Warwick Thompson
October 2017

Recordings of Scarlatti’s sonatas can too often concentrate on the kind of Spanish picture-postcard effects, evoking splashy flamenco, castanet and guitar, which the composer found unerringly easy to replicate on the keyboard. But there’s so much more to Angela Hewitt’s second disc of Scarlatti. The Iberian firecracker elements are naturally present and correct: the dazzling K24 in A major, with its whizzing scales and percussive repetitions, is full of Spanish verve. But she also finds melancholy and bittersweet notes, sometimes in unexpected places (her sweet playing of the Christmas carol in K513 is a lovely example), and she does a wonderful job creating concerto-ripieno effects in some of the grander sonatas. Her programme notes are illuminating too, and wonderfully encouraging of amateurs to explore this repertoire.