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Antonio Soler: Keyboard Sonatas Nos. 1-15 ()

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The earliest keyboard sonatas of Antonio Soler closely resemble the single-movement sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti, who was decidedly an influence in the transitional period between the Baroque and Classical eras in Spain. The shared binary form, similar melodic patterns, styles of ornamentation, and common didactic purpose make these pieces difficult to distinguish from Scarlatti's, and the 15 sonatas presented on this Naxos CD by pianist Martina Filjak follow his example to the letter. Filjak's playing is crisp and clean, so all the details of the music come through, and the fine qualities of her playing are clearly heard in Naxos' focused reproduction. Because these are educational pieces, which Soler composed for a Spanish prince to play, they are fairly predictable and concentrated on matters of technique, somewhat more than on imaginative flights of fancy. Even so, Filjak gives them considerable interest and charm, so this album is far from a series of routine exercises. ~ Blair Sanderson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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