Antonio Soler

Antonio Soler

Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, usually known today as Padre Antonio Soler, (baptized December 3, 1729 – died December 20, 1783) was a Spanish composer whose works span the late Baroque and early Classical music eras. He is best known for his keyboard sonatas, an important contribution to the harpsichord, fortepiano and organ repertoire.

Early life

Soler was born in Olot in the Catalan province of Girona. In 1736, when he was six, he entered the choir school of the great Monastery of Montserrat where he studied with the resident "maestro" Benito Esteve and organist Benito Valls. In 1744 he was appointed organist at the cathedral in La Seu d'Urgell and appointed as a subdeacon there. Later in his life, he held posts as chapel master in Lleida and El Escorial.

Ministerial lifestyle

Soler took Holy Orders at the age of 23 and his routine with the Jeronymite order near El Escorial, Madrid was a simple one for the next 31 years. His 20-hour days were filled with prayer, contemplation and farming -- a simple and unadorned life. Yet, in these austere surroundings, Soler managed to produce more than 500 musical works. Amongst these were around 150 keyboard sonatas -- many were believed to have been written as sheet music for his pupil, the Infante Don Gabriel, a son of King Carlos III. Other pieces include Christmas villancicos [edited as "Siete villancicos de navidad" Instituto de Musica Religiosa de la Excma. Diputacion Provincial, Cuenca [Spain] 1979] and Latin church music including masses. No portraits of Soler are known to exist.


Padre Soler's most celebrated works are his keyboard sonatas, which are comparable to those by Domenico Scarlatti (with whom he is rumored to have studied). However, Soler's works are more varied in form than Scarlatti's with some pieces in three or four movements, for example (Scarlatti's are in one or two movements). Fortunately, Soler's sonatas were catalogued in the early twentieth century by Fr. Samuel Rubio and so all have 'R' numbers assigned to them.

Soler also wrote concertos, quintets for organ and strings, motets [edited by Ediciones Escurialenses, Editorial Patrimonio Nacional, 1983.] , masses and pieces for solo organ. He also wrote a treatise, "Llave de la modulación" ("The Key to Modulation", 1762).

Soler's very fine "Six Concertos for Two Organs" are still very much in the repertoire and have been often recorded. A fandango once attributed to Soler, and probably more often performed than any other work by him, is now thought by some to be of doubtful authorship.

elected discography

*Recordings of works solely by Soler
** "Soler: 8 Sonatas, Fandango". Played by harpsichordist Nicolau de Figueiredo. Passacaille 943
** "Soler: Fandango, 9 Sonatas". Played by harpsichordist Scott Ross. Erato
** "Soler: Fandango & Sonatas". Played by harpsichordist David Schrader. Cedille 004
** "Soler: Harpsichord Sonatas, vol. II". Played by harpsichordist David Schrader. Cedille 009
** "Soler: Sonatas". Played by pianist Elena Riu. Ensayo 9818
** "Soler: Complete Harpsichord Works". Played by Bob van Asperen (12 disks). Astrée
** "Soler: Sonatas para piano". Played by pianist Alicia de Larrocha. EMI CLASSICS
** "Soler: Los 6 Quintetos para clave y cuerda". Played by harpsichordist Genoveva Gálvez and the string quartet Agrupación Nacional de Música de Cámara. EMI CLASSICS
** "Soler: Sonatas for Harpsichord". Played by Gilbert Rowland. A multi-volume project on Naxos Records.
** "Soler: Six Concertos for Two Keyboard Instruments". Played by Kenneth Gilbert and Trevor Pinnock. Archiv Produktion 453171-2
** "Soler: 19 Sonatas". Played by Anna Malikova. Classical Records CR-049

*Recordings of works by Soler & other composers
**"Favourite Spanish Encores". Played by pianist Alicia de Larrocha with R. Frühbeck de Burgos conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. London/Decca Legends 467687
**"Grandes Pianistas Españoles". Played by pianist Alicia De Larrocha. Rtve 65235
**"Piano Español". Played by pianist Jorge Federico Osorio. Cedille 075
**"The Emperor's Fanfare". played by Michael Murray on his organ blaster cd.



* [ "Soler, Antonio (Father)"]
* [ "The Life and Times of Soler" (includes audio and sheet music of Soler's keyboard works)]

External links

* [ "Sonata No.10 in b-minor, performed by Ken Iisaka"]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antonio Soler — Antonio (auf katalanisch Antoni) Francesc Xavier Joseph Soler i Ramos, auch Padre Antonio Soler genannt, (* getauft 3. Dezember 1729 in Olot; † 20. Dezember 1783 in El Escorial) war der bedeutendste spanische Komponist der Klassik für… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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