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ClassicsOnline Home » SCARLATTI, D.: Keyboard Sonatas (Complete), Vol. 1 (Lester)
Thank you Mr. Lester! Richard Lester made extensive research on the background of the Scarlatti sonatas, also during several visits to Spain. And this shows in his performance where all the Spanish, Arabic, gypsy, flamenco, fandango, jota, etc. influences that shape this music get their due share. Thus the endless rhythmic diversity, the often bold harmonic riches, the large scope of local melodic inflections and sound colours ‘picked-from-the-street’ get a complete musical expression. Add to this Lester’s complete mastery of his instrument and you are irresistibly carried away as a listener.
A less accomplished performer would run the risk of overdoing it. Adding Spanish inflections to baroque ornamentations, exploiting the possibilities of the harpsichord to the full by using different stops, extensive attention to nuance and detail, tempos, … Lester, however, knows how to remain within the limits of good taste.
We owe a lot to Vladimir Horowitz for hearing a lot of Scarlatti played on the piano nowadays, and rightly so as the sonatas go together perfectly with the instrument. By hearing Lester, however, it becomes clear that it remains a must to continue listening to the Scarlatti sonatas also on the harpsichord, as a lot of what is in the music can only be discovered from a performance on the harpsichord.
As to the Essercizi that are the 30 first pieces of this volume, an extensive introduction by Richard Lester can be found on: http://www.harpsichord.org.uk/EH/Vol2/No1/scarlattiessercizi.pdf
Yes, I am enthusiastic. We may deem ourselves privileged to be able to explore Scarlatti’s wonderful sonatas in this outstanding interpretation. Thank you Mr. Lester!
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