Fernando Sor

(1778-1839)


Country: Spain

The Spanish classical guitarist and composer, Fernando Sor, was born in Barcelona to a successful family and his ancestors were made of a long line of career soldiers. Fernando parent's wished him to follow in his family's historical employment; this may have been the case had he not been exposed to Italian opera and the guitar.

Sor's parents did not encourage his passion for music (they feared the hobby would distract him from his Latin studies) and so by the tender age of 11 years of age he was composing songs with words in Latin to try to win over his parents. The new abbot of the famous monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat, Joseph Arredondo, heard of the youngster's musical talent and henceforth provided funds for him to attend the monastery's choir school.

The Spanish guitar player and composer, Fernando Sor

When Sor was 30 years of age Napoleon Bonaparte's French forces invaded Spain, and Sor supported his countrymen by writing patriotic songs for guitar and voice. However, after the Spanish defeat, he accepted an administrative post in the occupying government, and was thus labeled an afrancesado for abandoning the defense of Spain.

Fernando Sor wrote compositions for a wide range of genres, although today he is best known for his guitar works; his output included pieces for orchestra, opera, string quartet, piano, voice and ballet.

Sor's guitar music ranged from beginner to advanced levels. His contemporaries regarded him as amongst the world's finest guitar players and pieces like his Variations on a Theme of Mozart illustrates his virtuosity. Unlike modern guitarists, Sor avoided using the third (ring) finger of his plucking hand, and furthermore eschewed the use of fingernails.

Free sheet music by Fernando Sor

March Op 8 no 5

Minuet in C

Divertissement Op 1 No 1

Op 31 Etude no 5 Andantino

Op. 24 no. 1 Menuet

Op. 32 No. 1 Andantino