Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:
GRAMOPHONE (01/2016)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information

Harmonia Mundi

Code-barres / Barcode : 3149020223222


Outil de traduction (Très approximatif)
Translator tool (Very approximate)

Reviewer: Lindsay Kemp


It is easy to think of Antonio Soler as the Scarlatti pupil who perpetuated his master’s sonata style with the keyboard textures manned up a bit and the poetic inspiration watered down. A release such as this one, however, reveals that as a rather harsh assessment. Diego Ares’s bookletnotes ooze affection for this amiable keyboardist-priest, and his playing likewise does much to conjure, as he puts it, ‘the musical evenings when Brother Antonio, in the intimate surroundings of his cell, improvised on the harpsichord for a handpicked audience’. It makes the disc a pleasing and insightful introduction to Soler’s art, which, at once more gentrified than Scarlatti’s and more headily Spanish, is certainly worth getting to know.


For those familiar with it already, however, there is an added attraction in that Ares plays sonatas from a manuscript acquired by the Morgan Library in New York in 2011 which contains 43 Soler sonatas, no fewer than 29 of them previously unknown. The manuscript appears to date from the late 1750s, when Soler was still in his twenties and Scarlatti perhaps still alive. It arranges the sonatas in their original same-key pairs, some of them involving known works whose partner sonatas had been lost thanks to Soler’s rather generous habit of lending copies of them out; Ares writes of the experience of reuniting them as ‘deeply moving’.


From his thoughtful playing, too, there is no doubting Ares’s affinity for Soler. The virtuosity is there, but subtle rhythmic dislocation of lines leaves a prevailing impression of tenderness and wistful lyricism – not even the most clamorous of textures become harsh. His harpsichord – a copy of a lively, Tempranillo-rich Spanish instrument of 1734 – is clearly and atmospherically recorded. How lovely that the world of early music can still turn up delightful discoveries like this!


Fermer la fenêtre/Close window


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews