1778 | 1839
(Vertaling nog niet beschikbaar) Catalan composer and guitarist. He was educated at the choir school of the monastery of Montserrat, and then attended the military academy in Barcelona. His opera Telemaco was produced at the Teatro de la S Cruz, Barcelona, in 1796. In 1799 he moved to Madrid, and from then until 1808 he held administrative sinecures in Barcelona and the vicinity of Málaga, making occasional visits to Madrid. During this period he composed symphonies, string quartets, a motet and many boleros and seguidillas boleras for voice with guitar or piano accompaniment. Some of his works for solo guitar were probably also written at this time. Sor fought against the French during the invasion of 1808 and composed patriotic songs, of which Vivir en cadenas and Venid, vencedores (both with words by J.B. Arriaza) became famous. But in about 1810, like many Spanish intellectuals, he accepted an administrative post under the French. When the French retreated in 1813, he was obliged to leave Spain, and went to Paris. In 1815 Sor moved to London, publishing there 11 sets of three Italian ariettas for voice and piano, of which the Repository of Arts wrote (1 March 1820): ‘Mr. Sor's vocal compositions have gained such favour that a new set of arietts, from his pen, causes almost as much sensation as the publication of a new novel by the author of Waverley’. At this time he also published vocal duets and two English songs, as well as pieces for piano solo, piano duet and solo guitar. Four of his ballets were produced in London between 1821 and 1823, the most successful of which was Cendrillon. At its première the famous dancer Maria Mercandotti achieved her first big success in England. Cendrillon was danced at the Paris Opéra over 100 times and chosen for the grand opening of the Bol'shoy Theatre in Moscow in 1823. Sor went to Russia in that year with the ballerina Félicité Hullin, who danced the title role in the Moscow production. In 1826 he returned to Paris, publishing there immediately six guitar compositions probably written while he was in Russia and later his Méthode pour la guitare (1830) and further compositions for the instrument. He continued to teach and play the guitar until his death. Sor achieved fame as a concert performer on the guitar and is best known for his more than 65 compositions for that instrument, which form an important part of the classical guitar repertory. He took from Moretti the idea of playing on the guitar not merely chords but music in parts, and acknowledged his debt to Haydn and Mozart in matters of style. His Méthode has been called ‘easily the most remarkable book on guitar technique ever written’ (Grunfeld, 182). As well as his guitar compositions, his songs and ballet music were admired throughout Europe. His vocal music influenced his guitar music, above all in its treatment of melody.