Antonio Soler was born in 1729, and received his early musical instruction from his father, a military musician in the Spanish Army. At the age of 6 he entered the Abbey of Montserrat and became a choirboy in the famous escolania. He also learned how to master the harpsichord and organ, and met Domenico Scarlatti and the singer Farinelli who were both employed by the Royal Family at the court at El Escorial. Soler taught the sons of Carlos III, and it was for the princes that he composed some of his most dazzling sonatas. Some of these works exceeded the range of many of the instruments in use at the time, and it is worth noting that Soler was in addition to being a composer, an instrument builder of some talent, and the instruments he developed could accommodate the demands his music required.
The sonatas on these CDs show Soler had moved away from the single movement sonatas of Scarlatti, and had adopted (like Haydn and Boccherini at the time) the four-movement form which became the norm for the classical sonata right up to and including the early sonatas of Beethoven. By the time Soler composed these sonatas in the 1760s, the new forte-piano had begun to make serious inroads and displace the harpsichord. This recording uses a forte-piano that enables the Alberti bass to be used to maximum effect – something a harpsichord cannot achieve.
- Booklet note.
- New recording.