Soler - Sol de mi fortuna (Harpsichord Sonatas from the Morgan Library)
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Label: Harmonia Mundi
Cat No: HMC902232
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 13th November 2015
ArtistsDiego Ares (harpsichord)
ArtistsDiego Ares (harpsichord)
Who would have thought that the principal source for the music of Padre Antonio Soler was still waiting to be discovered? The manuscript acquired by the Morgan Library of New York in 2011 has proved to be the richest extant collection of sonatas by Soler - 29 of them are unpublished.
For his first recording on harmonia mundi, the young harpsichordist Diego Ares reminds us of the powerful impression the composer made on a grandee of Spain in 1765: ‘Fray Antonio Soler produces finer sonatas from day to day’. Listening to this disc, one cannot but agree: each sonata is indeed a world unto itself.
"I felt it was the best way to express my gratitude for the opportunity I have been given here to share these wonderful pieces. They reveal to us the pupil of Scarlatti, the ‘scolare dil Sr. Scarlati’; and whether they transport us to the streets of Madrid, evoke the carillon he played on feast days, or hold us spellbound with his harpsichord in the intimate environment of his cell, the sonatas of Antonio Soler, radiant with light and joy, really do seem to emanate from a sun, that ‘Sol de mi fortuna’!" - Diego Ares [from his excellent booklet note]
Diego Ares was born in 1983 and studied the piano with Alis Jurgelionis and Aldona Dvarionaité and the harpsichord with Pilar Cancio, Richard Egarr, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher and Jesper B Christensen. The harpsichord maker Joel Katzman, the pianist László Gyimesi, the harpsichordists Rafael Puyana and Genoveva Gálvez, and the study of historical recordings have guided his work and his research.
Diego Ares appears in concert throughout Europe, chiefly in Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France and Benelux. He also performs in Japan. He began making recordings in 2006, and his two most recent releases on Pan Classics, devoted to Soler and Scarlatti, were both highly acclaimed by the press (Diapason d’Or, Excepcional in Scherzo magazine).
1. Preludio No.3 in C major
2. Sonata No.1 in C major: Andante
3. Sonata No.2 in C major: Prestissimo
4. Sonata No.17 in A minor: Andantino
5. Sonata No.18 in A minor: Allegro
6. Sonata No.40 in D minor: Allegretto
7. Sonata No.38 in D major: Allegro Non Tanto
8. Sonata No.11 in B flat major: Andantino
9. Sonata No.12 in B flat major: Allegro
11. Sonata No.7 in A major: Allegretto
12. Sonata No.8 in A major: Allegro Sofrible
13. Preludio No.4 in F minor
14. Sonata No.13 in F minor: Andantino
15. Sonata No.14 in F minor: Allegro
16. Sonata No.42 in A flat major: Andantino
17. Sonata No.43 in A flat major: Allegro
19. Sonata No.25 in B minor: Andante
20. Sonata No.26 in B minor: Allegro
21. Sonata No.30 in D major: Allegro
22. Sonata No.31 in D major: Andantino
23. Interludio 'El Inredo Se Deshace'
24. Sonata No.15 in C major: Andantino
25. Sonata No.16 in C major: Allegro
26. Canon a 4: Viva la Fama de Esse sol de mi Fortuna
1Preludio No. 3 In C Major
2Sonata No. 1 In C Major : Andante
3Sonata No. 2 In C Major: Prestissimo
4Sonata No. 17 In A Minor : Andantino
5Sonata No. 18 In A Minor: Allegro
6Sonata No. 40 In D Minor: Allegretto
7Sonata No. 38 In D Major: Allegro Non Tanto
8Sonata No. 11 In B-Flat Major: Andantino
9Sonata No. 12 In B-Flat Major: Allegro
11Sonata No. 7 In A Major: Allegretto
12Sonata No. 8 In A Major: Allegro Sofrible
13Preludio No. 4 In F Minor
14Sonata No. 13 In F Minor: Andantino
15Sonata No. 14 In F Minor: Allegro
16Sonata No. 42 In A-Flat Major: Andantino
17Sonata No. 43 In A-Flat Major: Allegro
18Interludio [D. Ares]
19Sonata No. 25 In B Minor: Andante
20Sonata No. 26 In B Minor: Allegro
21Sonata No. 30 In D Major: Allegro
22Sonata No. 31 In D Major: Andantino
23Interludio 'El Inredo Se Deshace'
24Sonata No. 15 In C Major: Andantino
25Sonata No. 16 In C Major: Allegro
26Canon A 4: Viva La Fama De Esse Sol De Mi Fortuna
The young Spanish harpsichordist Diego Ares already has recordings of Soler and Scarlatti sonatas to his name on the Pan Classics label. Here, in his debut recording for Harmonia Mundi, he explores some of the sonatas in a recently unearthed manuscript acquired by the Morgan Library in New York. It's a sumptuous selection, restoring several works to their original pairings.
This is music of abundant character and real charm, and it helps enormously that it's performed here on a splendid 2009 copy of a 1734 Sevillian harpsichord that has real depth of sonority, with a beautifully resonant bass. Ares knows exactly how to deploy rubato for maximum effect and, although there are numerous recordings of Soler's keyboard works in the catalogue, both the repertoire and the performance guarantee this new disc a special place.
These particular sonatas all appear to have been written in the mid-1750s, before Soler was ordained. They range from the elegantly poised (for example, numbers 38 and 15) to the forthright and athletic (the bass line in No.2, or the quick-fire repeated notes in No.18). One of the most striking pieces is No.11 in B flat, with its variations in mode (major/minor) and the exotically creeping chromaticism of its concluding paragraph. The 'pastoral' Sonata (No.30) contains distant drones and at times seems like an Iberian echo of Vivaldi's 'Spring' from the Four Seasons.
Alongside the sonatas, Ares plays two introductory preludes (tracks 1 and 13), as well as linking interludes (tracks 10, 18 and 23) which reflect Soler's own preoccupation with how to connect separate works in loosely connected keys. Ares's own fascinating notes demonstrate just how carefully thought-out his programme is.
Beautifully recorded and handsomely presented (right down to the choice of booklet cover), this is a wonderful collection that is sure to appeal to anyone who values the delights of late Baroque and early Classical keyboard music. And it marks an exciting label debut from a musician of whom we're sure to hear more!
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