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Jerome Crossley
WCLV, January 2012

Martina Filjak’s playing on this first volume is good enough that you almost don’t regret the change of instrument…© 2012 WCLV Read complete review

Blair Sanderson, September 2011

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.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2011

Composed while he was music master to the two sons of Charles III, Antonio Soler’s existing keyboard sonatas number around 150. At the palace he would have had access to harpsichord, clavichord, organ and the early pianoforte, though it has been well established that they were written for a recently acquired five octave harpsichord of 1761. Though probably intended as teaching pieces for his students, they contain much melodic attraction, and would have formed very testing pieces for gifted performers of the time. The notes with this disc offer a detailed history of how they became ‘definitatively’ numbered by Father Samuel Rubio, the editor who sought to have them published in a series of volumes, the present disc containing the first fifteen played in numerical order. Today we often find piano performances, and though the tonal change from harpsichord is very marked, it is in this format that we normally encounter them in concerts. Here they are performed by the Croatian-born pianist, Martina Filjak, winner of the 2008 Maria Canals International Music Competition and the 2009 Cleveland International Piano Competition. She does, of course, have a greater degree of dynamic range than available to the harpsichordist, and is able to shape phrases in a way the percussive instrument cannot achieve. Neat playing and with admirable dexterity, while the recorded quality is pleasing.

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