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CD Review

Domenico Scarlatti

Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Volume 6

  • Sonata in E Major, K. 135/L. 224/P. 234
  • Sonata in A Major, K. 429/L. 132/P. 132
  • Sonata in D Major, K. 478/L. 12/P. 503
  • Sonata in E Major, K. 169/L. 331/P. 247
  • Sonata in E Major, K. 259/L. 103/P. 463
  • Sonata in C Major, K. 502/L. 3/P. 408
  • Sonata in F Major, K. 419/L. 279/P. 524
  • Sonata in F minor, K. 19/L. 383/P. 75
  • Sonata, K. 112/L. 298/P. 94
  • Sonata in E Flat Major, K. 123/L. 111/P. 180
  • Sonata in F Major, K. 274/L. 297/P. 491
  • Sonata in A Major, K. 405/L. 43/P. 438
  • Sonata in F Sharp Major, K. 318/L. 31/P. 302
  • Sonata in F Sharp minor, K. 67/L. 32/P. 125
  • Sonata in C Sharp minor, K. 247/L. 256/P. 297
  • Sonata in E Major, K. 63/L. 84/P. 32
Evgeny Zarafiants, piano
Naxos 8.554793
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Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Volume 2

  • Sonata in G Major, K. 2
  • Sonata in A Major, K. 322
  • Sonata in A Major, K. 323
  • Sonata in E Major, K. 380
  • Sonata in A Major, K. 113
  • Sonata in F minor, K. 69
  • Sonata in C Major, K. 308
  • Sonata in C Major, K. 132
  • Sonata in C Major, K. 133
  • Sonata in E Flat Major, K. 474
  • Sonata in G minor, K. 30
  • Sonata in D Major, K. 33
  • Sonata in D Major, K. 335
  • Sonata in D Major, K. 336
  • Sonata in D minor, K. 34
  • Sonata in D Major, K. 435
  • Sonata in D minor, K. 9
  • Sonata in D minor, K. 517
Luc Beauséjour, harpsichord
Analekta FL23163
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Pianists in large numbers continue exploring Scarlatti's 555 keyboard sonatas and recording labels regularly oblige them in their mission. Here, Naxos issues its Volume 6 in a series that has thus far offered a different pianist in every release. Volume 1 featured Georgian émigré pianist, Eteri Andjaparidze (8.553061 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ), while the ensuing issue presented the American Michael Lewin (8.553067 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ), followed by the Hungarian Jenő Jandó (8.555047), the American Beatrice Long (8.553846 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ), and, in Volume 5, the British pianist Benjamin Frith (8.554792 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan . Despite some mixed results, the Naxos series has been a generally successful endeavor.

The Russian Yevgeny Zarafiants carries the torch this time, having scored two previous successes for Naxos with a pair of Scriabin discs. Here, he shows great sensitivity in this varied collection of Scarlatti sonatas. Some may prefer a lighter touch and a generally less meaty approach than Zarafiants gives most of these works, but I like his way with Scarlatti, and in the end I think most listeners will find his more Romantic style quite appealing.

With Canadian artist Luc Beauséjour, using a harpsichord, we enter what most would consider a more authentic interpretive world. That said, I must confess my preference for hearing Scarlatti on a modern piano. Beauséjour's Scarlatti is robust and colorful, joyful and jaunty, but also subtle and refined. I missed his first volume in this series (FL23041 Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ), but on the evidence here, I would say that his discs are worth acquiring for those preferring a harpsichord in these sonatas.

The sound on both the Naxos and Analekta discs is vivid and the notes in the accompanying booklets are informative.

Copyright © 2004, Robert Cummings

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