Pieter-Jan Belder’s zeal for the rediscovery of 17th-century keyboard music continues apace with this, the third volume in the first-ever projected complete set of the harpsichord sonatas by Padre Antonio Soler, contemporary and rival of Domenico Scarlatti. Like Scarlatti’s examples, these sonatas are intensely colourful, alternately exuberant and poetic, and always distinctive.
Soler (1729-83) was born in Olot, Catalunia, and became a monk at Escurial where he was organist and composer. A keyboard soloist of prodigious skills, he composed many sonatas for harpsichord (although not one has survived in his hand), organ works a Requiem, piano quintets and concertos for 2 keyboards, and incidental music to plays by Calderon and other 17th century Spanish playwrights.
Much research has been carried out to establish accurate performing editions of Soler’s music. The editions used in these recordings are by Professor Frederick Marvin who researched the extensive library and archives of Montserrat Monastery, El Escorial and Bibloteca de Catalunia in Barcelona in the 1940s through to the 1960s, and the edition by Padre Samuel Rubio.
- Booklet notes by Soler authority Frederick Marvin.
- "Stylish performances of sparkling sonatas in the mould of Scarlatti…he is also right in the groove in the sonatas, which he performs with style and clarity. If these performances are less thoughtful in approach than Bob van Asperen's in the early '90s (Auvidis Astree, 7/92), they benefit from a greater sense of spontaneity and more characterful instrumental sound. At super-budget price, it hardly needs adding that they are superb value" (Gramophone, May 2009).