Author Topic: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked  (Read 530 times)

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Offline amw

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2020, 09:18:38 PM »
Thank you, guys. That would cost me some money (and time) if I decided to undertake such a project.
There's also a (complete?) piano cycle from Christoph Ullrich on Tacet (even more money), and a multi-pianist Czech Radio cycle. I guess if I had to recommend just one I'd go with the Naxos. You will probably want to look at harpsichord recordings if you're serious about Scarlatti though, at least Asperen, Koopman, Staier, Black and Beauséjour.

I also neglected to mention a personal favourite (Aline Zylberajch on a Cristofori piano) and a deserved classic (Marcelle Meyer).

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2020, 09:49:35 PM »
Some interesting suggestions for listening, thank you. It's not a subject I've dwelled much into. Preferring piano recordings, I might go for the Naxos recording, when it's available as a budget box some time in the future, or if somehow I see the Grante sets cheaply.

So far, the main material I've got is
- LPs by Weissenberg (DG) and Haskil (Westminster);
- CDs with Pletnev (2CD, Virgin Classics, but perhaps less good than one would think, often rather slow for instance), Marcelle Meyer (in Complete Recordings, 17CD) and Horowitz (sony),
- harpsichord LP by John Beckett (Pan label)

plus various sonatas in compilation albums (Pogorelich, Gilels, early Horowitz, Rachmaninov, Michelangeli, Lipatti, and on harpsichord just Sgrizzi, Marlowe).

In the writing down of my collection, I still haven't done the irritating job of harmonizing the L- and K-numberings of the sonatas, which differ between recordings ...
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 10:10:57 PM by MusicTurner »

Offline Todd

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2020, 04:02:30 AM »
More like "finalist on the modern competition circuit" level chops.


There are hundreds of pianists like that.  Meh.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2020, 04:11:53 AM »
K27 - played by Sudbin, starts out sounding like Bach, vivid pre-echoes of Chopin and Glass, and finishing as purest Scarlatti.
K476 - played by Huangci - effervescent, Champagne Scarlatti or should that be Cava Scarlatti or even Prosecco Scarlatti.  Actually Claire plays this following on without a break from K108 in the same key.
K8 - staying with g minor - Andjaparidze plays this funereal music as well as anyone.
and K141 is a showpiece that is right up Argerich's alley.

That's about as much stamina as I have for lists right now.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 01:17:12 PM by aukhawk »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2020, 04:21:07 AM »
Zacharias whose playing I would describe as "classicist" has recorded considerably more than most other recitals and not only the usual suspects. Three discs on EMI, + another one with 20 versions of one sonata (he used to play as encore) and another disc on MDG, so that'S about 60 or more sonatas. I only have the first three discs but they are highly recommendable (and cheap, there has been a reissue of the 4 EMI discs) and the rest is probably good as well. Weissenberg and Pogo are great for highly "pianistic" anthologies but mostly usual suspect sonatas. Cannot remember my favorites (except 380, 492 and the ubiquitous K 9).
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2020, 07:53:15 AM »

K490 - undoubtedly the weirdest sonata of them all, starting with the completely inappropriate tempo marking "Cantabile" and going from there (favourite recording: Koopman or Belder)

The weirdest I know is Richard Lester, but he's a scholar, so I guess he had thought about it.


K481 - My overall favourite. (favourite recording: Zylberajch)


Very tender, lovely. And the instrument is fabulous in it -- you can still get some guitar like effects.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 08:46:56 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2020, 08:31:35 AM »
So far, the main material I've got is

- harpsichord LP by John Beckett (Pan label)

I recall this from my youth. An impressive recording played with strong drive and intensity.
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Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2020, 08:49:34 AM »
I recall this from my youth. An impressive recording played with strong drive and intensity.

The Pan label's LPs of earlier music had some striking covers, but were of varying interest musically; I tried to choose some of the better ones, when finding some in Copenhagen ...

Beckett BTW was a colourful and interesting character, related to Samuel Beckett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_S._Beckett

https://www.discogs.com/Scarlatti-John-Beckett-Sonatas-For-Harpsichord/release/8521434

Offline amw

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2020, 04:28:30 PM »
The weirdest I know is Richard Lester, but he's a scholar, so I guess he had thought about it.
Lester and Ross both picked it out for their "favourite sonatas" compilations—I haven't listened to Lester's yet but I probably should.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2020, 05:07:01 PM »
Since I share almost no favourites with the writer of the article I decided to make my own personal "best of". I couldn't rank all 555 in any kind of order (lol) but I have at least listened to all of them (and have the scores.)

Favourite recordings always subject to change.

K24 - the earlier and crazier of two versions of this sonata; at the height of virtuosity. (favourite recording: Virginia Black, on harpsichord—most performers take it too slowly due to the difficulty involved)


I just went ahead and pulled the trigger on this disk, based on your mention, which sent me looking around. I have absolutely no interest in piano versions, but a different harpsichord recital is always appreciated. Thanks!

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2020, 05:08:19 PM »
Lester and Ross both picked it out for their "favourite sonatas" compilations—I haven't listened to Lester's yet but I probably should.

I have Ross', it is especially nice. Is Lester's on fortepiano?  All of his disks I have to date are, but with Scarlatti you never know.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2020, 06:19:57 PM »
Lester . .  picked it out for [h]is "favourite sonatas" compilations—I haven't listened to Lester's yet but I probably should.

Just the first half unfortunately.
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Offline accmacmus

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Re: Every Scarlatti Sonata Ranked
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2020, 02:34:26 AM »
K455. Might not be the flashiest or most original one, but is cosy and I come back to it frequently.