he opening three Scarlatti sonatas are nicely contrasting, with Pinnock capturing the joyful spirit of the G major and E major works, and the sadness of the B minor. Nevertheless, in the major-key pieces he may be a little too civilised for some tastes. In the E major Sonata more impetuosity and flamboyance would have been especially welcome. At the other extreme, and undeniably thrilling, are Pierre Hantaï's passionate, hot-blooded and highly imaginative Scarlatti CDs on Mirare. After listening to Hantaï, one would find almost anyone else relatively plain.
His approach will change some listeners' view of Scarlatti for ever. Having said this, one must acknowledge thatRead more Pinnock's Scarlatti performances are thoroughly stylish and musically very satisfying. In the the Handel Suite
and Rameau set - the composer's own arrangements from his
Pièces de Clavecin en Concert - Pinnock is equally free from eccentricity, never drawing attention to himself in a distracting manner. These are definitely performances to live with, bearing much repetition.
The Greene and Arne pieces are far more than mere fillers, both fine works. Whoever wrote the notes describes the Arne thus: “is pleasing to listen to but does not match the sophistication of his continental counterparts” - maybe, but this is still very enjoyable music. There is a similar lack of information relating to recording venues, dates of original recordings and instruments. The latter are very attractive-sounding throughout.
Overall this is an excellent compilation of 18
th-century keyboard music, clearly recommendable to all except those who prefer a more flamboyant, unbuttoned approach.
-- Philip Borg-Wheeler , MusicWeb International Read less
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