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Fernando Sor, beyond the guitar

A new recording by the Orquestra de Cadaqués (Ibèria Filharmonia) conducted by Sir Neville Mariner. The CD presents seven of Ferran Sor’s orchestral works, most of them unknown to today’s public. Among the seven works there are three overtures for ballets, a genre that Sor cultivated assiduously from 1821 to 1826 (probably as a consequence of his relationship with the ballerina Felicité Hullin) and which gained him international renown. They are from Alphonse et Léonore ou L’amant peintre written in 1823, Hercule et Omphale, written in 1826, and Cendrillon, the ballet that accompanied the inauguration of the Teatre Bòlxoi in 1825. An earlier work is also included, the overture for the melodrama La Elvira portuguesa, dating from 1804, and also the three symphonies located so far, probably composed around the same time, before Sor had to abandon Spain fleeing the repression of pro-French sympathisers. These symphonies, despite their denomination, are formally overtures with one or two movements, a very typical occurrence in Spanish music from the 18th century and the beginnings of the 19th  century. 1. Obertura d'Hercule et Omphalle [audio:http://blog.trito.es/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/1_obertura_hercule.mp3] 2. Simfonia núm.1 - Largo [audio:http://blog.trito.es/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/2_simfonia_num1_largo.mp3] 6. Obertura de Elvira la portuguesa [audio:http://blog.trito.es/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/6_obertura_elvira.mp3] This recording is not only of great musical interest but also has significant documental value. It revives a forgotten theatre music repertory, of ballet and melodrama from the first half of the 19th century, which at the same time illustrates what symphonic music was like when the Romantic movement was just beginning, and all in all through the orchestral production of a composer who up till now had only been taken into account as a composer of guitar music. By way of a curiosity, it should be mentioned that around 1828 Sor sent Ferdinand VII the overture from Hercule et Omphale, with a letter where he tried, in vain, to obtain the king’s pardon and regain the royal favour, having being disgraced because of his stance during the Napoleonic occupation. Further information...
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