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20th Century Spanish Composer Series - Josep Soler / Masó

Release Date: 05/11/1999 
Label:  Marco Polo   Catalog #: 225083   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Josep Soler
Performer:  Jordi Masó
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

...Like [Joaquim] Homs, [Josep Soler (b. 1935)] also is influenced by composers of the Second Viennese School, but also by the music of Bach, Palestrina, and other musicians of those eras. This is readily apparent in the Partita (1980); the titles of the eight movements (Sarabande, Allemande, and so on) refer to models offered by Bach, but the music itself speaks in a modern tongue. Soler's expertise in counterpoint (he wrote a text on the subject in the same year that he wrote the Partita) is apparent. A three-minute Sonata Fragment from the late 1950s is Bergian to the point of homage. "The Song of God," a sonata from 1993, is almost eccentrically individual. Speaking of eccentricity, I note that the annotations claim that this Read more music exemplifies "a process of natural stylization, in which we can observe the disappearance of all tendency towards exasperation, or violence toward the materials employed, and the renunciation of any hint of avant-gardism, leaving only the distillation of what is most deeply inherent to it: its very essence." I haven't the faintest idea what that all means, but somehow it seems to describe Soler's music to a tee. My comments concerning the approachability and integrity of Horns's compositions need to be applied even more strongly here.

In the absence of a score or a performance tradition I can refer to, it seems to me that Masó's pianism exceeds the music's technical and intellectual challenges (this also was Story's impression in the aforementioned review). He is recording all of Gerhard's music for Marco Polo, and the complete piano music of Mompou for Naxos (another worthy project), so it appears that this repertoire is his bread and butter (or should I say pan y mantequillal). The engineering is not completely successful in coping with the challenges of recording the piano, but it is good enough.

If you're looking for piano music that's as free of gimmicks as it is full of challenges, then one or both of these discs should satisfy you.

-- Raymond Tuttle, FANFARE [9/1999]
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 3 "Song of God" by Josep Soler
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Venue:  Professional Conservatory, Barcelona 
Length: 20 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Partita for Piano by Josep Soler
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Venue:  Professional Conservatory, Barcelona 
Length: 34 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Sonata Fragment for Piano by Josep Soler
Performer:  Jordi Masó (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957-1958 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Venue:  Professional Conservatory, Barcelona 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Sonata No. 3, "The Song of God": Piano Sonata No. 3 "The Song of God"
Partita: I. Sarabande
Partita: II. Allemande
Partita: III. Air
Partita: IV. Bourree
Partita: V. Menuetto e fuga
Partita: VI. Forlana I
Partita: VII. Fuga a 2 soggetti
Partita: VIII. Forlana II
Sonata Fragment

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