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Antonio Soler

December 3, 1729 - December 20, 1783
born in Olot, Gerona, Spain, composed during the Classical period
Antonio Francisco Javier Jose Soler was an eighteenth century Catalan composer, priest, monk, student, teacher, mathematician, inventor, and organist. His life was spent serving both the Catholic Church and music. He was a prolific composer with over 400 compositions credited to him by the time of his death at age 54. Soler spent most of his life at monasteries, particularly El Escorial, the magnificent royal palace, chapel, and monastery built by King Philip II outside of Madrid two centuries earlier.

Soler apparently came from a musical family. His brother, Mateu, played bassoon in the monastery of Las Descalzas Reales and then in the court of Carlos III, and finally in the Capilla Real. His musical training began at a very early age. In 1736, he became a student at the Benedictine monastery choir school at Montserrat where he learned organ and composition. Between 1752 and 1757, while in his early twenties, Soler studied with Domenico Scarlatti, the Italian composer who served the Spanish court of Ferdinand VI and Maria Barbara.

Prior to going to El Escorial, where he spent the rest of his life, Soler was the maestro de capilla at Lerida and was ordained subdeacon in 1752. Later that same year, he joined the Hieronymite order of monks at El Escorial monastery and professed to the order in 1753.

Soler performed many duties at El Escorial. In 1757, he became maestro de capilla. In addition, he performed as first organist, wrote much of the church music, and taught music. Perhaps his most prestigious student was the son of Carlos III, Don Gabriel de Bourbon. Soler taught the young Don Gabriel keyboard and many of the Soler's harpsichord sonatas were written for him.

It is difficult for most to grasp Soler's level of productivity, particularly in light of his many other duties and interests. His musical compositions included over 120 sonatas for harpsichord, six quintets for organ and strings, six double organ concertos, 10 masses, five requiems, 132 villancicos, and many other works. His most famous was a sonata for harpsichord entitled Fandango.

Soler also wrote a treatise on harmony, Llave de la Modulación (1762) whose concepts remain valid today. This treatise, however, caused considerable controversy and rebuke by some of his peers. These criticisms caused Soler such dismay that in 1765, he responded with a written retort, Satisfacción a los reparos precisos, which spanned 67 pages and was supported by such noted authorities as Morales, Palestrina, and Scarlatti. The controversy did not end until a final defense was provided in Jose Vila's Respuestra y dictamen in 1766.

He developed another treatise in 1771 that demonstrated his interest and skill in mathematics. This book was on Castilian and Catalan currency exchange and was published in honor of Carlos III. Soler was a man of other talents in addition to those mentioned. He invented a tuning box that was used to demonstrate differences between tones and semitones to Don Gabriel. He was also expert in organ design and construction. In 1776, he developed the specifications for an organ for the Malaga Cathedral. ~ Bruce Lundgren, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Antonio Soler: Six Concertos for Two Organs

Title: Concerto No. 1 For 2 Organs In C Major

1. Concerto No. 1 For 2 Organs In C Major: Andante

2. Concerto No. 1 For 2 Organs In C Major: Minuet & Four Variations

Title: Concerto No. 2 For 2 Organs In A Minor

3. Concerto No. 2 For 2 Organs In A Minor: Andante

4. Concerto No. 2 For 2 Organs In A Minor: Allegro

5. Concerto No. 2 For 2 Organs In A Minor: Minuet

Title: Concerto No. 3 For 2 Organs In G Major

6. Concerto No. 3 For 2 Organs In G Major: Andantino

7. Concerto No. 3 For 2 Organs In G Major: Minuet & Six Variations

Title: Concerto No 4 For 2 Organs In F Major

8. Concerto No 4 For 2 Organs In F Major: Affectuoso, Andante Non Largo

9. Concerto No 4 For 2 Organs In F Major: Minuet & Four Variations

Title: Concerto No. 5 For 2 Organs In A Major

10. Concerto No. 5 For 2 Organs In A Major: Cantabile

11. Concerto No. 5 For 2 Organs In A Major: Minuet & Seven Variations

Title: Concerto No 6 For 2 Organs In D Major

12. Concerto No 6 For 2 Organs In D Major: Allegro - Andante - Allegro - Andante

13. Concerto No 6 For 2 Organs In D Major: Minue Con Variaciones

x

Track List: Padre Antonio Soler: Sonatas for Harpsichord, Vol. 12

Title: Sonata For Keyboard In C

1. Sonata For Keyboard In C: Sonata In C Major (Without Rubio Number)

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 130 In G Minor

2. Sonata For Keyboard, No 130 In G Minor: Cantabile

Title: Sonata For Keyboard No. 121 In C Major

3. Sonata For Keyboard No. 121 In C Major: Sonata No.121 In C Major

Title: Sonata For Keyboard No. 63 In F Major

4. Sonata For Keyboard No. 63 In F Major: Cantabile

5. Sonata For Keyboard No. 63 In F Major: Allegro

6. Sonata For Keyboard No. 63 In F Major: Intento

Title: Sonata For Keyboard No. 67 In D Major

7. Sonata For Keyboard No. 67 In D Major: Andante Con Moto

8. Sonata For Keyboard No. 67 In D Major: Rondon: Allegro

9. Sonata For Keyboard No. 67 In D Major: Non Presto

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 125 In C Minor

10. Sonata For Keyboard, No 125 In C Minor: Sonata No.125 In C Minor

Title: Sonata For Keyboard No. 44 In C Major

11. Sonata For Keyboard No. 44 In C Major: Sonata No.44 In C Major

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 107 In F Major

12. Sonata For Keyboard, No 107 In F Major: Allegretto-andante

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 79a In F Sharp Major

13. Sonata For Keyboard, No 79a In F Sharp Major: Cantabile

14. Sonata For Keyboard, No 79a In F Sharp Major: Allegro

x

Track List: Qnt Hpd 1/2

Title: Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 1 In C Major

1. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 1 In C Major: I. Allegretto

2. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 1 In C Major: II. Andantino

3. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 1 In C Major: III. Allegretto En Fuga

4. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 1 In C Major: IV. Minuetto Allegretto

5. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 1 In C Major: V. Allegro

Title: Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 2 In F Major

6. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 2 In F Major: I. Cantabile Con Moto

7. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 2 In F Major: II. Minuetto Allegretto

8. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 2 In F Major: III. Allegro - Divertimento (Andantino) - Allegro

Title: Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 3 In G Major

9. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 3 In G Major: I. Allegretto

10. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 3 In G Major: II. Largo

11. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 3 In G Major: III. Allegro Pastorile

12. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 3 In G Major: IV. Andantino Grazioso

13. Quintet For Organ & Strings No. 3 In G Major: V. Allegro Subito

x

Track List: Soler: Sonatas For Harpsichord, Vol.5

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 73 In D Major

1. Sonata For Keyboard, No 73 In D Major: Sonata No.73 En Re Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 74 In D Major

2. Sonata For Keyboard, No 74 In D Major: Sonata No.74 En Re Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 118 In A Minor

3. Sonata For Keyboard, No 118 In A Minor: Sonata No.118 En La Mineur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 38 In C Major

4. Sonata For Keyboard, No 38 In C Major: Sonata No.38 En Ut Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 105 E Flat Major

5. Sonata For Keyboard, No 105 E Flat Major: Sonata No.105 En Mib Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 2 In E Flat Major

6. Sonata For Keyboard, No 2 In E Flat Major: Sonata No.2 En Mib Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 58 In G Major

7. Sonata For Keyboard, No 58 In G Major: Sonata No.58 En Sol Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 114 In D Minor

8. Sonata For Keyboard, No 114 In D Minor: Sonata No.114 En Re Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 5 In F Major

9. Sonata For Keyboard, No 5 In F Major: Sonata No.5 En Fa Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 6 In F Major

10. Sonata For Keyboard, No 6 In F Major: Sonata No.6 En Fa Majeur

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 95 In A Major

11. Sonata For Keyboard, No 95 In A Major: I

12. Sonata For Keyboard, No 95 In A Major: II

13. Sonata For Keyboard, No 95 In A Major: III

14. Sonata For Keyboard, No 95 In A Major: IV

x

Track List: Soler: Sonatas for harpsichord Vol.6

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 4 In G Major

1. Sonata For Keyboard, No 4 In G Major: Allegro

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 102 In D Minor

2. Sonata For Keyboard, No 102 In D Minor: Andante

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 104 In D Minor

3. Sonata For Keyboard, No 104 In D Minor: Son No.104 In D

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 109 In F Major

4. Sonata For Keyboard, No 109 In F Major: Allegretto

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 56 In F Major

5. Sonata For Keyboard, No 56 In F Major: Andante Cantabile

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 70 In A Minor

6. Sonata For Keyboard, No 70 In A Minor: Son No.70 In A

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No. 71 In A Minor

7. Sonata For Keyboard, No. 71 In A Minor: Andantino

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 111 In D Major

8. Sonata For Keyboard, No 111 In D Major: Son No.111 In D

Title: Sonata For Keyboard In C Minor, R 100

9. Sonata For Keyboard In C Minor, R 100: Adagio-largo

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 103 In C Minor

10. Sonata For Keyboard, No 103 In C Minor: Allegro Presto

Title: Sonata For Keyboard, No 96 In E Flat Major

11. Sonata For Keyboard, No 96 In E Flat Major: I. Andante Gracioso

12. Sonata For Keyboard, No 96 In E Flat Major: II. Allegro Cantabile

13. Sonata For Keyboard, No 96 In E Flat Major: III. Minuetto I (Suo Tempo) - Minuetto II (Allegro)

14. Sonata For Keyboard, No 96 In E Flat Major: IV. Pastoral (Allegro Non Molto)

Comments

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Never heard of the guy but what a genius! So talented, in music AND maths, to be so well versed that one can write treatises on 2 subjects...
another Da Vinci.
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gerard e beaubrun i agree with you so much . fantastic music
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I have never before heard or heard of this piece. It is absolutely beautiful. It's a different, sweeter kind of classical
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Tony done good!
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the charm of his music recalls the delight that the court must have felt when listening to these baroque musical butterflies
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I like the concept, music alone is not enough must be complemented with may other activities.G e n i u s
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Sparkling and buoyant musical creations -- as enjoyable as Scarlatti.
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Amazing life; amazing talent.
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Yet another fantastic discovery via Pandora! Wonderful, life-affirmi n g !
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kathy_mca
Wow!
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We are trying to determine a family link to this composer. My great grand father, Pedro Soler moved to Cuba from Spain in the 1880's. His family lived around the Barcelona area. No one in the past mentioned relationship to this famous composer. However, my family has many members who are concert pianist, opera singer, etc. My daughter always liked music and now is studying voice and classical piano at HBU.
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music026
This music is splendidly translucent and transcendant . I'm a new fan of Fr. Soler's music.
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restanton193 1
The music as I listen to it is bdeautiful! Never heard of Soler before.
Report as inappropriate
no wonder- he studied under scarletti. hes a genius. Soler's compositions are very pleasant as well
Report as inappropriate
A Bach and a Hildegard of Bingem!
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ljp5678
I never heard of Soler before! The sonata I just heard would have been a marvelous addition to my repertoire.

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