Notes and Editorial Reviews
Every so often a major pianist reclaims Scarlatti for the piano with an outstanding recording. Pletnev's playing is strongly individual, and his free-ranging poetic licence may not be to your taste. Not that his spectacular virtuosity is likely to be controversial: this really is hors decatégorie and enormously enjoyable. And the evocations of the harpsichord are often very witty, but he doesn't shrink from using the full resources of the piano, sustaining pedal included, and if you baulk at the prospect, he may not be for you. The sustaining pedal is certainly dangerous in music that's almost wholly to do with lines, not washes of colour; it can make us see Scarlatti as if through Mendelssohn's eyes. Yet moments of such
falsification are rare. Characterisation is everything, and though he can be coy in the reflective sonatas, he generally goes straight to the heart of the matter. The vigorous, full tone in the quick numbers is a joy, and most admirable is the way he makes sound immediately command character. Superb recorded sound.
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