Classical Fandango – Soler and Scarlatti

Padre Antonio Soler (1729-1783) was a Catalan composer, theoretician, organist, harpsichordist, priest, and maestro de capilla, first at Lérida Cathedral, and in 1752 at the Spanish royal monastery, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, near Madrid, where he studied with the Neapolitan composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), who was also in the royal service as its music master, since 1733. The castrato Farinelli (1705-1782) was also a member of the royal court, as its chamber musician since 1737.

Vista_aerea_del_Monasterio_de_El_Escorial

El Escorial

The fandango, which may have originated in 17th century Andalusia, is a Spanish song or dance in triple time, in birpartite structure in which the introduction is followed by variations. By the 18th century it had become a favourite of the aristocracy and had made its way into classical stage and instrumental works.

Soler’s Fandango (R. 146, and which may be of doubtful authorship) is a complex set of variations on an ostinato bass of a length of only two bars comprised of twelve eighth notes in ¾ time, a bass shorter than the conventional basso ostinato of four or eight bars found in the chaconne or passacaglia.

Scarlatti’s Fandango portugués (K. 492) dates from 1756. Similarities to Soler’s are immediately and pleasingly evident.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s