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Not my idea of Scarlatti
on 22 May 2010
I'm not keen on these discs. I recognise that my lack of enthusiasm is a matter of personal taste, but I thought I'd write a review to let prospective purchasers know what to expect.
Pletnev is a magnificent pianist, his virtuosity is quite stunning here and I like hearing Scarlatti on the piano to complement my Scott Ross harpsichord set. However, I find Pletnev's interpretations hard to take. He plays these Baroque sonatas in a style more often associated with Schumann or Brahms, and that isn't what I want in Scarlatti. The grand Romantic gestures don't seem to me to go with Scarlatti's music. Much of the joy of Baroque music is its structure and texture and for me they are rather swept away by Pletnev's style, so that I find I'm hearing a lot of Pletnev and not quite enough Scarlatti.
I know that plenty of knowledgeable and thoughtful people, including other reviewers here, like this recording very much. I don't mean to sneer at it or dismiss it; as I said, this is a matter of personal taste. I just thought that I'd let you know what to expect in case your personal taste coincides with mine.