Soler: Harpsichord Sonatas 1-120

Record Label: MSR Classics
Release Date: June 2015

Antonio Soler
Barbara Harbach, harpsichord
Harpsichord built by Willard Martin in 1989, a copy of an 18th century two-manual French double harpsichord, designed by François Blanchet.

14-CD set: Limited Edition [500 pieces]


“[Harbach] goes for a very close recording with little ambiance around the instrument. However, this is not a bad thing as these sonatas lend themselves to this sort of aural examination, and one is energized upon hearing the delightful articulation and sprightly sense of bounciness and dance that she brings to the instrument, while the close up sound allows for the degree of intimacy we would most likely find in a drawing room during Soler’s time… These are tremendous recordings and an important addition to the catalog!”
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [December 2015]

“We look to his masterful Harpsichord Sonatas…for his early classical inventiveness. Barbara Harbach gives us an exhaustive, but certainly not exhausting rendition of the 120 in the recent limited edition box set. They are a remarkable body of music, rhythmically lively, filled with clarity of form and singing melodic charm… Barbara Harbach sounds entirely ravishing in her performances throughout. She seems just right on Willard Martin’s 1989 copy of an 18th century two-manual French harpsichord. And the recording has a pristine clarity of sound that goes far in making the music come alive… played with great verve and there is no time or mood where the music does not fit in, in my experience. It is something to cheer you in the new year ahead! ”
Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Review [December 2015]

“This MSR Classics release is a joy from start to finish… Harbach is a wonderful advocate for this music, and the music itself is wonderful on so many levels and in so many ways that this Soler collection is flat-out treasurable. It is safe to predict that it will amply repay many listenings over many years.”
InfoDad [October 2015]

“[the performances] are bright, lively, and beautifully articulated, recorded very well so as to capture the full range of the instrument with just enough natural room ambience. Whether you are a Soler fanatic who wants it all or a performer or scholar who wants a handy reference to this music, this set is a valuable resource.”
Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare [September/October 2015]

[8 / 8] “Harbach’s harpsichord is reproduced in a close-up, slightly dry yet vividly clear recording. The sonics suit Harbach’s centered, straightforward, and technically meticulous interpretations… She shapes ornaments with pointed consistency, and illuminates striking harmonic ideas without belaboring them. Harbach’s finely honed distinctions between sustained and detached articulations pay particular expressive dividends in slower movements… Harbach’s booklet notes reflect her enthusiasm and devotion, her perspective and painstaking scholarship, and a genuine desire for this repertoire to reach a wider audience… the purity and integrity of Harbach’s best performances compel in their own way.”
Jed Distler, Classics Today [June 2015]