Fandango: Scarlatti in Iberia

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COMPOSERS: Albero y Añaños,Larrañaga,Scarlatti,Seixas,Soler
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Works by Scarlatti, Seixas, Larrañaga, Albero y Añaños & Soler
PERFORMER: Sophie Yates (harpsichord)


The Spanish and Portuguese influence in Domenico Scarlatti’s rhythms and, perhaps to a lesser extent, melodies are distinctive features of his keyboard style. Sophie Yates has chosen these evocative gestures in Scarlatti’s sonatas as determining characteristics of her recital Fandango – Scarlatti in Iberia.

In fact, only four of the 13 items in her programme are by Scarlatti himself, the remaining pieces being by José Larrañaga, Seixas, Sebastian Albero y Añaños, and Soler, whose colourful ‘Fandango’ concludes her disc. Readers who know their Scarlatti will not need to be reminded either of the bold originality or of the wonderful variety of colours and sentiments present in his harpsichord sonatas.

Yates is, or at least sounds, more at home with this kaleidoscopic repertory than she has seemed with that of Germany. Though the pieces on this disc are a little uneven in quality there is always sufficient in respect of rhythm, modulation and mood to hold our attention. And, presented in a sequence such as this, they make for rewarding listening.


Yates is at her most alluring in the more poetic, reflective pieces such as the melancholy, beautifully sustained Sonata in E minor, K263, by Scarlatti. Neat and nimble though her fingerwork certainly is, I found the more overtly colourful pieces a shade lacking in fire. Nicholas Anderson