Edited and fingered by Miron Weisbord.
(Includes a full facsimile of the autograph manuscript)
12 pp., $9.95, Presser Order number 490-01156 (PSNT-1)
The present edition is primarily based on the autograph manuscript of the piano solo version which I found in the Moscow archives of Count Mikhail Vielgorsky. A full facsimile of the music pages is included in this edition, and the title page is reproduced below. I have also consulted the printed edition of the same version, published by Paez in St. Petersburg in 1826. The Ms. and the printed edition show a number of variants in the music and in the programmatic text supplied by the composer. In general, the musical text in the autograph proved to be more representative of Sor’s musical language as is obvious from his music in general, and from his piano music in particular. However, some variant readings in the printed edition appear to be corrections and emendations applied to the final text and they were taken into account in this edition. Like many other composers of the time, Fernando Sor provided few articulation markings for the performer. That is why I decided to supply the Funeral March with fingering and pedal markings.
Fernando Sor (1778-1839) was a famous Catalan composer who is mainly known for his guitar music. His ballets were very popular in Europe in the early nineteenth century. He accompanied his wife, the ballerina Felicité Hullin-Sor to Russia, where they were received with honor by royalty and the nobility. It is remarkable that his ballet Cendrillon, where his wife danced the main role, was performed at the dedication of the new Petrovsky building of the Bolshoy Theater in Moscow in 1825. He wrote a considerable number of works for piano and for voice with piano accompaniments that is now receiving considerable interest. The Funeral March for Czar Alexander I was composed by Sor specifically to be performed by the Preobrazhensky Regiment military band during the Czar’s funeral processions on March 6 and March 13 of 1826. Sor made arrangements of the Funeral March for piano solo and for piano four-hands, and received the censor’s permission to publish them several days before the funeral actually took place. These arrangements were eventually published and made available for sale in both St. Petersburg and Moscow.
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