52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing
this disc through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid world-wide.

Antonio SOLER (1729-1783)
13 Sonatas
Sonata in D, R.86 [5:40]
Sonata in D minor, R.24 [4:49]
Sonata in C sharp minor, R.21 [6:14]
Sonata in D flat, R.110 [4:23]
Sonata in A minor, R.118 [3:29]
Sonata in C minor, R.19 [2:55]
Sonata in C, M.27 [9:00]
Sonata in F, R.56 [7:10]
Sonata in D, R.92d [5:40]
Sonata in D minor, R.39 [3:04]
Sonata in G minor, M.38 [5:54]
Sonata in D, R.74 [4:53]
Sonata in G, R.43 [3:47]
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Fandango (from: Guitar Quintet in D, G.448), transcr. for two harpsichords* [5:46]
Richard Lester (harpsichord)
David Ponsford (harpsichord II*)
rec. no details given (compilation). DDD
NIMBUS NI5906 [72:49]

Antonio Soler's star is definitely waxing these days, at least as far as recordings go, with a good quantity of recent monographs across many labels. Some of these are single volumes in cycles currently in hand. Examples include Pieter-Jan Belder's on Brilliant Classics or the multi-artist project on Naxos - this latter more controversially using a modern piano. Others take a similar approach to Richard Lester here, serving up a choice selection of fruity, quirky, virtuosic Soler.
In his notes Lester assigns all the sonatas in his recital to one of three categories, not always in jargon-free language: those of a dance-like nature with "echoes of the guitar punteado and rasgueado styles", those approximating the new Galant style of the time, and those which "are slower and more vocal in nature [...] with a hint of the melismatic expression found in cante hondo".
Soler was influenced by Domenico Scarlatti, an honorary Iberian whose own five-hundred-plus keyboard sonatas are much better known. Anyone who enjoys Scarlatti's sonatas will find much to entertain and surprise in the mere 200-odd written by Soler, who was in many respects a more adventurous keyboardist - "the devil in monk's clothing", as one moniker had it - and arguably the greater composer. Certainly there are few if any better advocates for these pieces than Lester, a composer's musician who plays without cliché or affectation, his open-toed scholarliness striking just the right course between precision and warmth, pizzazz and coherence, devil and monk.
Unlike Soler, the slightly younger Luigi Boccherini did not write a fandango - or anything much, for that matter - for harpsichord. The one heard here is Lester's own arrangement for two instruments of the final movement of the guitar quintet in D, G.448 - mildly entertaining, but not a patch on the original. Lester's account of Soler's much-recorded Fandango is on another Nimbus disc, where he shares the programme with Portuguese composer Carlos Seixas, born a generation earlier than Soler (NI 5836).
Sound and technical quality are up to Nimbus's usual high standards, with minor variation in what is after all a compilation.
The booklet is fairly concise, with more information about harpsichord secondo David Ponsford than Boccherini, but generally covers as much ground as the non-specialist listener will require, including a brief description of the various instruments heard in this recording. Ponsford is lucky enough to own the two period replicas used for the Boccherini recording.
Collected reviews and contact at artmusicreviews.co.uk