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Friday, February 5, 2016

Antonio Soler, Sol de mi fortuna, Sonatas from the Morgan Library, Diego Ares

The Morgan Library in New York purchased in 2011 a cache of Antonio Soler (1729?-1783) manuscripts, which turned out to be a treasure trove of Harpsichord Sonatas of the Spanish master in their original versions, 29 unpublished. Young harpsichordist Diego Ares gives us world premier recordings of a good selection of them on his recent Sol de mi fortuna, Sonatas from the Morgan Library (Harmonia Mundi 902232).We get some 21 gems plus several "Preludio," "Interludio" and a Cannon.

Soler's Sonatas occupy an important and happy place for all adventurist listeners. There is a pronounced Spanish tinge to them, with plenty of thematic wealth and rhythmic vitality. There is a fascinating pre-rococo toggling between symmetry and asymmetry that has great charm and power to it. If you know and love Scarlatti's sonatas then you are bound to respond also to these. Whether Soler studied with him or not is unknown, but in any case the sonatas have a convergent quality with Scarlatti's yet have their own integrity and zest that rival the better-known exponent.

Diego Ares has the talent to bring the works to us in a most lively and brio way. He loves the sonatas, it is clear, and drives his readings with the care and enthusiasm the music deserves and demands.

The combination of works and execution gives us a real treat. Here is a great place to start if you do not know his sonatas, or a welcome addition of more for those that do.

Grab this one!

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