of twelve studies which Sor published in London in about 1815/17. They were the first of Sor’s many famous didactic pieces for the guitar. Sor was about 37 and at the height of his powers, enjoying great success in London after he had been forced to flee from Spain at the end of the Peninsular War. His concerts and pupils were many; his songs poured from the presses; and the manager of the King’s Theatre, John Ebers, called him “the extraordinary Spaniard Sor, who is known to be the most perfect guitarist in the world”.

The complete set of Sor’s Twelve studies op. 6 is available online 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.