Fernando Sor, early 1820s, London, Russia, Paris


This article adds to our knowledge of Sor’s final months in London in 1822 and his subsequent Paris sojourn before he went to Russia in 1823. Central to Sor’s activity during this period was his involvement in the ballet Cendrillon, for which he wrote the music. Hitherto unknown reviews of the premiere at the King’s Theatre on March 26, 1822, show that both the ballet and the music were consistently well received by the London critics. This success led to action being taken to have the ballet staged at the Paris Opéra, and in the fall that same year Sor went to Paris, most probably in order to attend the preparations of the production there. During the long production period before the Paris premiere on March 3, 1823, Sor played in a number of concerts in the French capital, most of which have previously been unrecorded. Many of these concerts were reviewed in the press, and Sor was unanimously praised for his guitar playing. The Paris critics were, however, less enthusiastic about his ballet music than their London counterparts had been.


For an update to this article, see Erik Stenstadvold's letter in Soundboard Scholar, no. 8, "New Information on Sor and Gil Blas."

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