The WL-14 is the flagship model of the Waterloo guitar line and the inspiration that started it all. Keeping true to the design and style of the era, the WL-14 is available in "ladder" bracing (L) as well as "X" bracing (X). The ladder bracing option provides woody and open tone, with midrange honk that's perfect for fingerstyle blues. The "X" braced version retains tighter focus and balance across the tonal range.
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The WA-14 is a classic condenser microphone based on the early 1970's microphone used on countless hit records. The WA-14 utilizes a custom all-brass CK12-style capsule, CineMag USA transformer, and a fully discrete signal path. The WA-14 can be used on an array of sources, such as; punchy/warm intimate lead vocals, acoustic/electric guitars, bass, drums/percussion, strings/orchestral material, and many other sources. The WA-14 provides a realism and thickness that is true to the vintage microphone, but now at an affordable price.
Fernando Sor (bapt. 14 Feb. 1778, died 10 July 1839) was a Spanish classical guitarist and composer of the Early Romantic era. Best known for writing solo classical guitar music, he also composed an opera (at the age of 19), three symphonies, guitar duos, piano music, songs, a Mass, and at least two successful ballets: Cinderella, which received over one hundred performances, and Hercule et Omphale.
Unlike modern classical guitar players, Sor used the smaller, slimmer "Romantic" guitars predating today's familiar Torres instrument. He used the ring finger of his plucking hand "rarely" and "only for harmony (never for melody)." He eschewed the use of nails on that hand.
Sor was descended from a long line of career soldiers and intended to continue that legacy, but was distracted from this when his father introduced him to Italian opera. He fell in love with music and abandoned his military ambitions. Along with opera, Sor's father also introduced him to the guitar.
In 1808, when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain, Sor began to write nationalistic music for the guitar, often accompanied by patriotic lyrics. Sor was even part of traveling military bands that would play protest music on the streets. He was also promoted to captain in Córdoba and may have fought battles against the French at this time. After the defeat of the Spanish army, however, Sor accepted an administrative post in the occupying government. Here he was to be officially labeled an afrancesado along with the other Spaniards who abandoned their defense of Spain to embrace the French Revolutionary ideas. After the Spanish repelled the French in 1813, Sor and other afrancesados left Spain for fear of retribution. He went to Paris, never to return to his home country again.
Having abandoned his family's ideal of a military or administrative post, Sor could finally give music a serious try in France. He gained renown at first as a virtuoso guitarist and composer for the instrument. When he attempted composing operas, however, he was rejected by the French. His Op. 7 was a large and strange piece, notated in three clefs, and no guitarist at the time could play it. Since France was no longer supportive of his music, Sor decided to try his talents elsewhere.
In 1815, he went to London to attempt to build a stronger music career there. Again, he gained considerable fame as a classical guitarist and gave guitar and voice lessons. Since ballet in London was more popular than opera, Sor decided to try his hand at this new genre of music. He had considerable success this time, especially with his ballet Cendrillon.
In 1827, partly due to his advancing age, he settled down and decided to live out the rest of his life back in Paris. It was during this retirement that he composed the majority of his classical guitar works. He had to comply with the demands of the public, though, and most guitarists wanted technically simple, nice-sounding pieces. It was in these last ten or so years of his life that his writings reveal his bitterness towards how his publications were being received by the public. For example, Op. 43 is entitled Mes Ennuis ("My Annoyances"), and six of his ballets are dedicated to "whoever wants them". These and other caustic remarks did not help his sales in the least. The foreword to Op. 45 goes even further than sarcasm: "Let's see if that's that. Six short and easy pieces in stages, which aim to lead to what has generally been agreed are difficulties. Composed and dedicated to the person with the least patience, by Fernando Sor. Opus 45."
"The creative worth of Sor's guitar sonatas is high. The ideas, which grow out of the instrument yet stand up well enough apart from it, are fresh and distinctive. The harmony is skillful and surprisingly varied, with bold key changes and with rich modulations in the development sections. The texture is naturally of interest too, with the melody shifted from top to bottom, to middle, and frequent contrapuntal bits added. Among the extended forms, the first Allegro movements still show considerable flexibility in the application of 'sonata form', especially in the larger number of ideas introduced and recalled. For that matter, the style still goes back to that of Joseph Haydn and Mozart, especially in the first movement of Op. 22, which has all the neatness of syntax and accompaniment to be found in a classic symphony, and its third and fourth movements, which could nicely pass as a Minuet and Rondo by Haydn."
"Here, Newman recognizes the creative value of Sor's guitar sonatas, but misconstrues several important points. Most significantly, Newman falls into an easy association of Sor's sonata style with that of Haydn (and Boccherini)." (p.1)(...) "The present article examines the formal and stylistic procedures employed by Sor in his guitar sonatas, determining appropriate models for these works and placing them in a likely chronological context. This examination affords a telling glimpse of Sor at two very different stages of his career: as a young composer in Spain emulating the imported cosmopolitan high-classical style of the Italian opera overture and Austro-French symphony; and as an established post-classicist exercising a personal aesthetic and a confident, individual approach to formal construction." (p. 3)
"How should one perform Sor's music? I believe the answer is with considerably more freedom, expression and passion than has, for the most part, been done in the recent past. Sor, in his method of 1830 has much to say about the use of tone color on the guitar and even discusses how to imitate the various orchestral instruments. This use of color is something that is very uncommon amongst modern guitarists. Ironically Sor says very little about other aspects of expression, but other guitar methods from the era do recommend much use of portamento, arpeggiation of chords, and other expressive devices which most people today consider anachronistic and completely out of style in the interpretation of the guitar music from this very era! (It never ceases to amaze me how so many modern guitarists and musicologists [...] don't even consider the wealth of material and instruction from Sor's era which cries out that this music is meant to be expressed with such devices as dynamics, tone color, portamento, chordal arpeggiation [...]. These same modern guitarists with the conspiratorial support of supposedly enlightened musicologists will often perform this music, sometimes on a "period" guitar, and use practically none of the above-mentioned expressive devices.)"
Sor was a prolific and, in his time, quite popular composer. There was a great demand for him to compose material that was approachable by less accomplished players. The resulting body of instructional studies he produced is not only noteworthy for its value to students of the guitar, but for its inherent musicality. Much of this work is organized in several opus numbers (in increasing order of difficulty): Op. 60 (25 lessons), Op. 44 (24 lessons), Op. 35 (24 exercises), Op. 31 (24 lessons), Op. 6 (12 studies) and Op. 29 (12 studies).
Sor undoubtedly played guitars by Pierre René Lacôte, mentioning: "M. Lacote, a French maker, the only person who, besides his talents, has proved to me that he possesses the quality of not being inflexible to reasoning".
"[...] if I wanted an instrument, I would procure it from M. Joseph Martinez of Malaga, or from M. Lacote [...]The guitars to which I have always given the preference are those of Alonzo of Madrid, Pagès and Benediz of Cadiz, Joseph and Manuel Martinez of Malaga, or Rada, successor and scholar of the latter, and those of M. Lacote of Paris. I do not say that others do not exist; but never having tried them, I cannot decide on that which I have no knowledge."
In his method, he also mentions that "J. Panormo" of London and "Mr. Schroeder of Petersburgh", made some guitars under his direction; but it is curious that he mentions them only in regard to his own guitar design ideas, which are today partly critically viewed. Guitars made according to Sor's design have not yet been located.
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