One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor in Chief: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

 

  • Groundbreaking Weber
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Groundbreaking Weber

MWI RECORDING
OF THE YEAR


CD review L Wright
BBC Prom
CBSO Birmingham

MWI Editor In Chief
Recording of the Year


Orchestral Music


music that will please greatly


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear


vital imagination


Henrik HELLSTENIUS
A harum-scarum springboard


Always expect the unexpected

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Editor in Chief
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Antonio SOLER (1729-1783)
Keyboard Sonata no.28 in C [5:39]
Keyboard Sonata no.29 in C [2:18]
Keyboard Sonata no.30 in G [4:09]
Keyboard Sonata no.31 in G [1:58]
Keyboard Sonata no.32 in G minor [4:00]
Keyboard Sonata no.33 in G [5:40]
Keyboard Sonata no.34 in E [4:38]
Keyboard Sonata no.35 in G [2:39]
Keyboard Sonata no.36 in C minor [6:15]
Keyboard Sonata no.37 in D [4:08]
Keyboard Sonata no.38 in C [3:34]
Keyboard Sonata no.39 in D minor [3:55]
Keyboard Sonata no.40 in G [5:02]
Keyboard Sonata no.41 in E flat [5:25]
Denis Zhdanov (piano)
rec. Palau de Congressos, Girona, Spain, 28-30 November 2011. DDD
NAXOS 8.573084 [59:20]
Young Ukrainian pianist Denis Zhdanov takes the baton from Latvian Vestard Shimkus (8.572616, review) and, before him, Croatian Martina Filjak (8.572515). Itís the third volume in the Naxos series dedicated to the entertaining, imaginative keyboard sonatas of Catalan composer Antonio Soler.
 
Filjak, Shimkus and Zhdanov are consecutive first-prize winners of the Maria Canals International Music Competition in Barcelona (2008-10). The whole cosmopolitan series to date has been recorded in nearby Girona - the town of Soler's birth - in a spacious but attractive acoustic at the trendy Palau de Congressos there.
 
As short a while ago as 2007 Gilbert Rowland completed his 13-CD traversal for Naxos of Soler's complete sonatas (review of final volume). Why are Naxos doing another cycle already? is a good question - Rowland's was widely praised at the time, certainly as far as the later recordings were concerned.
 
Rowland is a harpsichordist and therein lies the primary difference here - all soloists in this new run perform on a modern piano. This naturally raises immediate questions concerning historical authenticity - Soler died before the grand became the powerful, highly expressive instrument it was in Beethoven's time, particularly with regard to pedalling.
 
On the other hand, as with Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas and J.S. Bach's keyboard concertos, there is something to be said for hearing Soler on a modern piano. Zhdanov, in his debut commercial recording, steers an appealing middle course between informed period performance and full-on romanticisation, confidently offering, like Filjak and Shimkus before him, a smoothing and colourful alternative to what are, to many ears, the jagged edges and monochrome of the harpsichord.
 
Keith Anderson's booklet notes are fairly perfunctory, with just a line or two on each sonata. He does however draw attention to nos. 40 and 41, the first of which "seems to suggest a new world" with its unusual modulations and "orchestral textures and suggestions of an operatic overture", whilst the galant style of the latter is "well suited to the developing keyboard instruments of the new age." As for the rest, it is fair to say that no one who enjoys Scarlatti's sonatas will be disappointed. Far from it, in fact: Soler was actually the more adventurous keyboardist - "the devil in monk's clothing", as he was sometimes known - and arguably the greater composer. Certainly, his sonatas deserve to be widely known, and in that respect at least none can complain about another Naxos cycle. Unfortunately, at the current release rate, and if Rowland's was anything to go by, the full set will be another decade coming.
 
Byzantion
Collected reviews and contact at artmusicreviews.co.uk