Monday, 22 June 2015

Domenico Scarlatti - Sonatas - Tharaud

Rating: 5/5
A terrific recording

This is a terrific recording. I love Scott Ross's and Christophe Rousset's recordings on the harpsichord and, after a long search, I am delighted finally to have found a performance of Scarlatti on the piano which I really like.

These pieces form a small selection from Scarlatti's huge output of well over 500 keyboard sonatas. They are very well chosen to give an excellent variety, from the energetically vigorous to the deeply contemplative and the programme as a whole is very rewarding. It is Tharaud's playing, though, which makes this disc something special. He uses the piano's expressive ability to bring out all the depth and nuance in the music with just enough rubato and dynamic variation to show exactly what Scarlatti means in each sonata without using over-emotional gestures which obscure the music and overlay it with misplaced romanticism. His ornamentation is similarly beautifully judged.

This is, I think, exemplary playing of Baroque music on a modern piano. With lovely recorded sound, good notes and attractive presentation this is an excellent disc all round. It has been a revelation to me and has become a firm favourite. Very warmly recommended.

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