As a composer of operas, ballets, orchestral music, and chamber works, Fernando Sor was compared in his time to Ludwig van Beethoven, though in his studies for guitar, he may remind present listeners of his younger contemporary, Frédéric Chopin. The 24 Progressive Lessons, Op. 31 for guitar do not traverse all the keys as Chopin's Études, Opp. 10 & 25 do, but some of Sor's studies similarly exploit the relationship between major and relative minor keys, and the treatment of technical exercises as evocative character pieces is a shared Romantic trait. For this 2016 Naxos release, recordings by Norbert Kraft and his colleague at the University of Toronto, Jeffrey McFadden, are combined to make a complete set of Sor's Op. 31, and McFadden's recordings of the 6 Little Pieces, Op. 32 (which, interestingly, includes a mazurka, a possible nod to Chopin) fills out the disc. These guitarists play with sensitivity and charm, and their recordings, made in 2009, 2012, and 2013 in the same venue, the Green Room, Offord Hall, Aurora, Ontario, are quite consistent in sound quality.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|24 Progressive Lessons, Op. 31|
|6 Little Pieces, Op. 32|