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Scarlatti

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by richard66, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Where angels fear to tread... :cry:

    I have perpretrated another enormity, though a rather small one this time: a Scarlatti sonata. Now, do not ask me to give it a K, an L or a fig, because is has none. The Henle Urtext edition where it is to be found claims it to be the first time this work has seen the printing press. If this is indeed so, I cannot tell, but I can tell I have never heard it, so I have no yardstrick by which to measure it.

    Ave PS, Morituri te salutant and all that. :?
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    **Ave PS, Morituri te salutant and all that

    Funny! :lol:

    But really, Richard, this sounded nice. :) Your phrasing is good. I'm not sure how we are going to list it though. Are you sure there is no number at all? Can you please show us the score - maybe scan and attach it?
     
  3. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Oh, thank you, Monica! your words encourage me!

    I can scan it tomorrow, that is no problem. What I can give you today are the references of the edition, just in case someone has the score:

    D. Scarlatti
    Ausgewaehlte Klaviersonaten - Band I
    Urtext
    Henle Verlag Urtext - Muenchen

    No. 23 (page 86)

    Sonata in g (minor) - Largo
    Erstausgabe (first printing)

    Later.

    It just occured to me I could take a picture of the score. Here it is.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not bad. There's a couple of places where you wait too long, breaking the rhythm, and some of the ornaments are too long and winded so they break the rhythm too. It's ok to take your time for ornaments, not rush them, but don't overdo it. I would suggest to apply more phrasing and (terraced) dynamics, and to make some variations in the repeats. Maybe take it a tad more lively (yes I see it's marked Largo, sod that ;-) ) It's just a bit literal and stilted this way.

    I can hardly believe this is a Scarlatti sonata. But if Henle says so... Sounds more like a minuet by a some less gifted pupil of Bach. Shame there are some sourly tunes notes, especially the very first and last ones.
     
  5. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    What do you mean by (terraced) dynamics?

    I too wondered if it really was (or is) Scarlatti. This time I am playing no jokes!
     
  6. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Richard,
    I don't think this has the slightest drop of Italian or Spanish in it, and I would never take it for Domenico Scarlatti. Are you sure, it isn't Alessandro (whose music I am not familiar with)? :?
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Think stair steps not ramp.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, but you know he's going to say there are no dynamic markings in the score....

    But, Eddy, you may onto something about this being not Domenico, but maybe Alessandro. There is a lot of Alessandro's music on ISMLP, maybe we could find a match...?

    Also, Richard, I'm sorry, but now that I see the score, Chris is right about some of your ornaments going too long and so it disrupts the counting in certain measures.
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Richard,

    I think you have this interesting piece substantially in shape. Chris' point about getting the ornaments to fit better within the meter is a good one. I believe the best way to think of them is that they need to be unobtrusive as they are merely decorative. Thus they must blend seamlessly into the musical line without affecting the meter or rhythms within the meter. Perhaps some metronome drills would help to smooth them out more. (That's what I would do next.) As a last resort you have the option of omitting an ornament that is particularly difficult to execute. Whereas modern piano actions are firmer than Baroque keyboards, the decision sometimes becomes one of practicability depending on the instrument.

    In my opinion your playing is considerably improved over your earlier recordings. You've even slain the beast within the Guyer piano.

    Keep up the good work!

    David
     
  10. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    And what was Alessandro Scarlatti then? French? In a way he was not an Italian citizen, as Italy as a political entity was... a non-entity. He was born in Sicily, whereas his son, Domenico, was born in Naples. Remember Domenico was in the service of the Portuguese between 1719 and 1727. Portuguese blood? :?

    I am afraid you will need to take this up with Henle in Munich. I bought the score and I played what was between the covers. As there seems some doubt about my claim, I have found this. I hope it helps:

    http://www.sheetmusic1.com/a14a.henle.scarlatti.html

    Henle Urtext Editions
    Scarlatti, Domenico
    (Keyboard Works)


    Selected (24) Piano Sonatas Volume I HN-395 $31.95
    Sonatas -in A K. 268 L. 141; -in A-flat K. 127 L. 186; -in a K. 54 L. 241; -in a K. 149 L. 93; -in B K. 261 L. 148; -in B-flat K. 47 L. 46; -in b K. 197 L. 147; -in C K. 159 L. 104; -in c K. 302 L. 7; -in D K. 415 L. App. 11; -in D K. 430 L. 463; -in d K. 294 L. 67; -in E K. 380 L. 23; -in E-flat K. 307 L. 115; -in e K. 291 L. 61; -in F K. 82 L. 30; -in f K. 386 L. 171; -in G K. 520 L. 86; -in g K. 30 L. 499; -in g K. 88 L. 36; -in C (First Edition); -in G (First Edition); -in g (First Edition); -in C (First Edition)

    The one in question is in bold type.
     
  11. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    I did do f and p. I clearly saw that when I was editing the file: Some curves were higher than others. Apart from f and p no, I did not even dream of attempting it, and am not sure it would be in style.

    But this goes to prove my point: it is not the playing so much (and I mean playing in general by musicians in general) that determines what is acceptable: it is checking the score, which explains why some musicians go into panic if they notice a member of the audience waving the score.
     
  12. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Is that what is called F and P, without crescendi and decrescendi?
     
  13. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, the old groaner needs a tuning but I am afraid it will not be getting one for the nonce: we have to move house by the end of the year. The way things are going, maybe there will not even be a old groaner to camplain about.
     
  14. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, David. I wish it were so about the ornaments, but here I cannot hide under the "difficulty", as I have no problems executing them. Maybe I need to shorten them.

    I do not know how others have leant it, but I was always under the impression that ornaments up to the time of Beethoven were not "decorative" notes, but an integral part of the melody. This is certainly how one finds the ornaments in Bach written out in the Henle editions.
     
  15. jim_24601

    jim_24601 New Member

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    I know this piece ... in that I have heard it before, not played it myself. Yevgeny Sudbin plays it on his Scarlatti album (track 11). In the notes he says only that it "lacks a K number since it does not appear in Kirkpatrick's catalogues" and that he hears in it "the bitter wail of a gypsy lament". It is not one of Kirkpatrick's 555; I should hesitate to say that it couldn't be by Scarlatti. His style is very diverse and I don't think this piece in particular is so alien to it as to rule it out.

    As for your playing, Richard, I thought it was very good. I agree that it could perhaps be a touch faster and the ornaments a bit less indulgent. I tend to think of "largo" as more a matter of approach than of speed per se, if you see what I mean (much as my wife is fond of saying "allegro is a state of mind" :) ). Re the dynamics, we could argue about this until the cows come home, and probably will. I again tend to the pragmatic side; a piano is not a harpsichord and if you're going to play Baroque music on a piano you might as well make use of some of the advantages (and acknowledge the disadvantages, as David says re ornaments), as long as you don't try to play everybody as if they were Chopin! Terraced dynamics are discrete dynamic levels for a phrase or section ... think pulling out or pushing in a stop, so the transition between them is stepwise. No power in the 'verse can stop a pianist applying a bit of phrasing within a section, of course, but big crescendi and decrescendi to go between sections are out. You could make the contrast between repeated phrases a bit clearer. But I think you should have no reason to be afraid on submitting a recording like this. (Anyway, shouldn't that be "salutamus"?) :)
     
  16. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    This sonata has been discussed in this very forum!

    viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3183

    Thnak you for that link. It is indeed that sonata.

    You are right about "largo": it is not like "lento" or "adagio", which are indeed speed indications, but then it cannot be too fast. Largo means wide, broad (think of "Largo al Factotum"), and it would be hard to think of something broad which is too fast. I did listen to a snippet of that recording and yes, it is a shade faster but still within the definition of largo.

    I feel that a contrast is be called for between the repeated sections within A and B (that is, from the 4th beat of bar 4 to the 3rd beat of bar six and from the 4th beat of bar six to the 3rd beat of bar 8 and mirror passages in B). It seems that the contrasts I make are never the ones that are expected.
     
  17. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Nobody could accuse Sudbin of a lack of imagination :D
    Bitter wail of a gypsy lament, hehe.... I for one can't hear any of that in this chaste, demure, and rather clumsy rococo minuet. I do wonder if Sudbin is talking about another Sonata. I also wonder what evidence there is for attributing this to Scarlatti. It could be juvenilia of course.
     
  18. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    A minuet in 4/4?

    I have always wondered about this attribution, but I do believe those in the know know better than I, or at least ought to, though I have now and then given visa advice to travel agencies, for example. :D

    Do I have bad taste? I rather like this little sonata and have been playing it off and on since last century.

    It seems most pieces I choose is branded as unimaginative or derivative. I very often feel this way about some of the pieces I see posted (and here I name no names), but I put that down to personal taste (or lack of it) and never bring that up in discussions. Very often I refrain even from reviewing, but I suppose we are all different: look at our differring opinions on Bortkiewicz!
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    That's interesting that such an obscure piece of music has been discussed twice here. I like this piece too - it's one of those that you can just sit down and play when you're feeling moody and want to drift away somewhere....

    And you're right - we should not make disparaging remarks about a certain piece that a member has chosen to record. I've taken issue with that sort of thing before too.

    So now, Richard, I guess we'll have to hold up on this one until you can make a new recording with the ornaments timed better, okay?
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    :oops:
    It sounds like a minuet though :lol:
     

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