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Scarlatti - Sonata K 27 in Bm

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by wiser_guy, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    This is my favourite Scarlatti sonata. I used to (try to) play it very fast fascinated by Michelangeli's interpretation, but lately I discovered that adopting a slower tempo helps bring out the warmth and beauty of Scarlatti's harmonic intentions.

    Scarlatti - Sonata K 27 ( 03:40 )
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sorry for removing the attachment before putting in the URL. A hickup in my release script that I need to fix.
    Very good performance though you do not sound as completely comfortable as in your usual repertoire. This could be a bit lighter on its feet. Also, dunno if it is due to pedaling or reverb, the ambiance sounds too wet to me. Not a big deal but it does not sound as clear and crisp as it should. I'll update the site tonight.
     
  3. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is excellent! Michelangeli plays this insanely fast! Your tempo is quite good. I also posted this sonata on the Piano Society. I like your interpretation at least as much as mine. Thank you!
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This one is up.
     
  5. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pantelis!

    Nice to see you posting music again! It's been awhile. I listened to this Scarlatti sonata and found it to be lively and brilliant, the unmistakable signature of Scarlatti. Your playing is excellent--very articulate, dextrous and imbued with your musicianship. I had never heard it before, but Scarlatti's body of works is so enormous, it would probably take years to hear it all. You mention Michelangeli's tempo. Similarly, a number of years ago, I wanted to do Rachmaninoff's Prelude, Op. 32, No. 1, but when I heard Richter's recording, I was similarly confounded and put off by the genius of his playing. Then I decided to forget Richter and find my own concept and sound for the piece, which I did, and it drew very numerous compliments. You've done the much the same with this sonata and have produced a wonderful result. It goes to show, it's best when we ultimately find our own way.

    David
     
  6. timmyab

    timmyab New Member

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    What a lovely piece this is, and very nicely played as well.Bits of it remind me of Schubert's B flat sonata, amazing when you think how much earlier it is.Yet another one to add to my endless to-do list.
     
  7. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    This is an absolutely stunning performance. It certainly helps to make the case that Scarlatti DID write for the piano. I can't imagine this on a harpsichord.

    Scott
     
  8. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Chris, thanks for putting this up. I was happy with the extra pedalling until you mentioned it. Now, I don't know.

    Raymond, thank you for your flattering comment. Coming from you, it really means a lot to me.

    David, thanks for listening. I guess you are right when you say that one should find their own way of playing a piece. But still, sometimes it is difficult to ignore a perfect, enviable recording by the great pianist. Some recordings haunt me for a long time.

    Timmyab, thanks for your words.

    Scott, thanks for taking the time to listen to the sonata as well. I stand by you on that, Scarlatti surely must have possessed unworldly intuition writing this kind of music on a harpsichord.
     
  9. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Wow this is good! I love this Scarlatti Sonata too. Very nice sound!
     
  10. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Actually, there is apparentley (I can't spell to day) evidence that he did compose at least some of his works for piano. There were Cristofori (style) pianos both at Maria Barbara's home in Portugal and in Spain when Scarlatti taught her. (I got this from a doctoral thesis that I found on line -- I'll try to find the link). It would stand to reason that the owners of those instruments (they weren't cheap even by the standards of a King or Queen) would want music for them.

    Scott
     
  11. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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  12. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Jennifer, thanks for listening. As I said, my favourite sonata it is. Although, I don't mean that I have heard to all 500 Scarlatti wrote.

    Scott, interesting info you shared here.
    I know that Bach also tested a Christofori piano (at some exhibition) and he didn't like it at all. He is also said to have predicted that this new instrument would not stand a chance against the harpsichord!
     
  13. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Bach saw a piano when visiting his son C.P.E in Berlin at the court of Frederick. I believe that it was actually a Silbermann. Actually, I think that his comments were more in the line of improvements needed before the piano could hold its own against the harpsichord. Mind you, he was in his upper years at the time and therefore presumably a bit set in his ways, and he is only reported to have had experience of just one piano and that during a short stay. He never really had the opportunity to experiment much with its possibilities.

    Since he and his son C.P.E. both particulary admired the clavichord (C.P.E. continually extols its virtues over the other keyboard instruments in his "True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments"), I can't see the J.S. would dismiss out of hand an instrument that had dynamic variations with a volume similar to the harpsichord.

    On a slightly different (and not particularly related) part of the subject. I always have to chuckle when someone brings up the point that even C.P.E. thought that his father's music was old fashioned. What kid doesn't think that their parents are out of touch??

    I've had people argue that J.S. didn't incorporate the newer "Style Galant" in his compositions and such stuff as that. Actually, the French Suites do make a bit of a bow to it, but what most don't consider is that the Galant Style was coming into vogue just as he was entering his service at St. Thomas in Leipzig. He was going to be immersed in sacred music, which by its nature is always more conservative than secular styles. He was even admonished NOT to incorporate operatic and secular instrumental notions (which he still did on the sly -- several of the choral preludes and cantatas have dance rhythms of the secular suite incorporated and high Baroque operatic type arias.)

    (Sorry about getting off track.)

    Scott
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    wow - Bach said something incorrect? I am shocked! :p
     
  15. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Pantelis,
    that´s a very nice and convincing interpretation. I like it much more than the one by Michelangeli. Your interpretation has a very nice phrasing and most of the sighing-motifs come out as such very good, that means you play the first note of nearly each sighing-motiv stronger than the second one. That´s exactly, what I would do, if I would play this piece. One only can do such things in a slower tempo, so I think, the tempo you have choosen is adequate. (Always that tempo is adequate, in which I personally can express the music convincingly.)
     
  16. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Excellent performance! Stylistically accurate. You seem to understand and convey all of the rhythmic and musical elements in the sonata very well. It sounds like you placed the mics close to the strings/hammers - it creates a more strident sound, appropriate to "emulate" the harpsichord. Nice technical result!
     
  17. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you, George, for your words.
    Yes, you are right, the piano sounds somewhat strident - Chris mentioned it as well. It's my other piano, the old one. I recently had it voiced and this Austrian technician who did the voicing insisted that this is supposed to be the standard factory sound. It is a little sharp for my taste too but I have decided to make some recordings with it as I find its tone 'fleshier' than my other newer but smaller piano.
    And yes, you are correct again, close miking is the only way for me. My room's sonic behaviour and ambience doesn't permit distant recordings. I prefer to play with some quality reverb instead.
     

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