Scarlatti: Harpsichord Sonatas

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COMPOSERS: Scarlatti
LABELS: Erato
WORKS: Harpsichord Sonatas
PERFORMER: Mayako Soné (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-94806-2 DDD
Although described as a collection of unpublished sonatas by Scarlatti, the works on this disc may not all be by the Italian master. Many of the pieces recorded here survive in Spanish autograph sources (not in Scarlatti’s hand), and their attribution is based only on circumstantial evidence.

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The first few sonatas show Soné’s evident enthusiasm for, and stylistic grasp of this repertoire. Her keyboard technique is impressive, as is her tasteful diversity of harpsichord registration. There is a fairly limited range of tonality in her programme, but Soné creates a good deal of variety through changes of registration. The most enjoyable music is found, unsurprisingly, in those works which sound most convincingly Scarlattian. Highlights are the A major Sonata (No. 7), a highly attractive piece of distinguished elegance, and Sonata No. 12, a variant of Scarlatti’s K96 Sonata, in which Soné’s gifted virtuosity is at its most brilliant.

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She closes the programme with her own arrangement of a Fandango (an improvised set of variations) which, for all its sparkle, seems a trifle over-extended for such a simple harmonic pattern. Not all the music is of a uniform high standard; but the disc can be warmly recommended for Soné’s accomplished playing. Nicholas Rast