Variations on a Theme from Mozarts The Magic Flute
Opus 9 No 1 (March Religieuse) by Fernando Sor (1778-1839)
Fernando Sor was a Spanish classical guitarist and composer. He is best known for his guitar compositions, but he also composed music for opera and ballet, earning acclaim for his ballet titled Cendrillon. Sor’s works for guitar range from pieces for advanced players, such as Variations on a Theme of Mozart, to beginner pieces.
Opera was the staple of the Parisian musical diet in the first half of the 19th century. In fact, Opera was the dominating force of nearly all aspects of Parisian musical cultures. Of course, in the 19th century, practically the only way to bring concert music, including operatic music, into one’s own home was through arrangements for household instruments such as the guitar. In Six Airs from Mozart’s The Magical Flute, Sor prepares a few highlights from the opera. Here, a consumer could experience the grandeur of large scale work by a great master, but reduced to a manageable proportions. Although such arrangements were often conceived primarily as money-makers for publishing houses, the Airs are quite deserving of the concert stage.
For the solemn tone of the first and sixth movements, keep the tempo even and play the chords with a full rich tone. In the 3rd movement keep the ornaments quick and light.