In a superb cd (sommcd0604) finely engineered by Gianni Ruggiero and Lello De Luca, SOMM has recently released a collection of works for guitar by the 18th century Catalan guitarist and composer Fernando Sor. The Italian virtuoso Gianluigi Giglio is the sole and superb soloist playing ten gems that chart the artistic progress of the composer.

Born in 1778 still under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church’s approved musical rules and regulations, it was a while before the Barcelona-born master came into his own. By 1822 and living in exile in Paris he is able to write expansively and authentically his utterly charming Les folies d’Espagne.

By 1836 , just three years before his untimely death at the age of 61, Sor proves himself not only a resourceful master of his instrument but an accomplished composer, with a full mastery of harmony and contrapuntal writing for an instrument that had for centuries been relegated to the strumming of amateurs in the bar and the café.

Sor elevated the guitar to its noble and rightfully earned place in the concert hall, paving the way for the Turinas and Granados and Fallas and Rodrigos and interpreters of generations still to come. In his 24 Progressive Lessons for Beginners Sor established the ABC of guitar playing.

And as for Gianluigi Giglio, last but not least, the music and the recording are blessed by a masterfully accomplished artist. Musically elegant, technically awesome, Giglio uncannily extracts a singing tone from an instrument long associated with chords, strumming, and plucking.

The spirit of Sor must have been gazing down from Parnassus casting a beneficent gaze on this worthy project.

***** Extraordinary

Rafael de Acha – Music Notes (