Sor’s ballet Cendrillon was undoubtedly the work that garnered him most success during his lifetime, playing a full season in London in 1822, then enjoying over one hundred performances at the Paris Opéra and numerous productions throughout Europe, from Amsterdam to Moscow. Sor’s piano arrangement of this popular work appeared in London just before Christmas in 1822, some seven years after Sor had arrived in England and just before he departed for new opportunities in continental Europe. Exiled from Spain in the aftermath of the Napoleonic occupation, Sor had spent a few years in Paris before moving to London in 1815, where he built a new life not only from performing in concert and in intimate gatherings of nobility and gentry, but with an active teaching practice in guitar and voice. Sor’s compositional output from this London period clearly targeted the wealthy and often aristocratic families from whom he made his living, with a stream of works for guitar, piano, voice, and their combinations, including Italian and English songs, and many dances that would have been suitable both for amateur performance and to accompany social dancing.
Sor’s involvement with ballet in London revolved around the King’s Theatre, which underwent a resurgence after John Ebers took over its management. In early March 1821 Ebers launched the season of opera and ballet to a crowded house of “elegant and fashionable company.” A standard program consisted of an Italian opera, with a danced divertissement inserted between its first two acts, and closed with a full-length ballet. Ebers was committed to the French ballet tradition, and drew his main dancers from the Paris Opéra. Ballet contri-buted spectacle and some titillation to the King’s Theatre’s offering; its advertisements always emphasized either the novelty of the work or the newness of its scenery, dresses and decor. When Ebers secured the appearance of the stunning young Spanish dancer Maria Mer-candotti, Sor must have seemed an ideal choice as composer: a Spaniard himself, he had a good position in society, a knowledge of France and successful dance publications to his name.
112 pages. Lay-flat binding.
Product Code: PSNT-2