D Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas: K 1, 9, 30, 32, 87, 159, 193, 208, 209, 213, 247, 427, 462, 466, 474, 457, 481 & 551

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COMPOSERS: D Scarlatti
LABELS: Zig Zag
ALBUM TITLE: D Scarlatti
WORKS: Keyboard Sonatas: K 1, 9, 30, 32, 87, 159, 193, 208, 209, 213, 247, 427, 462, 466, 474, 457, 481 & 551
PERFORMER: Racha Arodaky (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: ZZT 060202
Racha Arodaky, much better known

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in France than in England, has wide

musical interests. Recent recordings

of Mendelssohn’s Songs without

Words and Scriabin Preludes have

been rapturously acclaimed, and

her new disc of Sonatas by Scarlatti

deserves to make wide appeal. Her

carefully chosen 18 sonatas strike

a just balance between mirth and

melancholy and she sounds fluent

and convincing in both humours.

In all but two pieces Arodaky’s

pairing of sonatas differs from

the scheme suggested by Ralph

Kirkpatrick. Two A major Sonatas,

K 208 and 209, are kept together,

for the first of them, wistful and

reflective, provides a splendid foil

for the lively gestures of the other.

These, together with the tenderly

pensive B minor Sonata, K 87

(calling to mind in its opening phrase

Rameau’s La Villageoise), a D minor

Sonata, K 9, and the so-called ‘Cat’s

Fugue’, K 30, probably will be the

most familiar items in Arodaky’s

programme. Others, such as the

beautifully crafted F minor Sonata,

K 466, are less often played but

deserve wider currency: Arodaky

judges the character of this poetic

piece well, responding sensitively to

its fragility and emphasising its songlike

melodic line.

In short, this is Scarlatti playing

which makes considerable appeal. No

exaggerated gestures, no histrionics

and no blurring of textures which,

throughout, Arodaky preserves with

praiseworthy clarity. A fine recital,

but the D major Sonata (K 24),

highlighted by the author of the

accompanying booklet note, is not in

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fact included. Nicholas Anderson