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Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas / Schiff


Release Date: 02/13/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000836902   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A refreshing selection, starting with the A minor Sonata (Kk175) and its evocations of the guitar to remind us that all Scarlatti's maturer years were spent in Spain. And how apt to follow it with the extended C major Pastorale (Kk513), in which the composer returns in imagination to his homeland at Christmas time when (as Howard Ferguson's helpful note tells us) shepherds come down from the hills with their pifferari. Avoiding the over familiar, and always with a smooth progression of keys for the listener who wants to listen to the whole recital straight off, Schiff subsequently proceeds (except for the solitary G major Cantabile, Kk144) with pairs of adjacent works in the same key (major or minor) as if in support of Kirkpatrick's belief Read more that Scarlatti himself conceived them for performance in this way.

Schiff makes no attempt to pretend that his instrument is anything other than a present-day grand piano. Nor does he ever allow you to forget that Scarlatti had a heart—as do some worshippers at the shrine of period style. But his tone and texture are as translucent as his ornamentation is deft. Incidentally, he plays all repeats, in slower tempo sometimes adding little extra embellishments of his own the second time to enrich the text—as in the searchingly chromatic B flat Sonata (Kk544). He is never more confiding than in the E minor Andante (Kk402), even making its companion in E major (Kk403) more thoughtful than some players might in view of its allegro marking. I also much enjoyed his romantically imaginative response to the strongly atmospheric Kk516 in D minor. Always the emphasis is on what lies behind the notes rather than mere keyboard play, though it goes without saying that Schiff's nimble fingers never fail him in more extrovert prestissimo or allegrissimo contexts.

The recording, made in Walthamstow Town Hall, allows you to feel that you are sitting right at the player's side rather than far away in the stalls. But its full, close warmth is achieved without any loss of clarity. All in all a welcome change from the harpsichords which have largely taken over Scarlatti in the CD catalogue up till now.

-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [3/1989]
reviewing the original release of this title
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Harpsichord in G minor, K 450/L 338 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
2. Sonata for Harpsichord in C minor, K 115/L 407 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
3. Sonata for Harpsichord in C minor, K 116/L 452 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
4. Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 144 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
5. Sonata for Harpsichord in A minor, K 175/L 429 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
6. Sonata for Harpsichord in E minor, K 402/L 427 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
7. Sonata for Harpsichord in E major, K 403/L 470 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
8. Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 449/L 444 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
9. Sonata for Harpsichord in E flat major, K 474/L 203 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
10. Sonata for Harpsichord in E flat major, K 475/L 220 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
11. Sonata for Harpsichord in C major, K 513/L S3 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
12. Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 516/L S12 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
13. Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 517/L 266 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
14. Sonata for Harpsichord in B flat major, K 544/L 497 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
15. Sonata for Harpsichord in B flat major, K 545/L 500 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 

Sound Samples

Sonata in A minor, K.175
Sonata in C, K.513
Sonata in E minor, K.402
Sonata in E, K.403
Sonata in G major, K.144
Sonata in C minor, K.115
Sonata in C minor, K.116
Sonata in E flat major, K.474
Sonata in E flat major, K.475
Sonata in G major, K.449
Sonata in G minor, K.450
Sonata in B flat major, K.544
Sonata in B flat major, K.545
Sonata in D minor, K.516
Sonata in D minor, K.517

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