Notes and Editorial Reviews
Pierre Hantaï may not intend to record the complete Scarlatti sonatas, yet that doesn't make him any less than the complete Scarlatti player--indeed,
the Scarlatti player of his generation. His sophisticated technical mastery and deep musical insights begin where many harpsichordists leave off. Play track 5 first, the G minor K. 8 sonata, and notice how Hantaï enriches the basic dotted rhythmic motif with just the smallest yet most meaningful dash of rubato, or hear how he intensifies repeated phrases by varying the velocity of the left-hand arpeggiated chords. He divines uncommon expressive variety from his fastidiously executed trills and scales in the C minor K. 526 sonata, and
in the F minor K. 466 sonata he creates a vibrant dialogue between the plaintive right-hand melody and the rolling left-hand accompaniment. Here the dulcet, sweetly singing Italian model instrument (by Philippe Humeau à Barbaste) particularly shows its colors.
Yet Hantaï also revels in blatantly virtuosic selections such as the D major K. 511, C minor K. 56, and D minor K. 517, where his rhythmically-centered fingerwork and impeccable sense of harmonic timing make even Scott Ross' ebullience seem generalized by comparison. What more can I say about Hantaï's cultured artistry and Mirare's classy production values? Buy this disc, and your Scarlatti portfolio will flourish and prosper. [3/17/2006]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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