After his return to Paris from travel abroad in 1826, Sor began publishing works for the guitar, and continued doing so right up to the year of his death in 1839. This piece is part of a set of 24 Exercises, probably written well after 1826. Andrés Segovia, the iconic twentieth century virtuoso guitarist, assembled and edited pieces from among this collection as well as from Sor's Opp. 6 and 29 (Studies), and 31 (Lessons), entitling the group Studies (20).
This B minor Etude is marked Allegretto and appears as No. 5 in the Segovia collection. Listeners hearing performances or recordings of both the Sor and Sor/Segovia versions will notice little difference between the two. It is the latter rendition, however, that has popularized the piece, not to mention Segovia's own brilliant performances of it. The work features a lovely, somewhat melancholy main theme, supported by serene running accompaniment. The music more than vaguely recalls the mood and style of the famous first movement of the Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata, though the pacing in the Sor piece is livelier, and its duration, at slightly over two minutes, is considerably shorter.