Not one of Scarlatti's 550 or so keyboard sonatas may be regarded as typical, remarked the scholar Ralph Kirkpatrick. These richly rewarding pieces—predominantly in single movement binary form—astonish our ears with their fertile invention variegated colours, capricious mood changes and so very often their extraordinary power to touch our sensibilities. Angela Hewitt, playing a warm-toned, evenly spoken Fazioli piano, responds intuitively and alluringly to the multi-faceted character of her chosen sonatas. At one moment she is exposing their raw, percussive elements as in the D minor Sonata, K141, where we sense an Iberian influence, or in the spirited G major Sonata, K13 evoking in its hammer strokes the overture to Rameau's acte de ballet Pygmalion; at another Hewitt draws us into an altogether more intimate world with tender inflections. Such is the case with the reflective B minor piece K87, which hauntingly brings to mind Rameau’s Les tendres plaintes, and the meditative F minor Sonata, K69.
Only in the E major Sonata, K380, the best-known piece on the disc, did I feel that Hewitt's pacing was perhaps a shade too leisurely. Otherwise this excellently recorded disc is outstanding. In her detailed essay Hewitt intimates a wish to issue further volumes. Wonderful news!