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Scarlatti: 18 Sonatas


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“(…) A young aristocrat of the keyboard. Cool, supple and elegant, all his performances are in the best French tradition; a fine union of sense and sensibility ... each phrase bringing a renewed sense of delight … the inwardness and grace one associates with true artists".
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Product details

  • Performer: Alexandre Tharaud
  • Composer: Domenico Scarlatti
  • Audio CD (7 Mar. 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Classics
  • ASIN: B004FUZLYG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,736 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sonata in F minor, Kk.239
2. Sonata in A Major, Kk.208
3. Sonata in C Major, Kk.72
4. Sonata in G Minor, Kk.8
5. Sonata in D Major, Kk.29
6. Sonata in C Major, Kk.132
7. Sonata in D Major, Kk.430
8. Sonata in C Major, Kk.20
9. Sonata in F Minor, Kk.481
10. Sonata in C Major, Kk.514
11. Sonata in D Minor, Kk.64
12. Sonata in D Minor, Kk.32
13. Sonata in D Minor, Kk.141
14. Sonata in B Flat Major, Kk.472
15. Sonata in A Minor, Kk.3
16. Sonata in E Major, Kk.380
17. Sonata in G Major, Kk.431
18. Sonata in D Minor, Kk.9

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Brouiller on 20 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
After his superlative recordings of Rameau, Couperin and Bach it was, perhaps, entirely logical for Alexandre Tharaud to turn his attention to their contemporary, Scarlatti. This is especially the case as Scarlatti's music, perhaps, is most suited to playing on the modern piano.

The present recording certainly does not disappoint. Tharaud's playing is clear, beautifully modulated with a wonderful chiaroscuro and interplay of foreground and background. The melancholy side of Scarlatti is deeply moving, while the virtuosic music is scintillating and there is real resonance and depth in appropriate passages that makes some sonatas quite exciting. Everything is beautifully phrased and finely judged. Just listen - in Sonata K72 - for instance to the way in which a phrase is made to suddenly leap out of the texture in the right hand, followed by a complementary pharase in the left hand bass contrasting with the even balance between in the two-part harmony up to this point. Note how the 'crushing' harmonies - in K29 - with their abundance of appogiaturas and suspensions convey both pathos and forward drive; the dynamics finely varied each time this particular passage re-occurs.

If you want one recording of a selection of Scarlatti sonatas, I would heartily recommend this one. Then go and buy Alexandre Tharaud's recordings of Couperin and Rameau too and prepare to be bowled over!Like looking in to Chapman's Homer!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 2 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I agree completely with the enthusiastic reviews here - 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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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Very nice interpretation of some of Scarlatti's sonatas. All are very listenable. A good selection of slower and quicker tempo pieces.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lt. Col. Matthew Andrew Markinson on 30 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Alexandre Tharaud is, for me, this year's discovery, now up there with Argerich, Pollini, Gilels, and Uchida: dazzling clarity in technique, a feel for structure and the deep human resonances of the music, and all superbly served by his engineers. K8 in G minor is a particular joy.
Scarlatti is not quite one of the great indispensables - Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin - but he is a considerable artist. Merci, Maitre Tharaud.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Refreshing Scarlatti from Alexandre Tharaud 21 Oct. 2011
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Alexandre Tharaud was born in Paris in 1968, and 'discovered the music scene through his father, a director and singer of operettas, which were put on in theaters of Northern France. At the initiative of his parents, Alexandre started his piano studies at age 5, and he entered Conservatory of the 14th Arrondissement where he met Carmen Taccon-Devenat--a student of Marguerite Long--who became his teacher. He entered the Conservatoire de Paris at age 14 where he won first prize for piano Germaine Mounier when he was 17 years old. With Theodor Paraskivesco, he mastered the piano, and he sought and received the advice of Claude Helffer, Leon Fleisher an Nikita Magaloff. In 1987, he won the International Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona and, a year later, the Senigallia Competition in Italy. In 1989, he received 2nd prize at the Munich International Competition. His career developed quickly in Europe as well as in North America and Japan.' Of interest, he supposedly refuses to keep his piano in his house because of his belief that he will begin to prefer the pleasure of improvisation to the necessity of rigorous work. He also composes but usually keeps this activity in the background. Tharaud is now firmly established as a pianist of outstanding international stature. He has acquired a distinctive reputation for his skillfully and personally conceived programming, whether for the concert hall or the recording studio, with his projects around Rameau, Couperin, Bach and Chopin receiving acclaim from critics and audiences around the world.

Having created many recordings he has turned this CD into a recital of the works of Domenico Scarlatti (composer 1685-1757) and electing to play these works on the piano rather than the harpsichord and performs 18 of these brief but wondrous pieces with an elegance and precision that keeps the listener hyperacute to the sorcery contained in the composition of these works. Though it would be an anachronism to say he plays these works with a Romantic passion, still in other performers hands these sonatas can sound cold or detached. Tharaud brings the humanistic element to the fore and the result is a kaleidoscope of colors, each sonata becoming unique instead of a continuous string of cerebral excursions. This young pianist's reputation is solid and likely soon his name will be well known in this country as well as in Europe. Grady Harp, October 11
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Poetic Scarlatti 6 Mar. 2011
By HSIEH CHENG CHUNG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am so surprise that there is no one to describe this CD, so that I should explain it for all reviewers how beautiful and especial it's if you want to try or hesitate to buy. I believe someone doubt why you should own it since you had Horowite played Scaraltti with outstanding skills; or some excellent pianoists, ex Pletnev and Schiff also gave us good listenning experience, what Tharaud could give us about different Scarlatti? As to Tharaud's music lover, I had owned his Rameau,and Couperin, and liked his baroque performance, so I expected him going back this period excellent keyborad composer, Scarlatti. I must say that after listenning more times, I never disappointed and apprecated to his poetic expression, which is different to other pianoists, but could give me another kind of listenning enjoying.
Of course some Scarlatti popular compositions ex sonata K.380, you will listen more lower speed, however, you will find it's fresh experience of scarlatti. I will recommand this CD to you, whatever you are fans of Scarlatti or Tharaud, it must be a great association.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Amazing 16 Jan. 2012
By ELO1216 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Though he can play more romantic and contemporary works with passion and grace, I don't think there's a pianist today who can interpret baroque piano as well as Tharaud. And I say this for his concert performances (I have seen him live) and his recordings. I thought his Bach Concertos Italiens on Harmonia Mundi, along with his other HM recordings of Rameau and Couperin were the ultimate, and they are amazing, but this Scarlatti album is incredible. His playing is technically brilliant, but at the same time has so much emotion and beauty to it. This is simply a gorgeous record.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A terrific recording 2 Nov. 2012
By Sid Nuncius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree completely with the enthusiastic reviews here - 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
real' good 25 Mar. 2012
By Neil B T - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This one, along with that of one Yevgeny Sudbin, are truly the finest, most exciting Scarlatti offerings to have come along in decades.
They put that elderly Horowitz fellow to Shame.
Bravi!
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