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Topic: What about Scarlatti?  (Read 73123 times)

Offline bernhard

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What about Scarlatti?
on: February 19, 2004, 01:09:31 AM
Domenico Scarlatti is my second favourite baroque composer (the first being J. S. Bach). I find his keyboard sonatas (around 600 of them) exhilarating both to play and to listen to. And contrary to purists, I prefer them on the piano than on the harpsichord. So I am interested on your opinions on:

1.      What about Scarlatti?
2.      What are your favourite sonatas?
3.      What are your favourite recordings of them?
4.      What do you think of Ralph Kirkpatrick’s idea that they should be played in pairs?
5.      Any other comments you care to make.

My ten favourite sonatas (at the moment) are:
1.      K1 in D minor
2.      K27 in B minor
3.      K24 in A major
4.      K69 in F minor
5.      K87 in B minor
6.      K 141 in D minor
7.      K213 in D minor
8.      K427 in G major
9.      K443 in D major
10.      K492 in D major


My favourite recordings are (in no particular order):
1.      Vladimir Horowitz (Sony)
2.      Ivo Pogorelich (DG)
3.      Mikhail Pletnev (Virgin)
4.      Anne Queflelec (Apex)
5.      Inger Sodergren (Approche/Harmonia Mundi)
6.      Maria Tipo (EMI)

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline comme_le_vent

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #1 on: February 19, 2004, 02:28:39 PM
I only have 1 scarlatti cd, as part of a horowitz collection, but i like it very much. his style seems alot more lively and immediate than bach , i think due to there being less counterpoint type stuff, its more tune and accompinament than bach. i havent played any because there are so many and i cant choose. but my favourites are obviously the ones recorded by horowitz, i like them all. horowitz brings a superb sound to these pieces, almost like imitating a harpsichord, but also taking advantage of the resources of the piano at the same time.
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Offline pianogal86

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #2 on: February 19, 2004, 02:58:01 PM
I love Scarlatti too.  He is such fun to play and his sparkly melodies are brilliant.  If only my teacher would let me play more of him!  
I don't have a lot of experience listening to or playing Scarlatti, but two of my favorite Sonatas are:

K. 209 in A Major (this one I'm playing right now)
and
K. 380 in E major (on my list of pieces to play)

I absolutely love Anthony di Bonaventura's recording of Scarlatti.  I own a recording by Sergei Babayan, which I don't like at all.

Regards,
Pianogal
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the pragmatist would call useless. "
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Offline Ecthelion

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #3 on: February 19, 2004, 04:51:21 PM
I played K.380 and I think K.9. Technically very easy, but musically wonderful. But, unfortunately, I've still never played Cembalo... :-[

regards,
Ecthelion

Offline Noah

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #4 on: February 19, 2004, 08:20:27 PM
Have you heard Argerich's K.141 on her Concertgebouw recital cd (the one with Prokofiev 7 etc) ? That's the best Scarlatti playing I've heard. Too bad she only plays that one (to my knowledge)...
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #5 on: February 20, 2004, 01:54:08 AM
Quote
Have you heard Argerich's K.141 on her Concertgebouw recital cd (the one with Prokofiev 7 etc) ? That's the best Scarlatti playing I've heard. Too bad she only plays that one (to my knowledge)...


I haven't heard this one. I will look into it.

At the moment my favourite is Pletnev.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline chopiabin

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #6 on: February 20, 2004, 02:24:07 AM
Yes, I think Pletnev's is very enegetic. I need to do one of the sonatas because I would get so bored with Bach and I need some Baroque!

Offline chopiabin

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #7 on: February 20, 2004, 08:31:08 AM
Btw, does anyone have the score to K380 in E major (I think)?

Offline erik-

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #8 on: February 23, 2004, 08:21:36 PM
It's amazing how Argerich plays Scarlatti's Sonata in D minor. It's really really fast yet very clear and very charming. How can she play those repeated notes that fast ?

Offline erik-

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #9 on: February 23, 2004, 08:30:13 PM
When I first discovered Scarlatti, I though his music sounded and looked ridiculously simple. But then I found it actually quite difficult to play well.

Most of the sonatas seem to have a monophonic texture, which makes it very light, so you really have to play eveything crital clear, and everything really has to be perfect.
Oh and all the hand crossing and small ornamentations  ... It's really difficult I think but very beautiful when well played


Offline L.K.

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #10 on: February 23, 2004, 08:56:25 PM
I think the next piece I'm going to learn will be a Scarlatti sonata. :) A bit easier one than that K.141 though. I really like the lightness of Scarlatti. His works seem not to be as Baroque-ish (heh, sorry) as Hδndel, Bach and other Baroque composers.

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #11 on: March 03, 2004, 01:48:06 AM
You can hear (harpsichord though) all 555 Scarlatti sonatas here:

https://www.midiworld.com/scarlatti.htm

Enjoy! :D

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline hoffmanntales

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #12 on: March 05, 2004, 10:39:00 AM
Hi Bernhard, thanks for your suggestions on how to optimize time I spend on my piano. You wrote that starting a session with Bach and Scarlatti it should be a good option. I'm used to playing Bach's Inventions but I never played Scarlatti (although I know him as a composer), so what do you suggest to start with? could you mention a couple of easy sonatas to approach him for the first time?

Thanks again!

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #13 on: March 07, 2004, 03:59:06 AM
Most Scarlatti sonatas are not that difficult. They are not exactly easy either. Kirkpatrick has catalogued 555 of them, most ranging from grade 5 to grade 8, with a few easier than that and a few more advanced than that.

As you may expect, the more musically satisfying sonatas tend to be more difficult. However, the quality of these sonatas is so high, that some that we may think as inferior only seem to be so because the overall quality level is so high. I have already suggested some intermediate sonatas in another thread:

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=stud;action=display;num=1077907916


Here are a few more:

Easy:

K 32 – This is a real gem. Only 24 bars long, technically unchallenging (grade 3), and yet one of the most beautiful sonatas. Slow paced and exuding tranquillity, this reflective piece is the best of the four. (It has actually been recorded by Ingrid Sodergren for Harmonia Mundi, by Maria Tipo for Vox Box and Michae Levin for Naxos. This should just give you an idea of the musical depth of this piece, since when have you heard of pianists recording grade 3 pieces?)

K 34 – A slow thoughtful piece, only 28 bars long (grade 4)

K 40 – A nice minuet only a page long (24 bars) – amongst the easiest of Scarlatti pieces (grade 3)

K 431 – A delightful “baroque prelude” style piece with a fast right hand in arpeggio triplet figurations while the left hand provides a melody in minims and crochets. Although this should be played fast, it is still effective if use a slower tempo. Just 16 bars. (grade 3)

Intermediate:

K70 – (Bb major - Allegro ) A two voice invention (with a third voice intruding on the last two bars of the first part), this is excellent for finger and hand independence. (2:10) Grade 5

K146 – (G major – Allegretto – 3/8 – A nice little menuet full of humour and light. Although it sounds dazzling and virtuosic it is much easier than it sounds. Main difficulty are the fast alternating hands. (3:10) Grade 6

K 198 – (E minor – Allegro) – A masterpiece. Dramatic and powerful, this 2 voice invention (with a third voice intruding on 4 bars near the start of the second part) is still effective at a slower tempo. One of my favourites. (2:50). Grade 6

K 208 – (A major – Andante e cantabile) – Lyrical sonata, with a hauntingly beautiful melody and compelling harmonic progressions. Tranquil and luminous, this is a masterpiece.  (3:40) Grade 5.

K 239 – (F minor - Allegro ) An excellent “dance” piece full of Spanish rhythms.  (3:20) Grade 6

K 481 – (F minor – Andante e cantabile) Introspective, delicate and lyrical this could be an ideal choice for opening a recital. And if you need a study in phrasing and legato this sonata is for you! (6:20) Grade 6.

K 511 – (D major – Allegro) – A masterpiece. This is a 2 voice invention with the figurations equally distributed between the hands. Urgent and dramatic it will still be effective at a slower tempo. Technical problems are minimal.  (2:40) Grade 6.

Advanced:

These sonatas are more difficult (grade 8 and over), but they are so amazing that you may want to have a go at them. Most of the difficulty stems from playing them at tempo. Yet they can be effective at a slower tempo – and much easier.

K 141 – (D minor – Allegro -  3/8 ) – A masterpiece. A fast toccata with lots of repeated notes over long stretches. Beautiful romantic melody after the repeated notes. Broken chords and skips. Excellent as a study replacement. (3: 50) Grade 8.

K 466 – (F minor – Andante moderato) - A masterpiece. Beautiful, slow lyrical sonata. As it is often the case with the lyrical sonatas, this one elicits tranquillity and peacefulness rather than melancholy and grief. Excellent for developing rhythm awareness of triplets versus quavers. It also has 3 against 2. (5:40) Grade 8

K517 – (D minor – Prestissimo – 2/2) Another fast and furious sonata that can easily replace any technical study. With a typical baroque figuration shared by both hands, this one is ideal for scales, broken chords and close position passage work, and excellent for finger independence and dexterity. Intense, urgent and relentless. (3:00) Grade 8

[performance times and grades of difficulty are approximations].

Enjoy! :D

Best wishes,
Bernhard.



The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

kuengb

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #14 on: March 07, 2004, 10:14:05 PM
Not a specific Scarlatti issue, anyway: Bernhard, you mentioned above that you don't like the Scarlatti pieces played on a harpsichord - why not? I am not a purist, and this is not a question of principles, but I have a different opinion.

To me, the sound of a modern piano is too heavy, too mellow, too soft to play (most) baroque piano music. A harpsichord or a clavichord is an instrument that is perfect for such straight, light melodic lines as in a Scarlatti sonata. The strict metronome on both hands needs a very sharp tone; on a hammer piano sounds are always a bit "mixed together".

I think it's just that today's ears simply don't like "Baroqu-ish" sounds because they are quite the opposite of the modern sound ideal, and I agree, a harpsichord sometimes sounds to me like an aristocratic bourgeois living room with a woman doing embroidery (got that from the dictionary) and children who say "Sir" to their own father. (I hope you know what I mean) ::)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #15 on: March 08, 2004, 01:32:35 AM
This is purely a matter of personal taste.

I find the sound of the harpsichord acceptable in small doses. One CD track is about all right. A whole CD and it will start grating on me. The lack of dynamics is a problem. The peculiar harpsichord sound does not help either. But then some people love it.

The clavichord is an entirely different matter. Its sound is very agreeable. And of course it has dynamics. The problem is that you cannot hear it if you go back two steps. And of course it goes out of tune every two bars.

I also disagree that Baroque music should be played metronomically. The metronome had not even been invented! The Baroque had many interesting similarities with the Romantic period. They both thrived on excess (The Classic period – and what could be more symptomatic – brought us the metronome, and was a reaction against baroque excesses). I find impossible to believe that Scarlatti would play his lyric sonatas (e.g. K 213, K69, K208, K27) with a rigid, mechanical pulse. There is no evidence to suggest it, and the most compelling argument is the music itself. Play any of these sonatas metronomically and the music will sound dead, if there is any music in it at all. Moreover Scarlatti was an accomplished keyboard improviser, which again goes against the idea of a rigid pulse. In fact, since – on the harpsichord – you cannot accent notes dynamically, rhythmic accents must have been the current practice, right after embellishment. Unfortunately we have no recordings of the period, so at the end of the day it is all speculation.

All I have to say is that it is exactly what you mentioned – too heavy, too mellow, too soft to play – that makes me like it on the piano. But this is simply my personal taste. (For instance, although the sound of the harpsichord by itself grates on me, I find it much more preferable when accompanying a recorder, since the recorder complements and mellows it somehow. The piano tends to overpower the recorder).

Finally, there is nothing that I dislike more than pianists playing Scarlatti on the piano and trying to make it sound like a harpsichord (either by touch and articulation, or going to the extreme to engineer the piano – as Glenn Gould is reputed to have done). If you are going to play Scarlatti on the piano, you might as well use all of its resources. And that’s why my favourite interpreters of Scarlatti on the piano are Pletnev, Inger Sodergren, Pogorelich, Maria Tipo and Anne Queffelec (of the ones I have heard so far).

And by the way, women doing embroidery in  bourgeois households, looks much more like Romantic Victorian England, than Baroque Spain. ;D

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

kuengb

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #16 on: March 08, 2004, 08:48:13 PM
Thanks for your answer.

Whether the metronome had been invented or not (I didn't know that; interesting point!), I was pretty unclear about that: I didn't want to say that Baroque music had to have a rigid pulse. It's just a fact that sonatas, fugues etc. from that period almost always have kind of a uniform rhythmic structure, that is, all the voices together result in a rhythm that is strongly orientated on the 1/8 or 1/16 pace. I think this is a symbol for the ORDO thought which is probably as important for baroque music as the excess you talked about.

This doesn't mean they have to be played metronomically, I totally agree. But like this, the accent lies much more on the single note as the "basic unit" than for example in Mozart's sonatas. This is just a tendency, of course. Anyway, it seems to me that the harpsichord sound is perfect for this kinda stuff ( *ahem* ).

Another objection: You talked about the lyric sonatas, I think that's a good word to describe them. Well, the word lyric has certainly something to do with that instrument called Lyra (well, I don't know, but it just looks too suspicious to not being true  :) ). And considering this, the harpsichord is definitely a rather lyric, singing instrument, more than a piano, despite its strongly limited variability.

By the way, there are Scarlatti sonatas (I know only a few), which I like very much or even prefer being played on a piano, e.g. L450.

Tato
(...I really should change this name:) )

P.S. : Wasn't Scarlatti Italian? Has he lived in Spain?

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #17 on: March 09, 2004, 01:21:18 AM
Quote

Another objection: You talked about the lyric sonatas, I think that's a good word to describe them. Well, the word lyric has certainly something to do with that instrument called Lyra (well, I don't know, but it just looks too suspicious to not being true  :)


Lyrical (adj.) 1. (of literature, art or music) 1. expressing the the writer’s emotions in an imaginative and beautiful way. 2. of or relating to the words of a popular song. (Concise Oxford dictionary).

Yes, you are right, the word originally comes from "lyre".

I tend to roughly separate the sonatas in "lyrical" (the slow, meditative ones) and "virtuosic" (the fast, dazzling ones). I attach no particular significance to the words.

Quote
P.S. : Wasn't Scarlatti Italian? Has he lived in Spain?


Yes, Scarlatti was Italian (Naples, 1681), but in 1719 he moved to Portugal to become master of music of the Portuguese King Joγo V and his children, one of whom, Princess Maria Barbara married the future Spanish King Ferdinando II. When she moved to Spain in 1729, she took Scarlatti with her. It was in Spain that he composed the bulk of his sonatas. He died there in 1757.

Scarlatti has some interesting parallels with Mozart. His father (like Mozart’s) was an accomplished musician, and also very authoritative (Scarlatti only got his legal independence in 1723, aged 32). He only married at 43. He might have dropped his post in Rome and moved to Portugal to escape his father’s influence.

Although he composed music before going to Portugal (mostly operas and vocal music) his compositions were nothing to write home about. Then suddenly in 1738 he came up with the first book of sonatas (he actually called them “Exercises”), which were dedicated to the king of Portugal, and from then on, all his sonatas were dedicated to Maria Barbara. She must have been a formidable keyboard player! In Spain all sorts of keyboard instruments were available, including early pianos. So Scarlatti may have had any of these instruments in mind when composing the sonatas (same with J.S.Bach).

More than half of his sonatas (350) were written in his last four years (1753- 1757). So he is a prime example of a composer who did his best work at a relatively advanced age. (I am still hopeful! ;D)

Here is Ralph Kirkpatrick’s opinion: (He wrote the definitive book on Scarlatti)

This music ranges from the courtly to the savage, from an almost saccharine urbanity to an acrid violence. Its gaiety is all the more intense for an undertone of tragedy. Its moments of meditative melancholy are at times overwhelmed by a surge of extrovert operatic passion. Most particularly he has expressed that part of his life which was lived in Spain. There is hardly an aspect of Spanish life, of Spanish popular music and dance, that has not found itself a place in the microcosm that Scarlatti created with his sonatas. No Spanish composer, not even Manuel de Falla in the 20th century, has expressed the essence of his native land as completely as did the foreigner Scarlatti. He has captured the click of castanets, the strumming of guitars, the thud of muffled drums, the harsh bitter wail of gypsy lament, the overwhelming gaiety of the village band, and above all the wiry tension of the Spanish dance.(R. K.: Domenico Scarlatti - Princeton)

Perhaps the most interesting detail of all this is that the original autographs of all the sonatas have been completely lost. All the sonatas we know now come from a number of bounded copies originally belonging to Maria Barbara and which on her death passed on to Farinelli (the castrato who was the music director of the Spanish opera) who brought them back to Italy. There they remained in total obscurity until the early 1900’s when pianist Alessandro Longo started cataloguing them. The discovery of Scarlattis’ original manuscripts would be the musical find of the millennium!

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #18 on: March 30, 2004, 03:04:58 AM

At another thread, Green asked:

Quote
Recommendations with comments on technical difficulties (general and specific) and approaches to these would be nice. Fingeringsd, types of finger, wrist (forearm), rotation movements, etc.  


I am answering it here to keep it all in one place (yes, I know, I am an obsessive organiser)

Interestingly enough the sonatas were originally composed as exercises for his pupil the Portuguese princess Maria Barbara – later queen of Spain. She must have developed into a formidable player judging by the virtuosity of some of these sonatas.

Exercises they may be, but they are also and foremost music of supreme beauty, in my opinion completely unrivalled except for the works of J.S. Bach.

So may I ask, why? Why are these masterpieces of keyboard music, which happen to be also exercises catering for almost every possible keyboard skill gathering dust while monstrosities like Hanon and Czerny, and Pischna and Beyer keep being assigned to students?

I for one now only assign my students Scarlatti sonatas (as technical exercises). I suggest that you all do the same.

Although I love all of them, here are some of my favourites:
(Selection reflects my personal taste, not musical value. Times and grades are approximations and subjective).

I. 20 “virtuoso” sonatas (fast, dazzling and technically demanding):

1. K 1 - (D minor - Allegro) This two voice invention is one of my favourite sonatas. Fast and delicate with lots of thirds and scale runs on the right hand, but no difficulty at all in the left hand. (2:30). Grade 6

2. K 13 – (G major – Presto) Fast and brilliant with a catchy, rhythmical theme on repeated notes. One of my favourites. (4:20) Grade 6

3. K 24 - (A major - Allegro) – Virtuoso piece alternating relatively calm sections with dazzling scale runs. (4:55) Grade 8+.

4. K39 – (A major – Allegro) – Fast and furious, full of nervous energy. Excellent for waking up the audience! Figurations are shared equally by both hands. Excellent Czerny replacement and superior warm up piece. Equally effective at a slower tempo. (2:55) Grade 7

5. K 46 – (E major – Presto) Another of my favourites, this sonata “makes my heart soar like a hawk” as the Cheyenne Indian would say. One of the most catchy motifs amongst all sonatas that makes one wish to dance, this is amazing music.  (4:15) Grade 7.

6. K 63 (G major – Allegro) – Also known as Capriccio, this is celebratory, joyful and uplifting music that is much easier to play than it sounds. An all time favourite. Wide skips, echo effects, but fits the hand surprisingly well. (2:00) Grade 5.

7. K 67 (F# minor – Allegro) Toccatta like, this is a fast, dazzling sonata ideal for an encore. One of my favourites. (1:30) Grade 5.

8. K70 – (Bb major - Allegro ) A two voice invention (with a third voice intruding on the last two bars of the first part), this is excellent for finger and hand independence. (2:05) Grade 5.

9. K 98 – (E minor – Alegrissimo) Wonderful study in rhythm with unexpected developments, suspensions and syncopations. (3:30) Grade 7

10. K 119 – (D major – Allegro) – Another sonata ideally suited to replace some of the common technical studies. Fast repeated notes, broken chords, arpeggios, leaps, crossing hands, scale runs. This unusual, percussive – watch out for the castanet sounds! -  sonata has a very catchy, dancing  motif. One of my favourites. (5:40) Grade 6.

11. K 123 – (Eb major – Allegro) – Joyful and uplifting. (4:20) Grade 7.

12. K 125 – (G major – Vivo) – This non-stop sonata will not allow you to catch your breath! Great fun to play and an excellent virtuosistic piece to end a recital on a high note.  If you are looking for a Czerny alternative look no further: it is a study for the left hand plus repeated notes, broken thirds, sixths and octaves. Also good practice for quick adjustments. (2:30) Grade 6

13. K 135 – (E major – Allegro) Dazzling finger work alternating with slow episodes in 4-voice counterpoint. Catchy and uplifiting. (4:05) Grade 7

14. K 141 – (D minor – Allegro) – A masterpiece. A fast toccata with lots of repeated notes over long stretches. Broken chords and skips. Virtuosic with dissonant guitar strumming in the left hand and lots of cross hands. Excellent as a study replacement. (3:30) Grade 8+.

15. K146 – (G major – Allegretto) - A nice little menuet full of humour and light. Although it sounds dazzling and virtuosic it is much easier than it sounds. Main difficulty are the fast alternating hands. (3:10) Grade 6

16. K 342 (A major – Allegro) – Dazzling and fast, this “baroque prelude” style sonata has most of its impressive finger work in the right hand. Excellent for finger control and co-ordination, it is actually much easier than it sounds. Great fun to play. (2:05) grade 5.

17. K 386 – (F minor - ) Another sonata full of brilliance, with fast scales and compelling harmonic progressions. (2:30) Grade 6.

18. K 405 (A major – Allegro) Based on a Spanish Buleria (a kind of Tarantella). Technically undemanding. (3:55) Grade 5.

19. K 427 – (G major – Presto quanto sia possible) Wonderfully exhilarating sonata, both to play and to listen to. The tempo direction (“as fast as possible”) gives you an idea of what to expect. A really electric and uplifting work requiring pianism of the utmost degree. Has a recurring motif that is incredibly joyful and catchy. One of my favourites (2.20) Grade 8

20. K 511 – (D major – Allegro) – A masterpiece. This is a 2 voice invention with the figurations equally distributed between the hands. Urgent and dramatic it will still be effective at a slower tempo. Technical problems are minimal. (2:40) Grade 6.

(continues...)
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #19 on: March 30, 2004, 03:07:04 AM
(Continuing the previous post…)
II. Twenty “Lyrical” sonatas (Slow, reflective and tranquil. Technically unchallenging but requiring the utmost musicality – only for mature students).

1. K 25 (F# minor – Allegro) – A not too fast, beautiful two voice invention that moves in a relentless way with one of the most beautiful motifs of all sonatas. Crossing hands. Broken chords figuration in both hands. Harmonically adventurous and mood setting. A masterpiece. (3:55) Grade 5

2. K27 – (B minor – Allegro) This is my all time favourite Scarlatti sonata. A masterpiece. Surprisingly romantic, could very well have been composed by someone like Schubert. Very untypical Scarlatti. Achingly beautiful melody. Arpeggio figurations and lots of crossing hands. (3:35). Grade 8.

3. K 32 – (D minor – Aria) Lyrical sonata much easier than it sounds. Slow and melancholic. Good as a study in colouring and tone control. Although just one page long it requires some musical maturity to be truly effective. (2:25)  Grade 3.

4. K 52 (D minor – Andante moderato) – Wonderful sonata, lyrical and devotional, uplifting and tranquil. Written (mostly) in 3-voice counterpoint. Another masterpiece. (5:25) Grade 7.

5. K 54 – (A minor – Allegro) – This another of my favourite sonatas. After a typical plaintive start in A minor, it suddenly displays a most romantic theme. Very unusual sonata. Hands crossing, thirds and sixths.  (4:45) Grade 5

6. K 69 - (F minor -Moderato) My top favourite amongst the slow, lyrical sonatas, this is a hauntingly beautiful piece with a complex poliphonic texture. A masterpiece. (5:20) Grade 7

7. K87 – (B minor - Andante ) Intensely lyrical work of great musical depth. Couterpoint in three and four parts. Said to be Horowitz favourite Scarlatti sonata (4:35). Grade 7

8. K132 – (C major – Cantabile) A slow (well, sort of) A lyrical sonata with beautiful lush harmonies, haunting dissonances and arpeggios that are suddenly interrupted by a heart wrenching delicate melody based on repeated notes. One of my all time favourites. (7:25) Grade 6

9. K 197 (B minor - Andante) – Sonata in a lyric, cantabile style, moderately flowing. Expansive, sonorous qualities.  (5:15) Grade 7.



10. K 203 – (E minor – 3/8) – Beautiful sonata with most of the figurations on one hand at a time. An insistent and catchy motif keeps bringing the sonata together. Unusual syncopations. Requires a sizeable hand span and accurate skips in some of the figurations. (4: 50) Grade 5

11. K 208 – (A major – Andante e cantabile) – Lyrical sonata, with a hauntingly beautiful melody and compelling harmonic progressions. Tranquil and luminous, this is a masterpiece. (3:35) Grade 5.

12. K 213 – (D minor - Andante ) – Another of my favourites amongst the lyrical sonatas. A slow full-of-longing melody increases gradually in intensity up to an unusual harmonic climax. Great to play and to listen to. (8:00). Grade 5

13. K 247 – (C# minor – Allegro) – Beautiful lyrical sonata (slightly reminiscent of K 69) with a weaving three voice counterpoint. Enharmonic modulations and movement into remote keys. A masterpiece. (10:00) Grade 6.

14. K 402 – (E minor – Andante - ) One of my favourites slow sonatas. Harmonically advanced and elaborate this is a masterful sonata with a superb central melody. Reflective and spiritual. (12:35) – Grade 5

15. K 404 (A major) – Beautiful lyrical sonata and technically undemanding. (8:55) Grade 4.

16. K 443 – (D major - Allegro ) – One of my all time favourites, After a rhythmic introduction characteristic of Spanish dances,  a most gentle and evocative melody develops. Repeated notes. (4:10) Grade 7

17. K 461 (C major – Allegro) A beautiful sonata full of guitar sounds and Spanish nostalgia. A fast introduction is followed by a most evocative second part (4:00) Grade 5

18. K 466 – (F minor – Andante moderato) - A masterpiece. Beautiful, slow lyrical sonata. As it is often the case with the lyrical sonatas, this one elicits tranquillity and peacefulness rather then melancholy and grief. Excellent for developing rhythm awareness of triplets versus quavers. It also has 3 against 2. (5:40) Grade 8.

19. K 478 (D major – Andante cantabile) – Beautiful lyrical sonata (and one of the longest). Uses the whole keyboard. (12:00) Grade 8.

20. K 481 – (F minor – Andante e cantabile) Introspective, delicate and lyrical this could be an ideal choice for opening a recital. And if you need a study in phrasing and legato this sonata is for you! (6:25) Grade 6.

21. K 544 – (Bb major – Cantabile) – A beautiful aria, this lyrical sonata is a real gem. With occasional 4-voice couterpoint it has dignified, overlapping phrases. (4:10) Grade 5.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Motrax

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #20 on: April 18, 2004, 07:16:37 AM
I'm rather surprised nobody has mentioned K 184. The midi of it is stunningly awful, taken about about 75% the speed of my recording, and it seems to have a few technical errors as well. I admit I don't know who the pianist is on my recording (that's what I get for copying music from friends), but it seems to be quite a virtuistic piece, and a rather lovely one as well. It's my personal favorite of all the sonatas.
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #21 on: April 21, 2004, 02:16:45 AM
In another thread, Kerry asked:

Quote
I love the slow delicate sonatas and I am hoping you can suggest a few more.  I have had so much pleasure playing Scarlatti.


So, here are another 20 fast and dazzling sonatas:

(Sonata selection, performance times and grades are subjective)

1. K 3 – (A minor - Presto) – Electrical piece with ultra fast scale rushes. Looks easy on the page, but wait until you try to play it up to tempo (2:40) Grade 8.

2. K14 – (G major – Presto) Looking for fast (very fast) scale runs interspersed with a beautiful staccato melody? Look no further than this sparkling gigue. (3.05) Grade 7

3. K 20  - (E major – Presto) Virtuosistic sonata that is the sort of “expected” Scarlatti: guitar imitation, Spanish rhythms, fast scales in thirds, repeated notes and lots of ornaments. Great show off piece. If you want to develop a certain kind of technique, burn the Czerny and play this sonata instead. (3.00) Grade 6.

4. K 43 (G minor – Allegrissimo) Ferocious and virtuosistic sonata.  (2:40) Grade 7

5. K64 – (D minor – Allegro) – A determined and energetic gavotte, one of Scarlatti’s most played and well known pieces.  (1:45). Grade 6.

6. K 96 – (D major – Allegro) Another “typical” Scarlatti sonata (similar to the overplayed K 380). Richly textured. It has everything in it: Horn calls, fast repeated notes, trills, suspensions, cross relations, parallel fifths, big leaps, scale runs and guitar imitations (5.05) Grade 8

7. K 119 – (D major – Allegro) – Another sonata ideally suited to replace some of the common technical studies. Fast repeated notes, broken chords, arpeggios, leaps, crossing hands, scale runs. This unusual, percussive – watch out for the castanet sounds! -  sonata has a very catchy, dancing  motif. One of my favourites. (5:40) Grade 6.

8. K 120 (D minor – Allegro) A fast sonata full of nervous energy, this is the cross hand piece to end all cross hand pieces! Leaping bass figures, double notes in both hands. Unusual and difficult.. (4:15) Grade 8.

9. K 124 – (G major – Allegro) Tired of practising arpeggios? Try this sonata instead. A breezy arpeggio study with very fast triplet semiquavers. Uplifting and extroverted. Go and jump on a lake, Hanon!. (4: 40). Grade 7

10. K 162 – (E major - Andante) After a slow, lyrical beginning all hell breaks loose, and a fast, dazzling sonata ensues with occasional returns to the slow theme. (5:20) Grade 8.

11. K 175 (A minor – Allegro) – A vigorous impulsive sonata with most of the finger work on the right hand. The left hand (which demands a hand span covering at least an octave) plays sonorous chords and tone clusters – with up to ten notes! – imitating the strumming of a guitar. This Sonata was composed in 1752. Here Scarlatti succeeds in making conventional harmonies with slight changes sound quite extraordinary for the period. The Sonata has real Spanish character with vitality and bravura. Musically, the guitar-like sounds of the left hand chords are particularly fascinating.  (3:45). Grade 5

12. K 201 – (G major – Vivo) – Uplifting and dazzling. Arpeggios and thirds, another excellent replacement for technical studies. Requires brilliant figurations for both hands. (3:40). Grade 5

13. K 373 (G minor – Presto a fugato) Wonderful sonata with scales (some chromatic) alternating hands over the whole extent of the keyboard. (2:45) Grade 5.

14. K 406 – (C major – Allegro). This is joyful music that makes you want to skip and jump and dance! This is the kind of music that makes you smile for hours after listening to it. This cures depression, serious! Great for your trills and glissando-like scales.  (3.05) Grade 6

15. K 421 – (C major – Allegro) One of my favourites, this is a brilliant and dazzling sonata with plenty of repeated notes. It is said to represent children running through the streets of Madrid.  (3:30) Grade 6

16. K 454 (G major – Andante spirituoso) After a calm opening and nice little folk-like tune this sonata goes onto a breathless sequence of scurrying scales and broken chords over the entire length of the keyboard on both hands. Unexpected changes. Good Czerny replacement and warm-up piece.  (4:50) Grade 5.

17 . K 470 – (G major – Allegretto) – Starts with determined, percussive chords, which are followed by a fast figuration of great delicacy equally shared between the hands. Good Czerny replacement and warm up. Fast and dazzling this sonata exudes confidence. (4:50) Grade 6.

18. K 487 (C major – Allegro) A percussive sonata, full of zest and unresolved dissonances that make it sound brittle and sharp. Difficult octave leaps on the left hand. (4:10) Grade 7

19. K 502 (C major – Allegro) – Inventive sonata with many original musical ideas. Starts lively in 3/8 and modulates to G minor to end the first half in G major. On the second part changes meter to 2/4 and returns to 3/8 at the end. Dotted figuration, including dotted rests. (3:55) Grade 6

20. K 513 (C major – Pastorale: Moderato – Molto allegro – Presto) One of the few sonatas written in different movements (tempos). Shepherd pipes and bagpipes drones are imitated. The final movement (presto) is exhilarating and virtuosic. This Pastorale was composed in 1756 during Scarlatti's late period. It recalls the piping of the shepherds who came down into Rome from the surrounding hills at Christmas time. They begin in a moderate tempo, the drone of their bagpipes is heard in a quicker section, and finally they celebrate in a joyful Presto. (5:40) Grade 8.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #22 on: April 21, 2004, 02:18:49 AM
And here are another 20 lyrical sonatas:

1. K 8 – (G minor – Allegro) In spite of the tempo indication this is a slow, lyrical sonata. .Melancholic and intense. (5:55) Grade 7.

2. K 30  - (G minor - Moderato) – A beautiful and complex fugue. (3:50) Grade 8.

3. K 77 (D minor – Moderato e cantabile – minuet) Painfully nostalgic and evocative lyrical sonata followed by a lively minuet. A masterpiece.  (7:25) Grade 7

4. K 99 (C minor - ) – A beautiful , tranquil and lyrical sonata that grows in emotional intensity as it develops. (7:25) Grade 6

5. K 109 – (A minor – Adagio) – Beautiful lyrical writing in three and four part couterpoint. Excellent as a study in voicing. Recital material for the intermediate player.  (7:35) Grade 6.

6. K 112 (Bb major - Allegro) – A beautiful, lyrical sonata. Crossing hands. (5:20) Grade 5.

7. K 147 (E minor – Lento) A beautiful lyrical and reflective sonata.  (7:40) Grade 6

8. K 193 (E flat major - Allegretto) – A beautiful, lyrical sonata not too slow.  (4:20). Grade 6

9. K 209 – (A major – Allegro) Uplifiting sonata, not too fast. (4:10) Grade 6

10. K 215 – (E major – Andante) – Sudden shifts of key abound in this sonata (6:00) Grade 7

11. K 259 – (G major – Andante) – A two and three voice invention. Lyrical and tranquil. Slightly reminiscent of K 208. (5:50) Grade 7.

12. K 318 (F# major – Andante) An unusual key that suggests that Scarlatti was familiar with equal temperament tuning. A lyrical and calm sonata.  (6:20) Grade 7.

13. K 322 (Amajor - Allegro ) A delicate, joyful sonata with a Mozartian flavour. (2:55) Grade 6

14. K 381 – (E major – Allegro) – This beautiful two-voice invention is excellent for finger and hand co-ordination and independence. A most beautiful melody on the second part.(4:30) Grade 5.

15. K 426 (G minor – Andante) Another beautiful lyrical sonata, deeply reflective and tranquil, and not at all melancholic. Rich textures and highly musical. Very good as a study in long phrases. Sudden dramatic silences.  (7:40) Grade 8.

16. K429 – (A major - Allegro) – Lyrical and gently lilting sonata. Counterpoint in three and four parts. (2:50) Grade 6.

17. K 491 (D major – Allegro) – Rhythmical percussive beginning followed by a romantic arpeggiated section (not unlike a Schubert impromptu) with a most pleasing melody. A masterpiece. (5:50). Grade 6

18. K 446 (F major - Pastorale: Allegrissimo) In spite of the tempo direction this is a relatively slow sonata, lyrical and reflexive.  (5:00) Grade 6.

19. K 546 (G minor) – Written in 2 and 3 parts, this is another lyrical, melancholic sonata with a beautiful, flowing melody. Recorded by Benjamin Frith for Naxos. (5:17) grade 7

20. K 547 (G major – Allegro) – Lively and imposing sonata with a beautiful recurring motif. Two voice invention (with an occasional third voice) equally shared between hands. Effective at a slower tempo. Great warm up. (4:20) Grade 5.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Antnee

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #23 on: April 21, 2004, 02:27:57 AM
My teacher also feeds me LOTS of scarlatti and they have worked better as a technical exercise (and they are great peices of music) than anything else. They are wonderful. Everyone should play these!!!!  ;D

-Tony-
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Offline belvoce

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #24 on: June 03, 2004, 02:39:36 AM
Scarlatti is so cool! So far I've played k.119 and k.239. I love them so much! I can't wait to learn more of them!

Offline ThePhoenixEffect

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #25 on: June 04, 2004, 08:24:34 PM
Is there any collection of all his sonatas?  The sheet music archive doesn't have all of them, yet.

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #26 on: June 04, 2004, 11:47:27 PM
Quote
Is there any collection of all his sonatas?  The sheet music archive doesn't have all of them, yet.



You can get all Scarlatti sonatas plus all Haydn sonatas for less than US$ 20 (That's over 2500 pages of music!)

It all comes in a CD from CD Sheet music.

Check their Website:

https://www.cdsheetmusic.com/

However, this is the Longo edition which is now considered outdated. I find it perfeclty all right to check on the music, but once I decide to play the sonata I always check with one of the most recent editions (the one I recommend is the Heugel edition, edited by Kenneth Gilbert and based on the Ralph Kirkpatrick facsimiles - luckily my local library has the complete set!).

Best wishes,
Bernhard.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline rafant

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #27 on: November 15, 2004, 08:05:06 PM
Thanks a lot, Prof. Bernhard for your beautiful and careful guides about Scarlatti's sonatas. I have printed them for my private use in hearing records and choosing the ones I purpose to learn to play. I became recently in love with this wonderful music, it's has been really a pleasent discovery.

I have bought the sheetmusic CD, downloaded the Prof. Sankeys's midi records and I'm about to receive the first 5 CD's issued by Naxos. Naxos appears to have issued Volumes 6 and 7, but they aren't available at Amazon. com yet.

I have an EMI record by Christian Zacharias (33 Sonatas). I enjoy specially his interpretations of K208 (the next one I'm going to learn), K380, K466 and above all K296. The latter is a superb piece, absolutely gorgeous. Prof Sankey plays it too much fast, but Zacharias chooses a slower tempo and, with wise dynamics, he succeeds in highlighting superbly its lyrical qualities. It's exquisite music. On the other hand, Sankey is more effective than Zacharias in achieving an addictive and precise rhythm in K380 and K466, where it's so important.

 I think K296 is an intermediate level piece, but I'd be grateful of knowing your opinion.

Kind regards.

Offline Mayla

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #28 on: April 29, 2005, 02:47:03 AM
.
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Offline Kassaa

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #29 on: April 29, 2005, 05:03:12 AM
Is there someone who recorded them all for piano, because I don't like harpsichord.

Offline xvimbi

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #30 on: April 29, 2005, 11:47:23 AM
Is there someone who recorded them all for piano, because I don't like harpsichord.

There are more than 550 of them... In any case, Naxos has a series called: "Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas" on the piano

Offline ahmedito

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #31 on: April 29, 2005, 08:35:52 PM
Ive been in love with Scarlatti my whole life, because since I was very small, it was all my father would ever play on the piano (some Mozart, but not a lot).

When I came back home after auditioning and being accepted in Spain, my teacher said: Play anything you want. And I chose Scarlatti!!! For 5 months I only played Scarlatti sonatas and never get tired of them. Ive got 2 hours of Scarlatti in my repertoire, and little else :)

Its hard to choose a favorite, but I the ones I like the most are the crazy hand crossing -- three octave jumps Allegros.... and the "Cat's Fugue", because according to legend he got the intervals for that fugue, from his cat walking across the keyboard.

I like Pogorelich's version.
For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline iumonito

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #32 on: April 30, 2005, 03:49:39 AM
Great thread; Vivi Felice!.  I am surprised to see there are several unaswered questions from the original message.

I play mine in sets, according to consecutive, contrasting, sonatas in the same key.  There are several sonatas that are single, and many which are in larger groups.

My favorites include K.20 (single), K.29 (single), K.87 (single), KK. 158-159, KK.466-467 and KK 490-491-492.  Others I love, but these happen to show up on my music desk often.

Very healthy repertoire.

On Kirkpatrick's book, I find it amusing, although it is outdated, almost as much as the Longo edition.  These are great entry points, but the student should not linger there.

I like the Heugel edition as well, although I am partial for the facsimile edition of the Parma manuscript, which seems to be a superior source that the Venice one Kirkpatrick took as his starting point.  Never judge a book by its cover!

Bernhard, if you haven't read it, you should become,e familiar with the work of Pestelli, Sheveloff and a cute little book from the society of ancient music of Nice called "Domenico Scarlatti, 13 Recherges.

Here is a little gift, fro Scarlatti himself:

Reader,
Whether you be dilettante or professor, in these compositions do not expect any profound learning, but rather ingenious jesting with Art, to train you to the mastery of the gravicembalo.  Neither considerations of interest, nor visions of ambition, but only obedience moved me to publish them.  Perhaps they will be agreeable to you; then all the more gladly will I obey other commands to please you in an easier and more varied style.  Show yourself then more human than critical, and then you will increase your own pleasure.  To designate to you the position of the hands, notice that D indicates teh right, and M the left: Live happily.
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #33 on: July 23, 2005, 07:18:25 PM
Thanks a lot, Prof. Bernhard for your beautiful and careful guides about Scarlatti's sonatas. I have printed them for my private use in hearing records and choosing the ones I purpose to learn to play. I became recently in love with this wonderful music, it's has been really a pleasent discovery.

I have bought the sheetmusic CD, downloaded the Prof. Sankeys's midi records and I'm about to receive the first 5 CD's issued by Naxos. Naxos appears to have issued Volumes 6 and 7, but they aren't available at Amazon. com yet.

I have an EMI record by Christian Zacharias (33 Sonatas). I enjoy specially his interpretations of K208 (the next one I'm going to learn), K380, K466 and above all K296. The latter is a superb piece, absolutely gorgeous. Prof Sankey plays it too much fast, but Zacharias chooses a slower tempo and, with wise dynamics, he succeeds in highlighting superbly its lyrical qualities. It's exquisite music. On the other hand, Sankey is more effective than Zacharias in achieving an addictive and precise rhythm in K380 and K466, where it's so important.

 I think K296 is an intermediate level piece, but I'd be grateful of knowing your opinion.

Kind regards.


You are quite right. K296 is around grades 4/5. It is a beautiful piece (I do not have the Zacharias CD though).  :D And I agree with you, Sankey plays it on the fast side.

Best wishes,
Bernhard
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #34 on: July 23, 2005, 07:27:03 PM

Bernhard, if you haven't read it, you should become,e familiar with the work of Pestelli, Sheveloff and a cute little book from the society of ancient music of Nice called "Domenico Scarlatti, 13 Recherges.


Thanks for the suggestions. :D

Do you have a full reference for Sheveloff? (I know he has written a thesis on the sonatas - but as afar as I know it has not been published)

Right now I am reading Dean Suttcliffe - "The keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and 18th century musical style"

https://www.echo.ucla.edu/volume6-issue1/reviews/talbot.html

Beat wishes,
Bernhard
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline Motrax

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #35 on: July 24, 2005, 03:24:08 AM
Out of curiosity, were you going to write up a complete description of all the sonatas (as you've already done with a number of them in this topic) in a nice, organized file for public consumption? I seem to remember you eluding to the fact, though I'm not sure whether it's my memory or my desires to which my thoughts led me.  ;)
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #36 on: July 24, 2005, 04:27:35 AM
I am glad to hear this interest in the scarlatti..
THere is so much variety in his music either when taken as a whole or as a single piece.

It is ard to believe that he did not exhaust himself of ideas...
"He who answers without listening...that is his folly and his shame"    (A very wise person)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #37 on: September 15, 2005, 12:21:21 AM
Out of curiosity, were you going to write up a complete description of all the sonatas (as you've already done with a number of them in this topic) in a nice, organized file for public consumption? I seem to remember you eluding to the fact, though I'm not sure whether it's my memory or my desires to which my thoughts led me.  ;)

I’ working on it. :P
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline iumonito

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #38 on: September 15, 2005, 12:58:19 AM
Do you have a full reference for Sheveloff? (I know he has written a thesis on the sonatas - but as afar as I know it has not been published)


I will check out Sutcliff when I get  a chance, thanks.  Off the top of my head, I recall at least one published article by Sheveloff "Tercentenary Frustrations."  You can find it pretty easily if you have access to Diamond.  Let me know if not and I will dig a bit in my library in a couple of weeks (sorry, swamped at work these days).
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #39 on: September 15, 2005, 01:04:25 AM
I will check out Sutcliff when I get  a chance, thanks.  Off the top of my head, I recall at least one published article by Sheveloff "Tercentenary Frustrations."  You can find it pretty easily if you have access to Diamond.  Let me know if not and I will dig a bit in my library in a couple of weeks (sorry, swamped at work these days).

I don't think I have access to Diamond :'(. As a matter of fact I don't kow what is Diamond :-[
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline iumonito

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #40 on: September 17, 2005, 02:47:50 AM
How silly of me.  I apologize.  Let's see: one thing at a time:

1) The citation for the Sheveloff article I was suggesting:

Sheveloff, Joel.  "Domenico Scarlatti: Tercentenary Frustrations."  Musical Quarterly 71, no. 4; 72, no. 1 (1985: 1986): 339-436; 90-118.

2) The other cute little book I also mentioned:

Recontres Internationales de Musique Ancienne.  Domenico Scarlatti, 13 Recherches: a l'occasion du tricentenaire de la naissance de Domenico Scarlatti celebre a Nice lors des Premieres Recontres Internationales de Musique Ancienne.  Cahiers de la Societe de Musique Ancienne de Nice, No. 1.  Nice: La Societe de Musique Ancienne de Nice, 1985.

(Sorry, I have no accents in my computer)

3) Now the Diamond book:

I think this link should take you to it in amazon.com.  It is a widely available reference book, so you should be able to access it through the same channels you would be able to get the articles cited above.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0028701100/qid=1126924956/sr=1-10/ref=sr_1_10/103-3713697-6662263?v=glance&s=books

The book is called:

Diamond, Harold.  Music Analyses: An Annotated Guide to the Literature.  Schirmer Books, 1991.

Enjoy!
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #41 on: September 17, 2005, 08:45:35 AM
How silly of me.  I apologize.  Let's see: one thing at a time:

1) The citation for the Sheveloff article I was suggesting:

Sheveloff, Joel.  "Domenico Scarlatti: Tercentenary Frustrations."  Musical Quarterly 71, no. 4; 72, no. 1 (1985: 1986): 339-436; 90-118.

2) The other cute little book I also mentioned:

Recontres Internationales de Musique Ancienne.  Domenico Scarlatti, 13 Recherches: a l'occasion du tricentenaire de la naissance de Domenico Scarlatti celebre a Nice lors des Premieres Recontres Internationales de Musique Ancienne.  Cahiers de la Societe de Musique Ancienne de Nice, No. 1.  Nice: La Societe de Musique Ancienne de Nice, 1985.

(Sorry, I have no accents in my computer)

3) Now the Diamond book:

I think this link should take you to it in amazon.com.  It is a widely available reference book, so you should be able to access it through the same channels you would be able to get the articles cited above.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0028701100/qid=1126924956/sr=1-10/ref=sr_1_10/103-3713697-6662263?v=glance&s=books

The book is called:

Diamond, Harold.  Music Analyses: An Annotated Guide to the Literature.  Schirmer Books, 1991.

Enjoy!

He he, Harold Diamond is sitting on my shelf. When you mentioned "Diamond" (which just shows how internet addicted one can get) I though you were referring to one of these scholarly databases in the web that you must subscribe to in order to view the articles contained therein. ::)

Thanks a lot for the references, I will look them up :D


Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline arensky

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #42 on: September 23, 2005, 02:09:38 AM
What do you think of Ralph Kirkpatrick’s idea that they should be played in pairs?



This is the first I have heard of this! It intrigues me. We usually hear Scarlatti Sonatas in groups of 4 to 5 Sonatas, a la Horowitz' programming.  What does Kirkpatrick say about this Bernhard? You can only play two at a time, or can you amass double or triple pairs; Sounds like bridge or poker...

This is interesting because I am revising my upcoming solo recital repertoire yet again... :-[, , wanting to do a group of old and new (to me) Scarlatti Sonatas, I was thinking of a group of three, but what are Kirkpatrick's view's on this? Inquiring mind wants to know... :D

Also, have you heard the young Russian (?) Pianist Sergei Babayan's Scarlatti CD? I think it's really good...interesting, in your list of favorite Scarlatti pianists the name Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli does not appear..inquiring mind.... ???

Also, Dr. Sheveloff was my Music History II (Rennaisance) professor, and my academic advisor the following year. He is a swell guy, I called him up at home about 6 years after I had last spoken to him, he remembered who I was (!) and gave me advice on a topic, which was which Medieval Psaltery to buy as a present for a medieval singing young lady friend  :-* . And he was not annoyed either! You should contact him, you two have a lot (a deep love and passion for D. Scaraltti) in common!

Oh, my current favorite Sonata is L. 481 in f# minor.... 8)
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Offline iumonito

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #43 on: September 23, 2005, 02:56:45 AM
I hope you don't mind my jumping in.  The pairing of the sonatas is an undeniable fact.  It can simply not be a coincidence that there are lots and lots of pairs of sonatas.  My experience is that they are much more effective if you play them in pairs.  For example, 466 is great, but 466 and 467 are truly a major work.

Some sonatas are single (e.g., 101, 413) and some come in groups of three and maybe more (490-491-492).  Nothing wrong with the pairs including one major and one minor keys (like 158-159).

Although you can do the Busoni-like thing and group them regardless of their location in the codex (e.g. Sonatas 20 and 380, 28 and 381, or the four of them together in one set), what aesthetic reason would guide you there?  That's just being naughty (nothing wrong with it, it is just that I find it senseless).  Same thing with braking pairs.  Scarlatti was very much not a stickler for rules, so I am sure he wouldn't mind.  It is just that you are missing something wonderful if you don't play the sonatas with their pairs.

Vivi felice!
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline arensky

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #44 on: September 23, 2005, 05:05:52 AM
Are the pairs consecutive in the Longo or Kirkpatrick numbering? Is there a chart somewhere that pairs up the paired sonatas and the single sonatas? I know that Longo groups them according to key, but I've never been convinced by his "Suite" arrangements, but maybe thata's what Scarlatti meant and I'm a dumb pregnant cat...if D. Scarlatti was not a stickler for rules, then I'm in good shape; my group changes from day to day, but I really want to do L.481  8) and L.186 (trusty reliable friend, probably the opener) and in the middle, L.33 in b minor. But is a tryptich wrong? What do you think, iumonito...and Bernhard...
=  o        o  =
   \     '      /   

"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline arensky

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #45 on: September 23, 2005, 08:08:25 AM
WHAT ABOUT SCARLATTI!!!????I TELL U WHUT ABOUT SCARLATTI!!!!! >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(


Domenico's **** great, that's what about Scarlatti!!!!!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
=  o        o  =
   \     '      /   

"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline iumonito

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #46 on: September 24, 2005, 02:55:13 AM
Are the pairs consecutive in the Longo or Kirkpatrick numbering? Is there a chart somewhere that pairs up the paired sonatas and the single sonatas? I know that Longo groups them according to key, but I've never been convinced by his "Suite" arrangements, but maybe thata's what Scarlatti meant and I'm a dumb pregnant cat...if D. Scarlatti was not a stickler for rules, then I'm in good shape; my group changes from day to day, but I really want to do L.481  8) and L.186 (trusty reliable friend, probably the opener) and in the middle, L.33 in b minor. But is a tryptich wrong? What do you think, iumonito...and Bernhard...

Nothing wrong with a tryptich.

The Longo numbering makes no sense to me.  The Kirkpatrick numbering is largely based on the sequence of the Venice codex (the one with the pretty cover), starting right after the 30 excercizi (the first 30 sonatas in the Kirkpatrick catalogue).  The 30 were published during Scarlatti's life, possibly for the king of Portugal to show off that he had the best haprsichordist at his service.

After those thirty, Kirkpatrick starts at the begining of the Venice volumes, then switches over at around 550 or up there for the sonatas only available in the Parma codex.

I am not fully versed on the details, so please correct anything I may have gotten wrong.  There is also a pestelli catalogue, which I am unfamiliar with.

You can look up the companions to your sonatas in this index:

https://www.classical.net/music/composer/works/scarlattid/index.html
Money does not make happiness, but it can buy you a piano.  :)

Offline baadshah

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #47 on: September 24, 2005, 11:31:50 PM
to answer the original question, my favourite scarlatti recordings must be by
PLETNEV
 they are absolutely incredible - he takes quite a few liberties - sensational.
 i am not crazy about horowitz - seems a bit dry when compared to pletnev, but have an interesting version on fortepiano by Alan Planes. do you know it

Offline burstroman

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #48 on: September 25, 2005, 01:44:40 AM
I've been collecting Scarlatti Sonata over the years (i.e. learning and performing some).  Each time I've performed one or two, I can't help but think how far I've fallen short of the ideal interpretation.  They make great recital openers or fine encores.  They are pure musical gymnastics in the finest sense.

Offline princessdecadence

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Re: What about Scarlatti?
Reply #49 on: September 25, 2005, 03:41:24 PM
K141 is currently my dream song (to play).

Horowitz did a nice 2 volume albums just on Scarlatti's sonatas, I only have vol. 2. Definitely worth buying.  And don't worry about ideal interpretations - they already sound pretty different played on the piano.
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