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Benjamin Katz
American Record Guide, July 2012

The great range of colors and dynamics possible on the piano greatly enhance and complement the virtuosic and harmonically adventurous sonatas of Antonio Soler. Shimkus brings an attractive lyricism, a light touch, and a healthy dose of playfulness to Soler’s music. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

MusicWeb International, March 2012

Latvian pianist Vestard Shimkus’s set sounds quite different, and probably better—Soler’s artful keyboard Sonatas seem at their most eloquent on a modern piano, which…gives much greater scope for dynamic expressiveness and mellifluousness. This is especially the case with the help of a highly competent soloist like Shimkus… © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2012

This second disc completes the twenty-seven sonatas by Antonio Soler that appear in the edition printed in London, and now known as the Fitzwilliam Manuscript. They were composed while in the service of Charles III and could have been written as teaching pieces for his two sons. At the palace he would have had at his disposal harpsichords, clavichords, organ and the early pianoforte, though it has been well established that the bulk of his massive output of sonatas would have been intended for performance on a newly acquired five octave harpsichord of 1761. The notes that come with the disc detail their history and the place that they take in the official listing drawn up with considerable exactitude by Father Samuel Rubio, the editor who sought to have them published in a series of volumes. Today we often find piano performances, and though it changes the texture of the original, it is in this format that we normally encounter them in concerts. Here they are played by the Latvian pianist, Vestard Shimkus, winner of Barcelon’s influential Maria Canals International Piano Competition. He sees the works in purely piano terms without any reference to their sound on the harpsichord, and makes much use of pedals, bringing the type of dynamic range not available to that earlier instrument. That he is technically superbly equipped is evident in his very fast approach to the Seventeenth sonata, and the moments of drama he injects. …I do enjoy his approach to the inward looking Twenty-fourth. Seen in isolation it showcases his agility, brilliance and clarity, points made clear by the excellence of the sound. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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