May 06, 2007

Fernando Sor

Have you ever tried to play classical guitar? I did when I was young. Not very succesfully and here you can see my guitar with one broke and one missing string. It has been a dust collector for years.

Anyhow, it was thanks to this guitar learning that I reacted when, again in the Montmartre cemetary, I suddenly saw the tomb of Fernando Sor ( More than anyone else he has contributed to making the guitar also a classical instrument. You can see from the flowers that he is not forgotten.
Fernando was born in Barcelona in 1778, played several instruments, was a good singer... He had a very early success as an opera composer (at 18), moved around in Spain and came under the protection of the famous Duchess of Alba (who also protected - an perhaps more) Goya. Fernando, as many other Spanish artists, after some hesitation, was in favour of the French invadors (again Napoleon) and when the French had to leave Spain in 1813, he followed.

He had a succesful career as composer, performer of different instruments and singer and made the tour of Europe. He got in love with a young French ballerina and spent some years in Moscow when she performed there. He then settled down more permanantly in Paris and concentrated on the guitar, composed a lot, teached the guitar and published his famous Guitar Method in 1830. He died in 1839.

Classical guitar music was not a big issue for long, but came again in fashion in the middle of last century. I had the previlege to twice assist to concerts of Andrès Segovia, who played a lot of Fernando's music.


Cergie said...

Fernando Sor ! Of course !

Tu n'es pas loin de la guitareria rue de Rome où s'approvisionnent tous les guitaristes
J'ai un fils qui a fait de la guitare classique au Conservatoire National de Région de Cergy et son prof disait qu'il avait les mains de Segovia, des mains très fortes avec les doigts éffilés au bout

J'ai eu du bon temps quand il jouait de la guitare, oui et c'est génial de commencer à 7 ans. Ce n'est jamais perdu même si on perd de la dextérité ça revient vite

Je ne savais pas que Sor était enterré à Paris...
Merci de cette info, cela me donne vraiment envie d'aller lui rendre hommage au cimetière de Montmartre où je ne suis jamais allée

lyliane said...

Tous les jours j'apprends de nouvelles choses avec ton blog, pourquoi ne pas l'avoir fait plus tôt? Comme Cergie, je ne suis jamais allée au cimetière de Montmartre et il faudra que j'y aille parcourir quelques allées avec toi cet été.

Cergie said...

Je suis allée à la butte Montmartre hier avec mon frère et ma belle soeur et l'A Midi, je les ai emmenés à Auvers sur Oise qui est tout près de chez moi
Encore rendre hommage aux frères Van Gogh

Peter said...

Van Gogh... Je visite Arles plusieures fois par an (belle-famille, amis...). La ville est imprignée par Vincent.

richard said...

Aha - I too am an amateur classical guitarist (for 35 years) and Sor was definitely an inspiration. Especially as his easier studies are in my opinion much more rewarding than his more difficult technically worked pieces. I never new he was buried in Paris! Thanks for the post

(And the non-blogger issues is fixed - thanks!)