Soler: 6 Concertos for 2 Harpsichords

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Composer: Antonio Soler
Artists: L’entretien des clavesins , Agustín Álvarez (harpsichord), Eusebio Fernández-Villacañas (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.

Tracklist:
00:00:00 Concerto No. 1 in C Major, R. 463: I. Andante
00:04:11 Concerto No. 1 in C Major, R. 463: II. Minué
00:07:48 Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, R. 463: I. Andante
00:12:06 Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, R. 463: II. Allegro
00:14:40 Concerto No. 2 in A Minor, R. 463: III. Tempo de minué
00:20:14 Concerto No. 3 in G Major, R. 463: I. Andantino
00:24:37 Concerto No. 3 in G Major, R. 463: II. Minué
00:29:23 Concerto No. 4 in F Major, R. 463: I. Afectuoso – Andante non largo
00:32:34 Concerto No. 4 in F Major, R. 463: II. Minué
00:37:16 Concerto No. 5 in A Major, R. 463: I. Cantabile
00:41:03 Concerto No. 5 in A Major, R. 463: II. Minué
00:46:43 Concerto No. 6 in D Major, R. 463: I. Allegro – Andante – Allegro – Andante
00:51:25 Concerto No. 6 in D Major, R. 463: II. Minué

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