Fernando Sor - Guitar Sonatas (2014)


Ricardo Gallén

Fernando Sor’s guitar sonatas rank among the most important compositions in the guitar repertoire, harmonically exquisite, at times full of melancholy and longing, but also lively and virtuosic. Ricardo Gallén, one of the most outstanding guitarists of our time, gives an impressive and stylish rendition of these masterpieces, performing on a copy of a 19th-century Fabricatore guitar by Arnoldo García.


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Ricardo Gallén

Ricardo Jesús Gallén García studied guitar and ancient music at the Universities of Salzburg (Mozarteum) and Munich with the Masters Fisk, Eglhuber, Spiri, Gilbert, Huebscher and Clerch, graduating in 1999 in the Master Class (Konzertexam) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, Germany with Joaquín Clerch. He has given recitals and played in concerts with more than 25 orchestras under the direction of well-known conductors such as Maximiliano Valdés, Juan José Mena, Sergiu Comisiona, Leo Brouwer, En Shao, Monica Huggett or Jordi Savall,  throughout Europe and America, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Cuba, the United States, Russia, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel, in concert halls like Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Auditori and Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Schostakovich Hall in Saint Petersburg or Tchaikowsky Hall in Moscow.

Ricardo Gallén García has recorded many works for the state radio and televisions in Spain, Finland, Belgium, Romania, Germany, Cuba, Mexico, Poland, Chile, South Korea, Hungary Australia and Bulgaria. Presently on the market are his first five Cds recorded for NAXOS, in which he performs music by Giuliani, Brouwer, Takemitsu, etc., as well as all of the concerts for guitar and orchestra by the Spanish master Joaquín Rodrigo. His first recording was among NAXOS' 50 top-selling records for 2001, and received sensational reviews in the specialized press. His sixth Cd (double cd) with the Bach Complete Lute Suites was released by Sunnyside Records in New York in June 2013.

He was featured on the cover of the August, 2000 issue of "Classical Guitar Magazine" in which he was interviewed by Cecilia Rodrigo, Joaquin Rodrigo's daughter. His biographical information has been included, among others, in the fifth edition of The Classical Guitar: It's Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1800, written by the director of the Ashley Mark Publishing Company, Maurice J. Summerfield.

Ricardo Jesús Gallén García has received over twenty international prizes, including: 1st Prize at the 32nd Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition 1997, in Markneukirchen, Germany, 1st Prize and a Special Prize for the best interpretation of the works of Enrique Igoa at the 14th Andres Segovia International Classical Guitar Competition 1998 held in La Herradura, Granada, 1st Prize at the 4th Alhambra International Guitar Competition 1998, 1st Prize and the Special Audience Prize at the 33rd Francisco Tárrega International Guitar Contest 1999, 1st Prize and five Special Prizes (Best Interpretation of a Cuban work, the Leo Brouwer Special Prize, the Cuban National Union of Writers and Artists Musicians Association Prize, the Music Recording and Publishing Company Prize and the Cuban Radio and Television Institute Prize) at the 11th International Guitar Competition held in Havana, Cuba in 2002.

He was Eliot Fisk’s Assistant Professor in “Mozarteum” University in Salzburg for five years and he is currently Professor at the HFM “Franz Liszt” in Weimar, Germany.

Recently he got the “Andres Segovia” Medal Award given by the Andres Segovia Foundation in Spain.

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Fernando Sor - Guitar Sonatas (2014)


Ricardo Gallén


"Gallén's overall approach to the four sonatas [...] is wonderfully idiomatic. He understands the kind of Enlightenment rhetoric which Mozart and Haydn used, and brings superb clarity as well as sympathetic expression to the music's progress.[...] Gallén makes these movements flow so naturally that it seems he has been studying them for a lifetime.[...] Without doubt, this is the finest classical guitar sound I have heard on disc so far.[...] A splendid set of performances which could almost be regarded as authoritative for the Sor sonatas, captured with startling realism in 5.0 high-resolution sound. Highly recommended."

John Miller[read full review]

    Audiophile Audition

“This is a lovely performance and recording of the guitar music of Fernando Sor. […] The performances on this disc is passionate and well-played. […] Sor’s music’s always a delight and Gallen is a fine performer who honors the music with this fine high resolution addition to the catalog.”

Mel Martin[read full review]


Ricardo Gallén erweist sich als fabelhafter Deuter der Gitarrensonaten von Fernando Sor. Seine vitale Interpretation erschließt expressive Räume durch zum Teil erstaunlich freie Agogik.

Cornelius Rauch[read full review]


"Splendid performances of Fernando Sor’s four sonatas, recorded in a stunningly natural surround sound. Gallén’s playing is rhetoric, elegant and richly nuanced." © 2014 Remy Frank, Pizzicato

Remy Franck

    MusicWeb International

"Indeed, anyone who is normally averse to the classical guitar will be astonished at the expressive range and buoyancy of these pieces.[...] listening to this little gem [Op.15b] again only deepened my respect and admiration for composer and performer alike. The nimble progress and jewelled flourishes of Op. 14 are also delightful, as is the the sense of genial engagement that pervades the entire collection. This too is a ride, a journey through sun-dappled landscapes, in which Gallén knows all the important sights and landmarks.[...] Sor and Gallén both shine brightly; a treat, and not just for guitar fans either." © 2014 Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

Dan Morgan


"This SACD's stunnning sound [...] makes it the best recorded one with Fernando Sor's music." -- "The performance is so intense, so beautiful [...] that places Sor in the forefront of the plucked string repertoire of his time." "One of the best guitar recordings of the last years[...]."

Gonzalo Pérez Chamorro


"Ricardo Gallén literally embraces these Sonatas in a musical flow of extreme sensibility, offering rare and precious nuances. Few recordings devoted to the guitar can claim to posses such intelligent playing. The emotion is tangible, like a watermark on music that is a revelation. A warm sound recording that perfectly restitutes the medium and bass frequencies of the instrument, this SACD is a small miracle many will hold on to jealously." © 2014 ,

Jean-Jacques Millo


"While there are many recordings of Fernando Sor available, this one really stands out.[...]Ricardo's playing sounds effortless and graceful, with elegant phrasing, stylistic concern, and in service of the music."

Len Verrett


"[...] this is very good music, and it’s extremely well played by Gallén. The Sonata Op. 25, which has four big movements (the first of them slow and brooding), manages to convey a remarkable degree of contrapuntal interest, and Gallén has the admirable ability to differentiate melody, accompaniment, and inner parts in such a way as to create layers of sonority that are consistently captivating. [...] the music has substance as well as plenty of virtuoso passage work, and the result is thoroughly enjoyable [...]" - © ,

David Hurwitz

Fernando Sor - Guitar Sonatas (2014)


Ricardo Gallén

Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Gonzalo Noqué
Mastering Equipment: Neuman KH120A
Microphones: Sonodore, DPA
Producer: Gonzalo Noqué
Recording Engineer: Gonzalo Noqué
Recording location: Iglesia de SanMiguel, Cuenca, Spain
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256

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EUDDR1401: Fernando Sor - Guitar Sonatas
01:14:54   Select quality & channels above
Grande Sonate Op.25-Andante Largo
00:09:03   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.25-Allegro non troppo
00:08:10   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.25-Theme and Variations
00:05:52   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.25-Andante Largo
00:04:07   N/A
Sonate Op.15b
00:09:24   N/A
Grand Solo Op.14
00:10:36   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.22-Allegro
00:10:10   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.22-Adagio
00:08:50   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.22-Menuetto
00:03:35   N/A
Grande Sonate Op.22-Rondo
00:05:07   N/A

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