The expression of Soler’s music takes the lead in each bar of the work. The priority the author gives to the expressive act translates into a large number of precise indications for the interpreters which go from pianissimo with four ps, to fortissimo with four fs, notes on the phrasing (even fingerings), and the search for concrete sounds and textures.
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This Concert per a dos pianos (Concert for two pianos) is one of Josep Soler’s first main works. Completed in July of 1961, it was revised on different occasions. The last of these revisions is the one published here, dated October 2007. It includes a dedication in memory of the two pianists who debuted the work, who were friends of the author as well as teaching colleagues for many years. The theme of death is very present throught Josep Soler’s oeuvre (both in his musical work and his essays) and, despite the fact that this concert did not initially make any reference to it, at the moment it was revised he decided to dedicate it to the memory of these two late friends, and his reflections on what lies beyond were again made present.
The expression of Soler’s music takes the lead in each bar of the work. The priority the author gives to the expressive act translates into a large number of precise indications for the interpreters which go from pianissimo with four ps, to fortissimo with four fs, notes on the phrasing (even fingerings), and the search for concrete sounds and textures. The piece demands great chamber work and a collaboration which requires not only technical skill but also a common approach by both pianists to the work. Using two pianos has nothing to do with the model of the accompanied soloist. It is instead fruit of the need to place the superimposed sounds of two instruments who maintain the same level of discourse with one another.
The first movement begins in a serious register for both instruments. A subito fortissimo coincides with a change in register, (the first piano hits the sharpest notes) and a poco più presto fragment runs through the four fs to the end with a staccato figuration that had already appeared earlier. The second movement is written principally in the form of a dialogue between the two instruments and includes episodes of great interest, such as the four handed trills, or the juxtaposed rhythmic figurations. A grand solo for the first piano contrasts with the final in which three great chords in tutti, with up to 14 notes played at a time, build up a ressonance on which the third movement begins. The latter part of the Concert contrasts with the two earlier parts in that its writing is highly vertically and very rhythmic. In the central part, while the second piano drives the rhythm on persistantly, the first piano freely plays arpeggio figurations. The piece closes with a long pause which is followed by long conclusive chords that drift into nothingness.