SOR: 24 Exercises, Op. 35 / Pieces de Societe, Op. 33 (Bonnie Silver/ Steven Novacek) (Naxos: 8.553341)
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One of the greatest composers born in Spain during the eighteenth century, Fernando Sor first set out life as an opera composer, and later wrote symphonies, string quartets and sacred works. Now he is almost entirely known for his solo guitar music, though we may not have had this if he had not had a few lucky escapes fighting the French during the invasion of 1808.
But then he made the fateful decision of going over to the French side and worked on their administration during the occupation of Spain and was therefore forced to leave his homeland when the French retreated five years later. He eventually found asylum in London where he composed a ballet Cendrillon (Cinderella) which achieved such fame that it was danced over one hundred times at the Paris Opera, and was chosen to open the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1823.
This disc is part of the Sor Guitar Series on the Naxos label, and was recorded by the brilliant musician Steven Novacek at the studio in Newmarket, Canada in January 1995.
For hi-fi buffs we should point out that it uses twenty-bit technology for high definition sound.