Domenico Scarlatti Sonata in G major, K. 455


Pianist- Vladimir Horowitz Horowitz on Scarlatti: "There is a common misconception regarding Scarlatti which points up the danger of labeling - many think of his music as mostly fast, light, and requiring only articulation and dexterity. That is not so. In his set of 555 sonatas, more are slow than fast, and many are quite poetic, nostalgic, and even dreamy, very much in the Bel Canto style. As a composer, he comes from nowhere. His freshness and unbelievable daring in the use of harmony and rhythm make him one of the most original composers of his century. He is a master of what we might call grosse Kleinkunst [great art in the smaller form], which is, of course, preferable to kleine Grosskunst [inferior art in the larger forms]. His music is down to earth; it has human qualities and sephardic elements. Any composer of this period speaks to God. Scarlatti speaks to the people, the children of God. There are instances when he does speak to God, but more often he chooses not to. One of the most fascinating aspects of Scarlatti is that the music of this Neapolitan-born composer, who lived most of his adult life in Portugal and Spain, depicts Spanish life so vividly and yet remains essentially Italian [...] I think that the piano is an entirely different instrument than the harpsichord. When playing Scarlatti, the pianist should follow a moderate course - he should not attempt to imitate a harpsichord too much, neither should he use all the resources of the piano which would destroy the style of the music [...] A piano can be made to bring forth a greater variety of tonal color which is exactly what is needed for this music."

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