SOLER (1729-1793) 10 Piano Sonatas
Sonata SR 115 in D minor [3:54]
Sonata SR 118 in A minor [3:59]
Sonata SR 19 in C minor [4:38]
Sonata SR 77 in F sharp minor [9:18]
Sonata SR 73 in D major [6:22]
Sonata SR 71 in A minor [4:27]
Sonata SR 72 in F minor [5:14]
Sonata SR 20 in C sharp minor [10:26]
Sonata SR 17 in E flat major [8:44]
Sonata SR 87 in G minor [4:16]
rec. Studio Karlsruhe (SWR), Sendesaal, 4-5 July 2006. CPO 777 200-2 [61:45]
Soler is one of the most important composers of the Spanish
Baroque. A pupil of Domenico Scarlatti, Soler took orders,
but whether out of devotion to God, to music or to both is
we do know is that he had plenty of opportunities to compose
and perform as part of his duties. As well as the inevitable
swathe of sacred music, there is also plenty of secular music. Many
of Soler’s secular pieces were composed for the Infante Don
Gabriel de Borbón, who was Soler’s pupil, and these sonatas
are among them.
is more than a touch of Scarlatti's style to Soler's writing
for keyboard, but his idiom is quite distinct. Characteristic
are his moving bass lines, unusual harmonic sense and his ability
to morph ornamentation into thematic material in its own right.
qualities are amply displayed in this thoughtfully arrayed
selection of sonatas. Minor modes dominate, and while the
majority are more contemplative creations, these are juxtaposed
with more sprightly pieces – the first two sonatas on the disc
are a case in point.
of the sonatas is played beautifully. The C sharp minor SR
20 is cool and refreshing. The F sharp minor SR 77 is quirky:
from its almost dour opening, it is startlingly modern in its
harmonies, the melodic embellishments woven into this piece
take on a melodic life of their own. The last two sonatas
are dreamy dances. The last on, SR87, is a dance interrupted,
and is smilingly played.
Hinrichs deploys delicate voicing and touch throughout. Purists
may object to her overtly pianistic conception of the pieces,
including her preference for augmenting her finger legato by
pedalling. Certainly Soler wrote principally for the clavichord
(and perhaps in his later years the new fortepiano), but Hinrichs’ pianistic
approach seems fully justified by the results. She is sensitive
to phrase and nuance, expressive above all and if anything
the longer decay allows the harmonic richness of Soler’s writing
to make itself felt.
attractive disc then, with those attractions enhanced by informative
liner notes and intimate recorded sound.
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