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Keywords

Fernando Sor, 1827, letter, facsimile, translation

Abstract

This article discusses a hitherto unknown letter, written by Sor in Saint Petersburg in April 1827. It provides new insight into the publishing and personal relationship between Sor and his Paris publisher, Antoine Meissonnier, to whom the letter was addressed. We learn about three airs with variations Sor was busy composing at the time; he was particularly pleased with the variations Meissonnier later published as op. 30. The letter also mentions some unknown Sor works, including a book of drafts at Málaga, and it reveals that Meissonnier had published, without Sor’s knowledge, music that he had received from sources other than the composer himself. Furthermore, Sor blames Meissonnier for having published in his name two minuets that were not actually composed by him, and for releasing as a solo piece the guitar part of a duo for flute and guitar. Finally, the letter reveals Sor’s negative attitude toward the engraving by M. N. Bates of his portrait—the only sure pictorial record of Sor we have. The article also sheds new light on the relationship between Sor and the young ballerina Félicité Hullin and the rupture between the two in 1827.

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