Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:44 pm

Peskyendeavour wrote:
Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:13 pm
I ran through Op 60 sight reading while drunk the other night because I read this thread earlier in the day and it felt like I should do it. I had so much fun... I have decided to do it seriously now sober. ;-)

So I practiced #1&2 which are lovely, Sor is such a great composer... There is always something new I discover every practice session I go back to it.

#3 - feels like it's an all thumbs piece (- I tried to look up earlier posts here to see how you interpreted and played it, but I can't find it and the site/ browser keep crashing when I look through the pages of post... Give up... I'm no techy.) Advice? On #3 interpretation and RH fingering - not on the web.

These are beautiful melodies I'm totally hooked, though I must say before this I was already hooked on Sor and was working on Op 31 before jumping to this. In some ways most of these single line melody pieces are more beautiful and complex, and even harder to play well. The production of each note or its stopping or not is even more exposed and critical.

Do you find that too?

I realised I'm joining the "party" late, since this thread started before I joined the forum.... and I don't have any recording equipment either, hope you won't throw me out because of that... I can only be a silent player...
You are most welcome to this Topic with your comments and eventual recordings, Peskyendeavour. Yes, all of Sor's Opus 60 pieces are little jewels, those first three included. The #1 always gives me a special pleasure to play. The #3 is not that easy and you have to be able to play it well in order to start enjoying it. You should now try the #4 and the #5. Amazing ones!

If you want to listen to any particular rendition posted só far, you should look at the table of posted records in my post above and navigate the thread so as to reach the post of the author on the indicated date. Again, welcome, and enjoy the Topic :).
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

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Michael.N.
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:28 am

Jorge Oliveira wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:10 pm

Concerning the muting of notes, I don't have Scott Tennant's Pumping Nylon, I acquired Hubert Kappel's The Bible of Classical Guitar Technique instead, so I'll google the expressions you indicated above. As for Kappel's Bible, it is a massive 250 pages book with all sort of subjects and exercises. I looked quickly and could not find any reference to muting notes with the left hand, only a section called "Simultaneous Attacking and Muting with the Thumb" but it is not related to what we are talking about. Nevertheless, I'm sure Kappel talks about muting notes with the left hand somewhere. As for Sor, a Dutch good friend of mine, Monique, sent me the a link with Sor's Method for the Spanish Guitar and in it, in the last paragraph of page 17, he writes about "Buffed sounds" (the correct word should be "muffled", I think) but, again, it is not the same as muting and already ringing note, instead, it is how to produce a muffled sound by not pressing entirely the string against the fret, but not producing and harmonic either.

Finally, the rest stroke... I don't know if you play already the #4. I started it with free strokes, but when I moved to rest strokes, uau!, I got a markedly improved tone. You should try it :). Back now to the #14...
No he really did mean 'buffed sound'. Sor would have been very familiar with the square pianos of the period, many of which had a 'buff stop' (sometimes called a lute or harp stop) which mutes the sound, producing a pizzicato like effect. 'Buffed sound' makes perfect sense providing you are familiar with that type of piano. It wasn't long before the buff stop was out of use, 1820 and virtually all pianos had done away with it.
Whatever it's called, the effect is the same.
Historicalguitars.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:55 pm

I am very interested to know if we have any proof that Sor used string damping. I suspect that Romantic guitars of Sor's era had a very short sustain. But even if he did not use damping, our guitars are very different and they require it.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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Michael.N.
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:38 pm

The difference between romantic and modern guitars isn't that great. Certainly not different enough to be confused with deliberate damped notes. The proof is in his method. When he writes of 'buffed notes' he means exactly that. There's nothing to be confused about.
You can hear the effect of the buff stop on the famous Mozart alla turca played on a square piano. Being a pianist Sor would have been well aware of the buff stop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POImJk4zJjA
Historicalguitars.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:56 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:38 pm
The difference between romantic and modern guitars isn't that great. Certainly not different enough to be confused with deliberate damped notes. The proof is in his method. When he writes of 'buffed notes' he means exactly that. There's nothing to be confused about.
You can hear the effect of the buff stop on the famous Mozart alla turca played on a square piano. Being a pianist Sor would have been well aware of the buff stop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POImJk4zJjA
I will have to study the method when I have more time. The buff stop on a fortepiano is a voice. Articulation on the fortepiano comes from the damper, which is lifted by the key when the key is depressed; and released (to damp the string) when the key is released. So, yes, the damper provides very clear and definite articulation on the fortepiano. That does not prove that Sor used damping when playing the guitar. However, you are right that first research step is to read the method.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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Michael.N.
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:37 pm

We are referring to different things. I'm referring to the buff stop or 'buffed notes' as Sor refers to them on the guitar, even though he states that he rarely employs them.
I think you are referring to the correct duration of note values. I'd be very surprised if Sor ignored the note values that he wrote. Surely he was too good a composer and guitarist to do that, at least with any frequency.
Historicalguitars.

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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Peskyendeavour » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:50 pm

Oh I think I am using wrong terminology - when I say #3 feels like an all thumbs piece - I meant : all p - played using p on RH all the way through

I'm definitely enjoying it!!!

Shall do 4 & 5 as you suggest :-)

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:16 pm

Peskyendeavour wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:50 pm
Oh I think I am using wrong terminology - when I say #3 feels like an all thumbs piece - I meant : all p - played using p on RH all the way through

I'm definitely enjoying it!!!

Shall do 4 & 5 as you suggest :-)
No, no, I understood what you meant by "thumbs piece", the #3 uses indeeed the p a lot, altough I also use the other fingers here and there. I'm glad you are enjoying it :).
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:15 am

I'm now posting Sor's Opus 60 #15 for you all to listen to and comment. As usual, the record was produced with the Zoom Handy Recorder app on my iPhone, the sound capture being made by an iRig microphone that connects directly to the iPhone. The guitar used was my Aria A558 with D'Addario EJ46FF, High Tension strings (6 months and 15 days old already and still holding). The resulting .wav file was then processed with the Audacity audio editor on Windows 10 to produce the .wma file below. My impressions of this piece are, as usual, in green:

Sor’s Opus 60, Nº 15 (V1). Learning period: 12Jul17 - 27Jul17. Comment: The interesting thing about this piece is the rapid speed transition at the beginning of the 2nd section (measures 9-12). Once you master these measures, the rest is easy. The piece is to play in Allegro mode and I recorded it at 1/4 = 130 bpm. With practice, I think I could play it faster, but I feel there is no need, it's already beautiful enough when played at the present speed.
Sor, Fernando - Opus 60 #15 (V1).wma

So, now, the table of posted studies is the following:
Sor's Opus 60 recorded pieces as of 27Jul17.png

My next self-assignment is to post a sound file of the #16 study.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

Peskyendeavour
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Peskyendeavour » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:46 pm

:lol: So I'm practising # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (and also Op 31 1-4, which I started before seeing this thread)

The pieces are so simple yet so hard!

Beautiful - if I can play it right... That's where it's tricky. Interpretation, phrasing, tempo... Single note melodies are so exposed, get it slightly wrong and it's all horrible, I say to myself: don't forget stopping that note now, Sor put a rest specifically to ask you not to let it ring through! Yikes!

Is it true that Sor never use rest strokes?

Therefore if I played #3 through with thumb rest strokes only ( much fun with the booming sound!) it would be totally against the ethos ?
- Possibly get told off by Tom or Rob or both!! ? :lol: and other teachers around... :P

#4 I tend to use 3 on the D in bar 13 as opposed to 4 as Sor indicates... Then, the phrasing of this is clearly across bar lines but I find the leading note being in longer duration than the strong beat note makes it feel rather out on a limb... Maybe playing it too slowly, but do you know what I mean? The G seems to be left on its own, or am I stopping it too soon? It feels a bit choppy and however I try, thinking through, singing through, seems to be in bits... Urg...

#5 bar 10 I think it must be a misprint where 2 is used to hold down the E the A must be executed with 3?

#6 penultimate bar, contra motion of pull off and play E on (4) with 2 - what's the best way to do that in a seamless manner you found?

I don't have recording equipment nor do I play well at all, so you probably do better without hearing me play! No wish to make everyone cringe and run away from the thread! :roll: :lol:

Anyway I hope you feel I'm still supporting this thread by posting written comments and questions.

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:18 am

Peskyendeavour wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:46 pm
:lol: So I'm practising # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (and also Op 31 1-4, which I started before seeing this thread)

The pieces are so simple yet so hard!

Beautiful - if I can play it right... That's where it's tricky. Interpretation, phrasing, tempo... Single note melodies are so exposed, get it slightly wrong and it's all horrible, I say to myself: don't forget stopping that note now, Sor put a rest specifically to ask you not to let it ring through! Yikes!

Is it true that Sor never use rest strokes?

Therefore if I played #3 through with thumb rest strokes only ( much fun with the booming sound!) it would be totally against the ethos ?
- Possibly get told off by Tom or Rob or both!! ? :lol: and other teachers around... :P

#4 I tend to use 3 on the D in bar 13 as opposed to 4 as Sor indicates... Then, the phrasing of this is clearly across bar lines but I find the leading note being in longer duration than the strong beat note makes it feel rather out on a limb... Maybe playing it too slowly, but do you know what I mean? The G seems to be left on its own, or am I stopping it too soon? It feels a bit choppy and however I try, thinking through, singing through, seems to be in bits... Urg...

#5 bar 10 I think it must be a misprint where 2 is used to hold down the E the A must be executed with 3?

#6 penultimate bar, contra motion of pull off and play E on (4) with 2 - what's the best way to do that in a seamless manner you found?

I don't have recording equipment nor do I play well at all, so you probably do better without hearing me play! No wish to make everyone cringe and run away from the thread! :roll: :lol:

Anyway I hope you feel I'm still supporting this thread by posting written comments and questions.
Hi. Pesky endeavor (do you really wish to be called that?),
I was just reading Sor's method book. I am telling you that you that you will know where I am coming from. What I am going say below in response to some of your questions has nothing to do with what YOU should do. It is only how I have handled the questions that you raise [that is straight from Sor's method book].
  • I learn one piece at a time. There is a lot in these exercises. Each one introduces a new technique that has to be mastered. After I can play the piece well, and the correct movements come more or less automatically, I automatically start listening to the interpretation, and working on that. There is a lot of work, even in the simplest piece, and it requires full attention. I cannot work on two pieces at once. When I get tired of the piece I am working on, I practice sight-reading future pieces without attempting to learn them.
  • Sor indicated where he played a note with the thumb: the stem points down. You will find him using the thumb even on the 1st string, totally contrary to modern practice. I would not worry about historically correct playing right now, but focus on best musical effect. Sor made fingering choices according to the strength of the finger (p is strong, i is weak, m is medium strong, a is very weak). Today, we tend to use i, m, and a to play strings 3, 2. and 1. It is important to develop a consistent method to avoid mistakes. I use the modern method, and follow Sor's method only when I am totally dissatisfied with the results of the modern method.
  • Consistently stopping strings exactly where the note ends is difficult and demanding. If you do not, the music sounds like a muddled mess. To achieve good articulation and clear musical message, it is necessary to stop strings. You have to be somewhat selective and play within your abilities. The trick is to find the articulation that makes your playing sound clean and controlled, without overburdening your brain.
  • I just read about Sor and rest strokes, and promptly forgot it. I am not going back to look right now.
  • If I were to play Opus 60 #3 today, I would start by playing it with p on the 1st and 3rd beat, i on the 2nd and 4th beat, to give the strong-weak-strong-weak beat that it needs to keep it moving forward. After I wrote that, I thought I had better try it. It does not work. You will get stuck playing the 3th string with the thumb followed by the 6th string played with the i finger. Will not work. Where it does work, I would try that. Where it does not work, I would use only the thumb. I would also slur most of the beamed corcheas (eighth notes). I believe that is what Sor would have done. I tried that, and it gives a nice result. It will take practice, because it is against our entire modern training. Judge only by the results.
  • Opus 60 #4, bar 13. I don't see that it makes a difference if you play the D with 3 or 4. As far as the phrasing issue, give a try playing it the way Sor wrote it: use i on G at the end of bar 13 and use only the p for all of measure 14. Maybe that will solve your phrasing issue. That G at the end of bar 13 is meant to be a weak note at the end of a descending motif. Judge only by the results.
  • #5 Bar 10, playing the A with 2: Do not see why that should be a misprint. That is a very quick and secure movement to play the A with the 2nd finger; seems to me better than playing it with the 3rd finger. Judge only by the results.
  • #6, pull-off in next to last bar: Jorge Olivera already discussed this difficult maneuver earlier in the thread.
  • Final tip. I find that playing these pieces at 1/4 of performance speed is the fastest way to learn them. Once you have worked out all the technical difficulties, you can ratchet up the metronome and start playing faster. Judge only by the results.
I hope some of this will be helpful.
Oh, and as far as recording: I use a 60-sheqel Speedlink microphone and Audacity audio recording software (freeware). For minimal expense, you can set up recording capabilities on your computer. You will find recording extremely revealing, helps as much as a teacher. Not to suggest that recording is a substitute for a teacher…
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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Jorge Oliveira
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Jorge Oliveira » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:22 am

Peskyendeavour wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:46 pm
:lol: So I'm practising # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (and also Op 31 1-4, which I started before seeing this thread)

The pieces are so simple yet so hard!

Beautiful - if I can play it right... That's where it's tricky. Interpretation, phrasing, tempo... Single note melodies are so exposed, get it slightly wrong and it's all horrible, I say to myself: don't forget stopping that note now, Sor put a rest specifically to ask you not to let it ring through! Yikes!

Is it true that Sor never use rest strokes?

Therefore if I played #3 through with thumb rest strokes only ( much fun with the booming sound!) it would be totally against the ethos ?
- Possibly get told off by Tom or Rob or both!! ? :lol: and other teachers around... :P

#4 I tend to use 3 on the D in bar 13 as opposed to 4 as Sor indicates... Then, the phrasing of this is clearly across bar lines but I find the leading note being in longer duration than the strong beat note makes it feel rather out on a limb... Maybe playing it too slowly, but do you know what I mean? The G seems to be left on its own, or am I stopping it too soon? It feels a bit choppy and however I try, thinking through, singing through, seems to be in bits... Urg...

#5 bar 10 I think it must be a misprint where 2 is used to hold down the E the A must be executed with 3?

#6 penultimate bar, contra motion of pull off and play E on (4) with 2 - what's the best way to do that in a seamless manner you found?

I don't have recording equipment nor do I play well at all, so you probably do better without hearing me play! No wish to make everyone cringe and run away from the thread! :roll: :lol:

Anyway I hope you feel I'm still supporting this thread by posting written comments and questions.
Our friend Yisrael already answered nicely and thoroughly all your questions above, Peskyendeavour, I just wanted to add that we could be more helpful if we could hear records of your exploits into these little pieces. And, don't worry, we are all learning as well, we are not at all professional classic guitar players :D . My experience is that by posting records and listening to what other members have to say about them, I'm really improving my musical knowledge and I feel I'm playing better than before launching this Topic.

As for a recording equipment, well, if you have a smartphone you could install a recording app (ZOOM or iRig, for example) and use the microphone of the telephone itself to capture your sound. The resulting file can then be edited on a PC with Audacity (quite easy to use) to cut the bad parts and compose the final record. Not a big deal...
1972 - Kuniharu Nobe #8, 658/51, Spr, RW B&S, Tokio, JPN (under repair)
1979 - Ryoji Matsuoka No.40
1987 - Aria A558, 650/51, Ced, lam RW B&S, Nagoya, JPN
2014 - Hermanos Camps Master Nº 3, 650/52, CAN Ced, MDG RW B&S, Banyoles, ESP

Peskyendeavour
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Peskyendeavour » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:27 pm

Thank you Yisrael and Jorge!

Yes Yisrael, you can call me 'pesky' for short or others call me 'cheeky nutter', 'trouble' or any of those words. I answer to just about anything :p as long as it's kindly meant.

Oh yeah... forgot my phone can record - how silly of me - but it doesn't do wma files. Sorry I really won't have time to do any edits. So even if I can record wma files with an app (?any recommendations??) it will be direct one take recording- mistakes and all included.... Work and other things make me far to busy to make recordings a priority... but I know what you mean it's not easy for you to comment without hearing it. I appreciate it would mean less for me ultimately. Will eventually find an app. Right now the pieces are still too raw anyhow. Needs a lot more attention.

I play a few pieces at the same time due to my short attention span. :p but I do pay critical attention to details while I'm on it. Often I find When I come back to it, i see different things I won't have seen otherwise had I just spent an entire hour going over and over the same piece. I have a weird brain and a nutter I know... but I know that is how I work best. I don't move on till I've learnt it eventually but I take my time and I am not rushing to finish it or not paying attention to details or diluting my attention as such.

I like to learn the details like stopping notes from the start, take it slow and make sure I do them so that it's ingrained in me to stop it. Learning it later is like unlearning bad habits so even harder.

To even insinuate that I would ever play at concert speed is laughable. Starting slow yes but I would probably never play at speed Rob performs it (as posted on this thread)

I googled "Sor rest strokes" and immediately come across Tom Poors essay. So he didn't do rest strokes then... or at least not advocated it in his method.

#5 bar 10 the 2 is used to hold down the E so it cannot be magically deployed to play the A. Or are you advocating a small bar and dropping the joint?

#6 contra morion slur - sorry went back all the way and still couldn't find Jorge' discussion- I'm so sorry but could Jorge PM me the result? Or tell me which page it's on? I literally trawled through and still can't find - obviously being quite blind... incidentally Rob's recording sounds like he plays it rather than slurs it... is that true?
Or has my ears been deceived?

Pesky

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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by powderedtoastman » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:44 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:18 am

[*] I learn one piece at a time. There is a lot in these exercises. Each one introduces a new technique that has to be mastered. After I can play the piece well, and the correct movements come more or less automatically, I automatically start listening to the interpretation, and working on that. There is a lot of work, even in the simplest piece, and it requires full attention. I cannot work on two pieces at once. When I get tired of the piece I am working on, I practice sight-reading future pieces without attempting to learn them.
I admire your patience and focus with that!
I am always jumping around, I have a small handful of pieces each from Sor, Giuliani, Carulli and Carcassi that I am kind of working on at any given time. I isolate the trouble spots and get them "mostly good enough" that I can play them casually for people, and I'm continuously going back and refining things with pieces that I had previously set aside. I think what works for each of us is a little different though!

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Let’s learn Sor’s Opus 60 together, shall we?

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:51 pm

Peskyendeavour wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:27 pm
#5 bar 10 the 2 is used to hold down the E so it cannot be magically deployed to play the A. Or are you advocating a small bar and dropping the joint?
Pesky
Hi, Pesky,
No, I did not mean to drop the joint. I have a much simpler solution. I simply ignored the fact that the E is a dotted half-note. I did not notice it until you pointed it out. OK, you win.
Actually, since I have the Tecla edition, I think we can be quite confident that the contradiction originated with Sor himself. I therefore feel fairly confident that the fingering is correct and the notation wrong. That makes sense to me in every way. I would be happy to hear other people's opinion.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

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