Antonio Soler (1729-1783), one of the most respected Spanish composers of 18th century, composed the Seis Conciertos de dos organos obligados, as the title page tells us, “for the entertainment of the very serene Infante don Gabriel de Borbon.” The concertos can be seen as, on the one hand, light entertainment for the Spanish court but, on the other, as vehicles for Soler’s innovative passion.
The contrasts and dynamics in the Concertos are set in focus on this recording by the use of two opposing instruments for the Primo and Secondo parts. The melange of courtly pomp and Spanish fervour lead to a disc that is both thoroughly engaging and, at the same time, entertaining and uplifting.
Recorded in Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Berkshire.
The two organs are thrown around with great gusto by Price and Howells, who obviously revel in the music. Their playing is excellent, and their tempi are always sensible without ever tying the music down.
The recording quality is exceptional, and is one of the most natural that I have heard in many years, and captures the tones of the two instruments so successfully I could easily imagine myself in the building.
The Organ, Spring 2000.
Concerto 1 – C major
2. Minuet and 4 variations
Concerto 2 – A minor
Concerto 3 – G major
7. Minuet and 6 variations
Concerto 4 – F major
8. Affectuoso, Andante non Largo
9. Minuet and 4 variations
Concerto 5 – A major
11. Minuet and 7 variations
Concerto 6 – D major
12. Allegro – Andante – Allegro – Andante
13. Minuet and 4 variations