Fernando Sor (1778-1839) deepens in his own studies at the historical monastery of Montserrat his knowledge of the vocal and instrumental polyphonic heritage of the previous centuries. While studying counterpoint, harmony, singing and organ, Sor practises the repertory of composers such as Gabrieli, Vecchi, Willaert, Frescobaldi, Sweelinck, thus assimilating the stylistic development of the organ Fantasy to the point of the extreme consequences in the Bachian art. In his home country Spain, Sor plays all the important productions for pizzicato (“plucked”) string instruments – in the first place la vihuela , which specific use had generated new and more stylized polyphonic models – : therefore the works of composers such as Mudarra, de Fuenllana, Milan and de Narvaez have equally contributed to the education of Sor.
From a more strict and formal point of view, the Fantasies of Sor converge into the tendency of the developing concert phenomenon which is inherent to the first half of the nineteenth century, we can refer to great coeval virtuosos such as Kalkbrenner, Bertini, Field and Thalberg.
The Fantasies, on original Themes or even more frequently on given Themes (opera arias or popular tunes), give – through the principle of variations – a maximum prominence to not only the technical-expressive abilities of the instrument but also to the skill of the interpreter-composer. According to the tradition in the eighteenth century, the Fantasy generically takes a tripartite form; the core of Variations is preceded by a slow introduction and followed by a Finale, which is often a waltz or another dance of a brilliant nature. Though in line with these principles, Fernando Sor, who was characterised as a intimist personality, gives the best of himself in the introductive sections: they form the expressive heart of his compositions: through them he highlights his instrumental and tone colour expertise. Some of his Fantasies have a more romantic character or a programmatic intention; they move away from this structure, which results in a greater liberty specifically set out for expressive purposes.
- Recorded in 2009.
- For the first time complete on CD: the Fantasias for guitar of Fernando Sor.
- The works of Sor form the basis of the classical guitar style, developing the technique to a highly professional level.
- The works are charming, galant and well-crafted, classically styled.
- Played by one of Italy’s best guitarists: Stefano Palamidessi.
- Stefano Palamidessi studied guitar and composition and graduated summa cum laude from the “San Cecilia” conservatory of Rome. He won more than 20 competitions for guitar, including the International Contest “Mauro Giuliani”, “Fernando Sor”, “Lagonegro”.
- Stefano Palamidessi is also an enthusiastic organizer. Founder and promoter. From 1985 to 1991 of the Rome International Guitar Festival, he was the Didactic Director of the Fondazione Arts Academy of Rome, Artistic Director of the same Chamber Music Season, General Manager and member of the Board of Directors of the Orchestra Sinfonica Giovanile della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Roma. He is also the organizer of some important musical events, like the Summer Festival "Tuscania Città della Musica" (musical courses, opera, ballet and over 40 symphonic and chamber music concerts) and the Classical Plucked Instruments International Exhibition: he is the President of the Italian Guitar Society.