Josep Soler i Sardà
From Unearthing The Music
Josep Soler i Sardà (born 25 March 1935 in Vilafranca del Penedès) is a Spanish composer, writer and music theorist, one of the main Catalan members of the Generación del 51.
Josep Soler i Sardà began his studies in his hometown with Rosa Lara, until in 1960 he went to Paris to study with René Leibowitz, a disciple of Maurice Ravel and Anton Webern and a friend of Arnold Schönberg. That same year and until 1964 he learned harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and fugue from the master Cristòfor Taltabull, a disciple of Max Reger. These influences would directly influence his compositional.
During the 1960s he actively promoted contemporary music in Catalonia. He has been a member of the Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi since 1982, is currently an honorary director of the Professional Conservatory of Music of Badalona.
In 2013, Soler was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. He refused this honour, stating:
"To acknowledge this recognition is to acknowledge the authority of the Spanish government, and I do not want anything to do with minister [José Ignacio] Wert and the government of [Prime Minister Mariano] Rajoy, because they are not interested at all in either music or education."
The personal papers of Josep Soler i Sardà are preserved in the Biblioteca de Catalunya.
Soler's works include 16 operas, 7 symphonies, 3 piano concertos, 7 String Quartets, 16 Sonatas for piano and an orchestration of Isaac Albéniz's Pepita Jiménez, inter alia. Since 1982, he has taught at the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi (Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts of Saint George) in Barcelona. His students have included Benet Casablancas and Alejandro Civilotti.
His music highlights a Germanic aesthetic affiliation, a deep religious feeling and a marked pessimistic character that nevertheless leaves a door open to salvation, as Ángel Medina comments in the essay on the author, "Josep Soler: music of passion".
Soler began with a strictly dodecaphonic style that develops in a free atonalism influenced by the expressionism of Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and the Second Viennese School, highlighting among this group Alban Berg. From the 1990s he developed a personal harmonic system based on the chord of Tristan and the mystical chord of Aleksandr Skriabin.
Alongside his compositions Josep Soler has developed a deep and continuous theoretical work, with the edition of several essays on musicology and aesthetics.
- LEIBOWITZ, René. "Josep Soler" in CASARES, Emilio (ed.) "14 compositores españoles de hoy", Universidad de Oviedo, 1982, pp. 466–474.
- LEWINSKI, W.E. von. "Vier katalanische Komponisten in Barcelona", Melos, nº3, 1971, pp. 93–103.
- MEDINA, Ángel. Josep Soler. Música de la Pasión ICCMU. Madrid, 1998.
- SADIE, Stanley. "Josep Soler" in "The New Grove Dictionary of Opera". MacMillan. London, 1992.
- Bruach Menchen, Agustí. Les òperes de Josep Soler. Autonomous University of Barcelona, 1997.
- Civilotti García, Diego (2017). La estética musical de Josep Soler. Autonomous University of Madrid, 2017.
- Roura, Teodor. La música vocal de Josep Soler. Escrits teòrics i obra musical. Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2017.
- (1980) Fuga, técnica e historia
- (1982) La música
- (1983) Victoria
- (1994) Escritos sobre música y dos poemas
- (1999) Otros escritos y poemas
- (1999) Tiempo y Música (with Joan Cuscó)
- (2003) Nuevos escritos y poemas
- (2004) J.S. Bach. Una estructura del dolor
- (2006) Música y Ética
- (2011) Musica Enchiriadis
- (2014) "Últimos escritos"
- Prize "Opera de Montecarlo" (1964);
- Prize Ciudad de Barcelona (1962 y 1978);
- "Óscar Esplà" in Music Composition Award (1982);
- Premi Nacional de Música de Catalunya (2001);
- Premio Nacional de Música;
- XI Iberoamerican Prize Premio Tomás Luis de Victoria. (2011)
- Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts. (2013), refused.
- "Josep Soler rechaza la Medalla de Oro de las Bellas Artes". La Nueva España. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "La actriz Amparo Baró y el compositor Josep Soler, Medallas de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes".
- Information about Soler (English)
- Biography, awards and works (English)
- Essays (English)
- Personal papers of Josep Soler i Sardà in the Biblioteca de Catalunya (Catalan)
Text translated and adapted from the Catalan Wikipedia