CD Review | Scarlatti: Essercizi Per Gravicembalo (Leaf music, 2022)

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Scarlatti: Essercizi Per Gravicembalo
Hank Knox, harpsichord
Leaf Music, 2022

The Scarlatti sonatas are known for their dramatic presentation: the physical crossing of one hand over another, the erratic octave jumps across the keyboard, and the appearance of improvisation that actually requires a lot of concentration and forethought to accomplish. Any musician would be hard-pressed to render audibly what is meant to be represented visually, especially with an instrument whose textural range is as limited as the harpsichord, but Knox manages to do this with ease. The album begins with sonatas that are pleasant and jovial despite their simplicity. These sonatas are meant to prepare the listener for the dramatic performance that sets in by Sonata in F Major, K.6 on the first disc, whose quick melodic flourishes are executed with such precision that the listener can picture Knox’s fingers gliding across the keyboard. This motif is repeated often throughout the album, and although one might be inclined to say that 30 solo harpsichord sonatas are bound to become repetitive, Knox’s elegant handling of the instrument and his tonal range keep Scarlatti’s compositions fresh.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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