Soler - 6 Concertos for 2 Harpsichords | Brilliant Classics 95327

Soler - 6 Concertos for 2 Harpsichords


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95327

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 9th September 2016



Agustin Alvarez (harpsichord)
Eusebio Fernandez-Villacanas (harpsichord)


Soler, Antonio

Concertos (6) for two organs (keyboards), R463


Agustin Alvarez (harpsichord)
Eusebio Fernandez-Villacanas (harpsichord)


These concertos have appeared on Brilliant Classics before, in their alternative guise as organ concertos (BC93763), and they were reissued within the invaluable boxset of complete keyboard sonatas on 9CDs (BC95143) which is dominated by the solo harpsichord sonatas in definitive recordings by Pieter-Jan Belder.

Although Soler originally wrote them for organ, the galant character of these six duet-concertos, however, may more fully be appreciated on harpsichord, Soler’s own instrument. A refined, delicate and carefree mood may be discerned in both slow and quick movements. So too an unmistakably Spanish flavour, reminiscent of Goya, abounding with subtle changes of colour and unexpected twists of mood and melody, in which popular and courtly characters are masterfully mixed. Indeed the composer probably played these concertos on the harpsichord himself, in company with his pupil and employer, Don Gabriel de Bórbon (a photograph of his palace adorns the back of the booklet). The concertos are chamber pieces, despite their name, and share the bipartite structure of the harpsichord sonatas, likely influenced by the example of Domenico Scarlatti, and they make great play with the possibilities of echo and elaborate ornamentation.

The Spanish harpsichordists Agustín Álvarez (b.1959) and Eusebio Fernández-Villacañas (b.1974) form the harpsichord duet L’entretien des clavécins. For this album they play on two instruments by the Milanese maker Andrea Restelli: a copy of a Pascal Taskin (Edinburgh 1769), and a copy of Pierre Donzelague (London 1711). They have presented the programme on this album in the context of a Goya exhibition at the Prado in Madrid, which houses many of the most renowned examples of his art.

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