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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22024
Recording details: June 1993
Wigmore Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ates Orga
Engineered by Ken Blair
Release date: October 1993
Total duration: 3 minutes 3 seconds

'All these performances are a marvel of the most concentrated pianism, musical thought and emotion … sound and presentation are fully equal to a very special occasion' (Gramophone)

'Here, captured all too rarely even in live recordings, is the raptly magical concentration exceptional to the adrenalin of a concert. Utter finesse, exquisite control of tone colour and sharply intelligent empathy. The Vorisek is breathtakingly beautiful' (BBC Music Magazine)

'All-encompassing mastery … first rate' (American Record Guide)

Sonata in B minor, Kk377

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
It is by his extraordinary single-movement keyboard sonatas, or Essercizi – over 550 of them – that Domenico Scarlatti, a contemporary of Bach and Handel, is best remembered today. ‘Elegant, lively, clever, brilliant in their virtuosity … rococo music of the finest type’ (Hugo Leichtentritt), a treasury of miraculous fantasy and invention, they are revolutionary and revolutionizing expressions of genius. Designed, the composer tells us, not to display ‘any profound learning, but rather an ingenious Jesting with Art’, the vitality of their imagination, the pungent audacity of their harmonic language, the tension of their displaced accents and cross-rhythms, the style and texture of their keyboard manner (with colouristic effects and extravagant three-dimensional leaps and changes of position that transform our whole conception of classical bass and treble registration), the flamboyance of their dynamic and kinetic energy is remarkable. They sound youthful. They aren’t. As Ralph Kirkpatrick comments in his famous study of the composer published forty years ago: ‘Unlike Purcell, Mozart, or Schubert, Domenico Scarlatti was not born with the gift of prophecy. Like Rameau, Haydn, or Verdi, he discovered his richest channels of inspiration in his old age … what looks like the development of a lifetime actually took place after Scarlatti was fifty, and largely after his sixty-seventh year!’ The Sonata in C minor, Kk11, comes from the printed Essercizi of 1738/9; the B minor, Kk377, from a manuscript collection in a copyist’s hand, prepared for the Queen of Spain in 1754 (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice).

from notes by Ates Orga © 1998

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