Sheet music

Musical contribution - July 2013

Festal Fanfare (Antonia Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, 1729-1783) – This summer – for the first time in the existence of this series – a Spanish composer will be our central focus point. Four first names and a double surname. But he was generally known as Pater Antonio Soler in everyday life. Antonio was admitted to the Montserrat monastery’s choir school at the tender age of six. He was appointed as organist at a later stage and assigned to the cathedral in La Seu d’Urgell. He lived a monastic existence from the age of 23 until his death.

His compositions are mainly sonatas and concertos for the organ or harpsichord and have a sound idiom like the ones we have identified in the late baroque to early classicistic period. Those in the know compare his works with those written by Domenico Scarlatti, who he could quite possibly have studied with. His “6 concertos for 2 organs” are still regularly being programmed and recorded.

The piece we would like to put into the spotlight this month was originally the 2nd part of concerto number 6 (for 2 organs) and has been entitled “Festal Fanfare”. I can’t tell you whether Soler actually knew about this title himself, or whether this title was given to the piece at a later date. However, one thing I do know is that this is an extraordinarily fun and cheerful minuet. And who knows, the other parts may also follow one day.

I have opted to leave out the repetitions in the recording you can hear. Plus we also decided to introduce a small registration change in both manuals every 2 verses:

Bar 1 to 24forte
Bar 25 to 48mezzo forte
Bar 49 to 72mezzo piano
Bar 73 to the endpiano
D.C. al Fineforte

Always with the idea of a light-hearted character. This has resulted in the required colour combinations, partly because of the alternation of the manuals. If you would like to couple the pedal, then it would be advisable to couple it to manual II. Given the function of the bass party (tonic, dominant and subdominant), we need to make sure the registration isn’t too strong.

If the summer is to give us as much joy as I have been given by this minuet, then we won’t even need to go to Spain, as Spain will be coming to us – through one of its composers. And that will ensure it’s always a happy time of year, no matter what the weather brings.

With Kind Regards,
André van Vliet