Author Topic: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode  (Read 778 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1903
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« on: November 23, 2016, 05:50:35 AM »
If Vicente Martín y Soler (1754 – 1806) has his own thread, so  Toni "Padre" Soler should, too! Certainly there's more music out there, of his output. I'll open a thread: Name-suggestions are welcome.

Quote
Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, usually known as Padre ('Father', in the religious sense) Antonio Soler, known in Catalan as Antoni Soler i Ramos (baptized 3 December 1729 – died 20 December 1783) was a Spanish composer whose works span the late Baroque and early Classical music eras. He is best known for his keyboard sonatas, an important contribution to the harpsichord, fortepiano and organ repertoire..

Soler was born in Olot (Catalonia, Spain) in the historical County of Besalú. In 1736, when he was six, he entered the Escolania of the Monastery of Montserrat where he studied music with the resident maestro Benito Esteve and organist Benito Valls. In 1744, he was simultaneously appointed organist and subdeacon at the Cathedral of La Seu d'Urgell. Later in life, he was chapel master in Lleida and at the Royal Court in El Escorial. In El Escorial, he studied with professors about different subjects of music. [wiki]



Classical CD Of The Week: Ersatz-Scarlatti? Diego Ares Plays Antonio Soler

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/11/23/classical-cd-of-the-week-ersatz-scarlatti-diego-ares-plays-antonio-soler/#ffc8e5469876


Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15495
Re: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 07:19:33 AM »



[Cross-posted in WAYLTN]

Now here's something to savor.  I've got a few discs of Soler sonatas, though just a tiny fraction of the full output, which as far as I know has been recorded thrice on harpsichord, with a piano set underway by Naxos.  This disc is different than others in that it is played by a man who was partly responsible for bringing Soler into the recorded age.  Frederick Marvin, who passed away last year at the age of 96, discovered Soler in 1946 in an obscure book published in the 20s, and then he unearthed Soler's sonata manuscripts in the Spanish monastery where Soler resided.  He also unearthed the Fandango in Barcelona.  Based on his research and collaboration with harpsichordists, he determined that the Fandango was written especially for the fortepiano, though some harpsichordists mastered it.  (Scott Ross seemed to have no problem with it, for instance.)  He also published his own edition of the sonatas.  For his efforts, Mr Marvin was honored by the Spanish government.  He also received some honors from the French government.  As a pianist, he trained with Artur Schnabel, Rudolf Serkin, and Claudio Arrau, and he recorded some Soler for Decca decades ago.  That disc is available on YouTube.  He also recorded some Liszt and some Dussek, but he seems to have largely disappeared from non-academic consciousness. 

This disc contains recordings from concerts given between 1969-86, and from two Soler festivals.  Some are obviously live as there is applause, and some seem to be transferred from LPs.  Sound quality varies, from acceptable-to-good to quite poor and riddled with noise.  (Around half the tracks have either remnants of other recordings resulting from taping over existing material or bad distortion or other noise.)  Marvin's playing is all good.  Real good.  He displays a rhythmic flexibility at least equal to Larrocha, though different, and though never retiring or too soft, he plays with a remarkably varied touch, with some ravishingly beautiful ornaments sprinkled throughout.  His trills can be a special delight.  Were he recorded in SOTA sound, I would not be surprised if his low end dynamics were as nuanced as those from Marie Luise Hinrichs; the Andantino MV12 more or less reveals that even with sub-par sound.  As if to drive home the point that Marvin can rock with the best of them, MV21 explodes out of the gate, showing he can deliver whatever needs to be delivered.  The disc ends with a poor-sounding, phase-challenged live recording of the Fandango.  He starts slow, but picks up the pace.  One can hear the approximation of castanets and guitars, and though one can tell this is live (ie, some obvious fudges), it doesn't matter a whit.  It's recreative art with of-the-moment inspiration.

I'll be streaming Mr Marvin's Dussek soon enough.  I may also explore some more Soler recordings this year, which, in concert with all the Mompou I plan to listen to, will give this year a Spanish flavor.

I think I'll contact Eloquence to suggest reissuing Marvin's Decca Soler properly.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5338
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 08:02:02 AM »




Although I have a few discs of the sonatas on the piano and enjoy them, I prefer when they are played on the harpsichord. On the Pierre Vérany label, there are some discs by Mario Raskin that beat them all IMHO (the series seems incomplete, or some of them are impossible to find), as well as the 6 harpsichord quintets, music I absolutely adore. Above are 2 examples of these discs.

Online Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3815
  • Location: Germany
Re: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2018, 11:44:55 AM »
Not much going on here. I have had a few Soler disks for several years but got back to him because a month or two ago I stumbled over the EMI disc with Marie-Luise Hinrichs from the late 1990s (Todd has a very laudatory thread for this pianist somewhere.) Hinrichs on piano seems to focus more on the "melancholy", pensive aspects. Whereas Belder (Brilliant) on harpsichord has more of the "Spanish gypsy guitar" flavor. I had the first volume for a few years but re-listening I liked it so much that I just ordered the Brilliant (not complete, I think) Box.
I also have an older CD with Scott Ross playing a selection and the Fandango variations with Staier (but in this case it is the only Soler piece on the disk) And one of the chamber disks with Brosse shown above. But as far as I remember the keyboard music is more distinctive than the quintets.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Online Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3815
  • Location: Germany
Re: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 11:00:06 AM »
I now got the Brilliant-Box with Belder. The sonatas on the two discs with fortepiano are completely different from the roughly Scarlatti-like earlier pieces (played on harpsichord by Belder). They are in 4 movements but with a rather uncommon order, typically starting with an andante, followed by an allegro, a (often longish) menuet and another fast movement. While these are quite nice, at first listening I clearly prefer the "Scarlatti-like" ones.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Todd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 15495
Re: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2018, 07:24:38 AM »


[Cross posted in WAYLTN thread.]

What's better than Soler's sonatas for a single keyboard?  How about concertos for two keyboards!  OK, the works aren't necessarily better, they are more or less qualitatively equal.  And they offer something different.  I own few if any other recordings with two harpsichords, and, at least as recorded here, the aural impact of two harpsichords is most intriguing.  First one notices the rich lower frequencies.  In a good number of dual piano recordings, the middle and upper registers start to dominate, but here, unexpectedly, it's the lower frequencies that dominate.  When the instruments double the same notes or when they cover a wider range of lower register notes than a single player or even four-hands combo can, the music becomes underpinned by an almost pianistic weight.  Sweet.  Then there's the melodic content.  Soler offer the dual soloists some wonderfully contrasting material, and when combined with the spatial split when listening through speakers, one can aurally and almost visually enjoy related but different music being played simultaneously.  The music lacks the ultimate pristine craft of Bach, but it's not far behind.  And while the two keyboard works, like the solo keyboard works, lack the rhythmic flair of Scarlatti, Soler is again not far behind.  I've been spending some quality time with Soler's solo keyboard works this year, and this augments that quality time.  Most enjoyable. 
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Online Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 15353
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: Fr. Antonio Soler's Sole Abode
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2018, 09:34:04 AM »


[Cross posted in WAYLTN thread.]

What's better than Soler's sonatas for a single keyboard?  How about concertos for two keyboards!  OK, the works aren't necessarily better, they are more or less qualitatively equal.  And they offer something different.  I own few if any other recordings with two harpsichords, and, at least as recorded here, the aural impact of two harpsichords is most intriguing.  First one notices the rich lower frequencies.  In a good number of dual piano recordings, the middle and upper registers start to dominate, but here, unexpectedly, it's the lower frequencies that dominate.  When the instruments double the same notes or when they cover a wider range of lower register notes than a single player or even four-hands combo can, the music becomes underpinned by an almost pianistic weight.  Sweet.  Then there's the melodic content.  Soler offer the dual soloists some wonderfully contrasting material, and when combined with the spatial split when listening through speakers, one can aurally and almost visually enjoy related but different music being played simultaneously.  The music lacks the ultimate pristine craft of Bach, but it's not far behind.  And while the two keyboard works, like the solo keyboard works, lack the rhythmic flair of Scarlatti, Soler is again not far behind.  I've been spending some quality time with Soler's solo keyboard works this year, and this augments that quality time.  Most enjoyable.

I share your appreciation of Soler, who was inspired by Scarlatti's example, added some Spanish flavour and developed towards Classicism. I also share your appreciation of these pieces for two harpsichords  as well (or organs, but sofar the former works better for me).  This has been my favourite performance:



Q

À chacun son goût.