I had never heard of Padre Soler before these wonderful discs arrived in the post a few days ago. However, being a fan of the chamber organ and baroque music in general, I popped the CD's into my player and was more than pleasantly surprised by what was on offer.
The Six Quintets are works of felicitous variety and contain much that is inventive and original. There is also constant interplay between organ and strings with some movements for organ alone and others for quartet. Although the majority are four to five movement pieces, there is one which is in three movements but which is actually split into a number of parts. Constant dialogue, themes and variations and a general sense of gaiety characterize the music that is very well played by Paul parsons and the Rasumovsky Quartet.
We also learn that the quintets were composed for the Spanish Royal Family to be played in the splendid retreat of El Escorial which was apparently quite a musical haven in the 18th century. Guild's recording is kind on the strings and the delightful sound of the chamber organ is never intrusive. Highly recommended to the chamber and organ lover and one should hope for more recordings from this composer in the near future.
Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech