D Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 7

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: D Scarlatti
LABELS: Stradivarius
WORKS: Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 7
PERFORMER: Ottavio Dantone (harpsichord)
This is the seventh volume of a projected complete survey of Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas, which is being entrusted to a number of different instrumentalists (I reviewed Vol. 5, in which the fortepiano soloist is Emilia Fadini, in July 2003). An interesting aspect of this enterprise is its attempt to present Scarlatti’s infinitely varied repertoire under a number of style-related subtitles. Thus the present selection is gathered under ‘The Italian Manner’, whereas Fadini’s choice was labelled ‘Scarlatti as chosen by Clementi’. It is an attractive way of categorising Scarlatti’s vast oeuvre of over 550 sonatas, even if the chosen cells are not uniformly watertight. Ottavio Dantone is an accomplished player, with the imagination and sensibility to realise Scarlatti’s wonderfully wide-ranging expressive vocabulary. His thoughtful, reflective and, on occasion, impassioned approach to some less-familiar sonatas has considerable appeal, as does his choice of instrument, which is a copy by Olivier Fadini of a 1730s harpsichord by Christian Vater of Hanover. Emilia Fadini, whose complete edition of the sonatas, numerical system and apparatus criticus are currently the most authoritative, provides an excellent introduction to the series, in which she is evidently closely involved. If the two discs which I have so far heard are anything to go by then this survey is likely to prove satisfying and thought-provoking. Nicholas Anderson