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Why has Soler been so neglected? #2842380
04/25/19 03:57 PM
04/25/19 03:57 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKU...-dG3W1Uy67VkQ_kqyM-7kqpkVuVBM1OwgP3hZzoM

In a Youtube search I found only one famous pianist who has recorded Soler(The recording above is by a different pianist who I think is sensationally good). Without even searching I know that tons of famous pianists have recorded Scarlatti and/or play his works in recital. But I think Soler's Sonatas are on the same level or at least reasonably close to the ones by Scarlatti.

Do you think Soler is neglected by pianists and, if yes, why?

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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842406
04/25/19 05:30 PM
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Weissenberg and Larrocha recorded Soler so that makes at least two smile
I think there are others, but I don't have access to my library now.
Personally I find his sonatas less innovative than Scarlatti's, some are good but many do not appeal to me as much.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842441
04/25/19 07:34 PM
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I think a place like ArkivMusic would be a better gauge of available recordings than a YouTube search. On Arkiv there are 600 Scarlatti recordings (529 of which are keyboard sonatas) and 96 Soler recordings (also heavy in keyboard sonatas). Among the listed performers of Soler are Alicia de Larrocha, Stephen Hough, and Trevor Pinnock. So, Soler's music is doing fairly well I would say.

Many such comparisons could be made....for example Medtner (130 recordings) as compared to Rachmaninoff (1,928 -- oddly, 1,560 listed under "Sergei" and 368 under "Sergey"). I like Rachmaninoff, but I mean really: 150+ recordings of Rach PC2?

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: scriabinfanatic] #2842448
04/25/19 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
I think a place like ArkivMusic would be a better gauge of available recordings than a YouTube search. On Arkiv there are 600 Scarlatti recordings (529 of which are keyboard sonatas) and 96 Soler recordings (also heavy in keyboard sonatas). Among the listed performers of Soler are Alicia de Larrocha, Stephen Hough, and Trevor Pinnock. So, Soler's music is doing fairly well I would say.
i wonder if a lot of the Soler you mention recordings are on the harpsichord and not the piano?

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842454
04/25/19 08:26 PM
04/25/19 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKU...-dG3W1Uy67VkQ_kqyM-7kqpkVuVBM1OwgP3hZzoM

In a Youtube search I found only one famous pianist who has recorded Soler(The recording above is by a different pianist who I think is sensationally good). Without even searching I know that tons of famous pianists have recorded Scarlatti and/or play his works in recital. But I think Soler's Sonatas are on the same level or at least reasonably close to the ones by Scarlatti.

Do you think Soler is neglected by pianists and, if yes, why?
The gentleman who researched, edited and sparked an interest in the works of Soler (1729-1783) was pianist Frederick Marvin (1923-2017).

Quoted from Syracuse University concert notes in 2002.....

"Marvin is renowned for his research, editing, publishing and recording of the works of Soler, an 18th century Spanish composer whose music had been hidden in obscurity until Marvin brought it to light. Marvin garnered two Del Amo Foundation grants, three Fulbright Fellowships and three grants from the United States-Spanish Joint Committee for Cultural and Educational Cooperation for his research on Soler. His scholarly achievements brought him the honor of Knight Commander of the Spanish “Orden del Merito Civil” from the Spanish government. He was also awarded the “La Medaille de Vermeil, Croix de Commandeur” of the Societe Academique “Arts-Sciences-Lettres” of France for his solo concerts."

I had the opportunity to hear Marvin perform several Soler sonatas in an informal recital at my college in 1965 in Los Angeles. (Marvin had formerly been head of the piano department there in the late 1940s, and eventually went on to teach at Syracuse University). He told us how he'd discovered numerous Soler scores in a monastery in Spain. Not long after hearing Marvin play, I purchased a small volume of Soler sonatas that he'd edited.

Here he is interpreting Soler in a 1957 recording.
https://youtu.be/mnCqHVoNP9U

Obviously Marvin was a gifted pianist.

Regarding your Scarlatti vs. Soler question...I don't know. Soler's works certainly seem to be comparable in quality, and deserve to be heard.


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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842462
04/25/19 08:44 PM
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Soler's music did not make it into the modern repertoire until Joaquin Nin's edition of Seize Sonates Anciennes d'Auteurs Espagnols of 1925, (everybody has a copy, right?) while Scarlatti was widely available much earlier. I attended a concert of Soler sonatas played by Nin's son Joaquin Nin-Culmell many years ago, but I was introduced to his music by the recording of his concerti for 2 organs by E. Power Biggs and Daniel Pinkham, a classic album. Nin-Culmell was a mentor to Alicia De Larrocha, who recorded an album of the sonatas in the 60s or 70s.

The Rubio edition of the Sonatas came out beginning 1957, about the same time as the Marvin edition. Before these three editions, Soler's music was pretty much hidden away in the shelves of the monastery, so there has not been a lot of time for them to come into the standard repertoire.

I have read that Rubio came to believe that the Fandango attributed to Soler was by someone else, and that he had an idea of who it was, but died before he revealed who he thought wrote it. He may have been correct, but who knows?


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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842472
04/25/19 09:33 PM
04/25/19 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[...]Do you think Soler is neglected by pianists and, if yes, why?


Who?

Cheers!


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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: outo] #2842490
04/25/19 10:56 PM
04/25/19 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
I find his sonatas less innovative than Scarlatti's, some are good but many do not appeal to me as much.

That's about it.

It feels to me kind of like (I realize this'll seem like a pretty far-off thing, but that's how it is sometimes) grin .....kind of like Tchaikovsky's Concerto #1 and Concerto #2.

#2 is, I'd say, about 60% as good as #1.

Silly to say a number there, of course, but that's how things are sometimes. ha

It's 60% as good -- but that doesn't mean it gets played or heard 60% as much, nor that it deserves to be. If something is 40% less good than something else, we tend not to be interested in doing something with it very much. In any given instance, if you're feeling like doing something of that nature -- that type of music, or whatever -- you'd almost always rather do the thing that's so much better. Sometimes you'll opt for the lesser thing -- for a change, or for its novelty -- but not much.

I think Soler, by and large, is about 40% less good than Scarlatti.
(Silly to put it that way, but it works, doesn't it.....)

P.S. I really like Tchaikovsky's 2nd Concerto. It's real real good.
The slow movement, to me, is one of the very special slow movements in the concerto literature, and the other movements are very good too.
But the concerto isn't in the league of #1.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842504
04/26/19 12:15 AM
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What has really been neglected in the performing repertoire are the additional forms that Soler developed, beyond the binary sonatas of Scarlatti. There are sonatas with three or four movements, but they are not played nearly to the extent the binary sonatas are. I have to admit, that although I have some of the non-binary sonatas, I have not explored them myself.


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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842666
04/26/19 01:11 PM
04/26/19 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKU...-dG3W1Uy67VkQ_kqyM-7kqpkVuVBM1OwgP3hZzoM

In a Youtube search I found only one famous pianist who has recorded Soler(The recording above is by a different pianist who I think is sensationally good). Without even searching I know that tons of famous pianists have recorded Scarlatti and/or play his works in recital. But I think Soler's Sonatas are on the same level or at least reasonably close to the ones by Scarlatti.

Do you think Soler is neglected by pianists and, if yes, why?


I like Soler and his sort of angulous music, it is always fun to play. I think he has a lot of points in common with Scarlatti; both lived in Spain and some of that is present in their music. Both composed many keyboard sonatas. It is always difficult to compare composers or pieces, especially when criteria are not defined. Personally I still have a preference for Scarlatti, which I find more creative; Soler can be a little more conservative and predictable, more repetitive.

There are plenty of composers that are never played anymore, certainly less innovative than Scarlatti but interesting to play like Pistoia, Giovanni Platti, Paganelli or Georg Benda.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842672
04/26/19 01:48 PM
04/26/19 01:48 PM
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Something not mentioned yet:
It is thought that Soler may have studied with Scarlatti.

I was going to say just that he studied with Scarlatti but figured I'd better look it up before saying, and, to my mild surprise, it just isn't known, nor even whether the two guys ever met. I mean, it's not like I'd expect there to be selfies of them together grin but, wouldn't we expect that something like this would be known, one way or the other?

Interesting. smile

It seems a good guess at least that Soler was familiar with some of Scarlatti's music.
I'd be interested to know where the surmisement comes from, about Soler having studied with him.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842735
04/26/19 06:12 PM
04/26/19 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
I think a place like ArkivMusic would be a better gauge of available recordings than a YouTube search. On Arkiv there are 600 Scarlatti recordings (529 of which are keyboard sonatas) and 96 Soler recordings (also heavy in keyboard sonatas). Among the listed performers of Soler are Alicia de Larrocha, Stephen Hough, and Trevor Pinnock. So, Soler's music is doing fairly well I would say.
i wonder if a lot of the Soler you mention recordings are on the harpsichord and not the piano?


After some browsing of sonata recordings of both composers, that seems to apply pretty much equally to both of them.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842744
04/26/19 06:49 PM
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There is a lot more Soler which is best suited to the organ, rather than either piano or harpsichord. All three might have been available to Soler.

Spanish baroque organs are interesting. Here is an article about them.


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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: scriabinfanatic] #2842749
04/26/19 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
I think a place like ArkivMusic would be a better gauge of available recordings than a YouTube search. On Arkiv there are 600 Scarlatti recordings (529 of which are keyboard sonatas) and 96 Soler recordings (also heavy in keyboard sonatas). Among the listed performers of Soler are Alicia de Larrocha, Stephen Hough, and Trevor Pinnock. So, Soler's music is doing fairly well I would say.
i wonder if a lot of the Soler you mention recordings are on the harpsichord and not the piano?


After some browsing of sonata recordings of both composers, that seems to apply pretty much equally to both of them.
Which may bring the Soler piano recordings to a pretty low number.So far only two or three well known pianists have been mentioned as recording any Soler.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842757
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Another interesting composer from about the same time in Spain is Sebastian de Albero - he has 30 sonatas in print.

Sam

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: BDB] #2843301
04/28/19 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Soler's music did not make it into the modern repertoire until Joaquin Nin's edition of Seize Sonates Anciennes d'Auteurs Espagnols of 1925, (everybody has a copy, right?) while Scarlatti was widely available much earlier. I attended a concert of Soler sonatas played by Nin's son Joaquin Nin-Culmell many years ago, but I was introduced to his music by the recording of his concerti for 2 organs by E. Power Biggs and Daniel Pinkham, a classic album. Nin-Culmell was a mentor to Alicia De Larrocha, who recorded an album of the sonatas in the 60s or 70s.

The Rubio edition of the Sonatas came out beginning 1957, about the same time as the Marvin edition. Before these three editions, Soler's music was pretty much hidden away in the shelves of the monastery, so there has not been a lot of time for them to come into the standard repertoire.

I have read that Rubio came to believe that the Fandango attributed to Soler was by someone else, and that he had an idea of who it was, but died before he revealed who he thought wrote it. He may have been correct, but who knows?


Biggs also recorded a work by Soler (sorry, I can't remember which piece) for his "Historic Organs of Spain" album. Absolutely marvelous sound.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2843920
04/30/19 09:56 PM
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Yes, I think the Spanish school as a whole is not played as often as say the French school (and that would include Ravel, Faure and Debussy, along with Couperin and Rameau. And I would include Chopin and Liszt as well, just because of their formative years spent in Paris). Everyone plays the German school, that is like mandatory. Excepting Scarlatti (which a lot of concert pianists include on their programs, probably taking their cue from Horowitz), not many venture into Granados and yes Soler is rarely found.

Another neglected composer appears to be C.P. E. Bach, whose piano sonatas were the precursor to Haydn's output.


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Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2843955
05/01/19 01:29 AM
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If we consider Baroque and Classical era I would say everything is neglected compared to German-Austrian music...

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: pianoloverus] #2844012
05/01/19 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
If we consider Baroque and Classical era I would say everything is neglected compared to German-Austrian music...
It's not really a question of neglect in the sense of not being performed as much as they should be. It's more that the great keyboard composers(Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven)with the exception of Scarlatti were all German-Austrian.

Re: Why has Soler been so neglected? [Re: BeeZee4] #2844017
05/01/19 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeZee4
Yes, I think the Spanish school as a whole is not played as often as say the French school (and that would include Ravel, Faure and Debussy, along with Couperin and Rameau. And I would include Chopin and Liszt as well, just because of their formative years spent in Paris). Everyone plays the German school, that is like mandatory. Excepting Scarlatti (which a lot of concert pianists include on their programs, probably taking their cue from Horowitz), not many venture into Granados and yes Soler is rarely found.
I don't think Chopin and Liszt are generally considered part of the French school. I think music of Spanish composers like Albeniz, Granados, and deFalla are less performed than Debussy and Ravel mostly because they each wrote a small number of very great works(Iberia, Goyescas, Fantasia baetica) together with a larger number of lesser salon type works.

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