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Domenico Scarlatti: Sonatas
By Eri Mantani. By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Classical. Hybrid SACD. Naxos #9041987-6. Published by Naxos (NX.9041987-6).
Item Number: NX.9041987-6
Antonio Scarlatti was hired as the Spanish Queen Maria Barbara's personal fitness coach. In order to perfect her keyboard artistry, the monarch had the talented Neapolitan composer write countless exercises for her. The Japanese pianist Eri Mantani has assembled a fascinating personal selection from the 555 extant ""Sonatas"" that really have nothing in common with dull etudes - a debut album bursting with energy that could not be more entertaining. The queen must have had considerable capabilities as a keyboard artist: gigantic leaps, highly virtuosic runs, and crossing of the hands that even today challenge every keyboard performer's technique - and during Scarlatti's times such refinements were absolutely revolutionary! And as if this were not enough, these sonatas, seemingly so very simple in form, constantly surprise us with their completely unconventional harmonic twists and turns. There is also the Spanish color that makes Scarlatti's sonatas so unique. Again and again we encounter reminiscences of traditional Andalusian dances - and above all of the flamenco. And how Scarlatti magically transfers guitar sounds to the keyboard is absolutely enthralling.