Author Topic: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)  (Read 61320 times)

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Offline amw

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #460 on: August 08, 2018, 03:38:56 AM »
Also if you like historical pianos, Aline Zylberajch has a disc on Ambronay on a Silbermann Cristofori replica that's not to be missed. (There are also some fortepianos in the Belder & Lester integrals but not, as far as I know, available outside the box sets)

Offline Biffo

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #461 on: August 08, 2018, 03:44:54 AM »
I haven't listened to the Horowitz recording in years.  It was the first recording of these sonatas I heard on piano and I wonder how it stands up today.

A couple of years ago DG issued a set of Horowitz's later recordings and it included some Scarlatti. The gush in the booklet said something along the lines that most pianists would give their right arms to be able to play Scarlatti like Horowitz. To me it didn't even sound like Scarlatti. I have very little Scarlatti on the piano (Michelangeli and few others), I vastly prefer it played on the harpsichord.

Offline San Antone

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #462 on: August 08, 2018, 05:51:21 AM »
Not sure if Tharaud has been mentioned, but I am listening now and enjoying it.


Online Mandryka

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #463 on: August 08, 2018, 09:05:55 AM »
I haven't listened to the Horowitz recording in years.  It was the first recording of these sonatas I heard on piano and I wonder how it stands up today.

Interesting to compare Tipo and Horowitz in the same sonatas.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #464 on: August 08, 2018, 12:27:17 PM »
I listened to a handful of sonatas by Carlo Granté last night. What struck me is how poised and balanced, sane, tame it sounded.  Maybe this is inevitable with modern piano. Anyway, I thought it was gross distortion of the music. Pianists should keep their mits off most of most of these sonatas!

I listened to just one, my favorite, K159. I enjoyed the way that Grante softens his touch to piano for the very last section of the sonata, ending a joyful piece on a reflective note. But I did not enjoy the way he teased tempo by momentarily speeding up or slowing down at transitions, climaxes, and ends of phrases. Overall will listen to a few others but it may not have $200 worth of appeal for me.

If you are concerned that tameness is the fate of all pianists in this music definitely try Pletnev and Sudbin and maybe Goran Filipec.

Offline amw

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #465 on: August 09, 2018, 04:40:52 AM »
I was going to say it's kind of weird to have a favourite Scarlatti sonata, but I guess I also have a favourite one (two actually, I guess I could pick one but don't know which at the moment) so I can't really judge.

Anyway as long as I'm listening to more Scarlatti on piano, if anyone has any other Scarlatti (or Soler or Seixas or whoever) fortepiano recommendations, they will certainly be read by me.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #466 on: August 09, 2018, 07:20:14 AM »
I listened to just one, my favorite, K159. I enjoyed the way that Grante softens his touch to piano for the very last section of the sonata, ending a joyful piece on a reflective note. But I did not enjoy the way he teased tempo by momentarily speeding up or slowing down at transitions, climaxes, and ends of phrases. Overall will listen to a few others but it may not have $200 worth of appeal for me.

If you are concerned that tameness is the fate of all pianists in this music definitely try Pletnev and Sudbin and maybe Goran Filipec.

Do you want the sonata played strictly?

I heard Pletnev do an all Scarlatti concert once.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 07:24:31 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #467 on: August 09, 2018, 09:08:02 AM »
Here’s an imaginative 159, Sergio Vartolo, after 421

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ErL-aWjWsCI" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ErL-aWjWsCI</a>
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Offline Brian

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #468 on: August 09, 2018, 11:18:57 AM »
Do you want the sonata played strictly?
Not sure what you mean and also not sure how to answer as I'm still just in the early exploring days of getting into Scarlatti's idiom. But so far I have found that, among piano recordings, I've reacted best to interpreters who take liberties with dynamics and color - taking advantage of the possibilities of a piano as opposed to a harpsichord - but who are relatively strict in tempo. Even with the Vartolo video, I enjoy his ornamentation but do not enjoy his rhythmic hesitations.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #469 on: August 09, 2018, 12:12:16 PM »
Not sure what you mean and also not sure how to answer as I'm still just in the early exploring days of getting into Scarlatti's idiom. But so far I have found that, among piano recordings, I've reacted best to interpreters who take liberties with dynamics and color - taking advantage of the possibilities of a piano as opposed to a harpsichord - but who are relatively strict in tempo. Even with the Vartolo video, I enjoy his ornamentation but do not enjoy his rhythmic hesitations.

Oh I’ve just thought that you may like Alexis Weissenberg, he uses dynamics a lot, and colour a bit, and harpsichord ideas like suspensions, hesitations, hardly at all. I just compared what he does with my favourite Scarlatti pianist, someone called Enrico Baiano, in the famous sonata 481.

One thing that hesitations may do, if managed properly, is give the illusion of heartfelt, almost spontaneous expression. A sort of eloquence, like a well sung operatic recitative. In the more « strict « performances it’s more like a Mozart sonata or something.

I think part of what’s going on with me is that I am much more familiar with the toccata/fantasy idea than I am with sonatas, you know I hardly ever listen to classical or 19th century sonatas, so when I’m confronted with  a strict performance which uses colour and dynamics like Weissenberg’s,  I’ve sort of lost the sense of what the point of it is!
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #470 on: August 18, 2018, 10:50:55 PM »
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Offline amw

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #471 on: August 18, 2018, 11:14:47 PM »
One thing that hesitations may do, if managed properly, is give the illusion of heartfelt, almost spontaneous expression. A sort of eloquence, like a well sung operatic recitative.
example:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/wLEXbePWhsU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/wLEXbePWhsU</a>

Offline milk

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #472 on: Today at 03:54:23 AM »
Nearly all Scarlatti sonatas have a similar and repetitive formula. I keep trying to enjoy them but I can't get over the way he structures them so similarly and even the way he formulates the ends of his melodic lines/resolves his melodies. Am I the only one who feels this way? It actually gets to me that I can't quite enjoy them. I don't get how artists, like Scott Ross or Pierre Hantai, can stand to record ALL of them. How DON'T they get quickly tired of him? Sorry for my trollish post. I feel like I could enjoy Scarlatti if I could just stop noticing the things he resorts to in all his compositions. It's like a tick I have now. I can't just listen without going, "there. that's in every one!" 

« Last Edit: Today at 03:56:36 AM by milk »

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #473 on: Today at 04:49:07 AM »
Nearly all Scarlatti sonatas have a similar and repetitive formula. I keep trying to enjoy them but I can't get over the way he structures them so similarly and even the way he formulates the ends of his melodic lines/resolves his melodies. Am I the only one who feels this way? It actually gets to me that I can't quite enjoy them. I don't get how artists, like Scott Ross or Pierre Hantai, can stand to record ALL of them. How DON'T they get quickly tired of him? Sorry for my trollish post. I feel like I could enjoy Scarlatti if I could just stop noticing the things he resorts to in all his compositions. It's like a tick I have now. I can't just listen without going, "there. that's in every one!"

Bach fugues have an equally repetitive formula - its the variation within that

The combination of flamenco guitar and style galant is what makes DS for me.  Also there are some amazingly lyrical sonatas like K208 or K308
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #474 on: Today at 06:07:10 AM »
Nearly all Scarlatti sonatas have a similar and repetitive formula. I keep trying to enjoy them but I can't get over the way he structures them so similarly and even the way he formulates the ends of his melodic lines/resolves his melodies. Am I the only one who feels this way? It actually gets to me that I can't quite enjoy them. I don't get how artists, like Scott Ross or Pierre Hantai, can stand to record ALL of them. How DON'T they get quickly tired of him? Sorry for my trollish post. I feel like I could enjoy Scarlatti if I could just stop noticing the things he resorts to in all his compositions. It's like a tick I have now. I can't just listen without going, "there. that's in every one!"

It might help to imagine the repetition as ideas turning round and round in a madman’s brain, like the repetition in this

Quote
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

You’ve  got to do something with all the repetition to make it listenable. One idea is to vary the colours. This was hantai’s idea in the first couple of recordings he made. He thought he could give it wild, crazy colours.

With regard to 1080’s point, of course in imitative counterpoint you have a motif repeated lots of times, though sometimes with some variation (of the rhythm for example.)

But it’s not contrapuntal in Scarlatti, Scarlatti doesn’t do counterpoint, he just repeats himself a lot.

For what it’s worth there are parts of Beethoven which are pretty bad, worse than Scarlatti because it goes on for longer. The first movement of the Waldstein is an example.
« Last Edit: Today at 06:31:12 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #475 on: Today at 06:24:23 AM »
Nearly all Scarlatti sonatas have a similar and repetitive formula. I keep trying to enjoy them but I can't get over the way he structures them so similarly and even the way he formulates the ends of his melodic lines/resolves his melodies. Am I the only one who feels this way? It actually gets to me that I can't quite enjoy them. I don't get how artists, like Scott Ross or Pierre Hantai, can stand to record ALL of them. How DON'T they get quickly tired of him? Sorry for my trollish post. I feel like I could enjoy Scarlatti if I could just stop noticing the things he resorts to in all his compositions. It's like a tick I have now. I can't just listen without going, "there. that's in every one!"

All music (at least before Wagner*) is ultimately formulaic. Recognizable bits and pieces, turns-of-a-phrase, ready-made segments... added to form a greater whole. The difference between lasting composing talents that we still listen to and those who fell by the wayside is -- largely -- the level of ingeniousness in which they combined these bits and pieces. And the level of our enjoyment may be related to how easily we recognize them now and how much we are bothered by it or not. By and large, I think Scarlatti has been recognized as one of the guys who played this game ingeniously and innovatively; your particular sensitivity to his recipe showing may just be that: an overt sensitivity that reflects more on how you listen than on Scarlatti's perception with others. Does that make sense?

(Even in and after Wagner, but the segments become more complex and harder to tell.)

Offline Todd

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #476 on: Today at 06:47:25 AM »
Nobody replied to this in Recordings You Are Considering, so...:

The solo/2CD piano recitals I'm collecting include Yevgeny Sudbin, Claire Huangci, Konstantin Scherbakov, Sergei Babayan, Goran Filipec, Benjamin Frith, and Anne Queffelec.


A bit late, I know, but Michelangelo Carbonara recorded three discs of Scarlatti.  I've not heard the recordings, and given what I have heard from the pianist, I don't know if it might be what you are listening for.
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
« Reply #478 on: Today at 07:57:58 AM »
Nobody replied to this in Recordings You Are Considering, so...:

The solo/2CD piano recitals I'm collecting include Yevgeny Sudbin, Claire Huangci, Konstantin Scherbakov, Sergei Babayan, Goran Filipec, Benjamin Frith, and Anne Queffelec.

Pletnev/Virgin may be one of the most controversial piano recordings. Some people think it is the best ever Scarlatti, some think it is the worst.
Pogorelich and Weissenberg, both DG, are not quite as notorious, but also quite special and quite famous.
Zacharias is more straightforward and you will get not only the most famous sonatas but a wider spectrum.
Queffelec/Erato was also highly regarded, she includes the "cat fugue", IIRC. I think there are also a few sonatas with imitative two-part counterpoint, Scarlatti could do this, he wrote a Stabat Mater for 10 voices and some more sacred music in the "old style", but the sonatas are obviously different.

Especially with one-disc-anthologies you will get a lot of overlap because almost everybody plays the most famous sonatas.

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