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4.6 out of 5 stars
Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 3
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 September 2010
In 1999, the budget-priced Naxos label began the large-scale project of recording the complete 550 or so keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti (1685 -- 1787) on the piano. Each volume of the series will be performed by a different pianist, resulting in a number of varying interpretations of this highly idiosyncratic composer. In addition, the project has given exposure and recording credit to a number of deserving young artists. As of this writing, twelve CDs of Scarlatti sonatas by as many pianists have appeared, making an average release of one CD per year since the project began. I eagerly await each new release. After hearing the most recent CD by the Viennese pianist Gerda Struhal,Scarlatti: Sonatas Edition Vol.12 (Various) I decided to go back and hear an earlier recording in the series which I had missed when it came out.

Recorded in 1999 and released in 2001, Jeno Jando's CD is volume 3 in the Scarlatti series. Unlike most of the performers in the series, Jeno Jando (b. 1952) is among the most recorded of pianists with recordings of the complete sonatas of Haydn, Mozart,Beethoven, and Schubert, among much else, to his credit on Naxos. Jando has been aptly described as a pianist who does not let his ego get in the way of the music. He offers a sparkling reading of Scarlatti. He plays at a quick tempo with sharp, angular articulation and with no attempt to romanticize this music. The readings are strongly rhythmical, well thought out, and reminded me of Jando's way with the early Haydn sonatas which are indebted to Scarlatti. Jando has a tendency to hum when he plays, but I did not find this distracting. In a word, Jando makes a valuable contribution to the Naxos series with this enjoyable disk.

The CD includes 16 sonatas, including some that are well-known. It is weighted toward the earlier, more dashing, part of Scarlatti's large output. Of the 16 works, 11 are numbered at K. 261 or earlier. There is a good mix of keys with 7 sonatas in the minor and 9 in the major.

Several works on this CD were familiar to me because they are included in the first volume of Ralph Kirkpatrick's edition of 60 Scarlatti sonatas for the piano, Scarlatti: 60 Sonatas for Piano in Two Volumes - Volume 1 (Schirmer's Library Of Musical Classics, Vol. 1774) It is especially enjoyable to follow these relatively familiar works with scores. The most familiar of these works is the sonata in D major, K. 119, with its large chords, distinctive rhythms, repeated notes, and cascading arpeggio shortly after the work begins. But my favorite of these pieces was the sonata in a minor, K. 54, with its lilting triplet theme in 12/8 time, with long song-like passages in thirds, sixths, and octaves. The flamboyant, rapid-fire sonata in E major, K. 46, and the guitar-like G major sonata, K.105 round out this group.

Other sonatas worth pointing out include the sonata in F major, K. 525, which is probably the most frequently performed work on this CD with its repeated notes and insistent Spanish dance rhythm. The lengthiest work on the CD is the sonata in c minor, K 126, which was new to me. It is melancholy in character with shifting rhythms. Jando does well in holding this extended work together. The early sonata in f minor, K. 69, is full of contrapuntal writing and has a gently sad mood. Finally, several earlier reviewers have commented upon Jando's brisk performance of the flashy early sonata in d minor, K. 10, with its long passages of runs.

All told, this CD offers an excellent mix of Scarlatti sonatas played with force. The CD will delight listeners who love Scarlatti and will make an excellent introduction to newcomers to this composer and to the Naxos series.

Total time: 66:53

Robin Friedman
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2001
Almost every keyboard player, whether harpsichordist or pianist, has included sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) in recitals and recordings. The so-called sonatas number nearly 600. They contain an incredible variety of mood, colour and rhythm, but never a surprise ending - Scarlatti allows you to see an ending coming a mile off.
The ubiquitous Jeno Jando is the pianist in this third volume of a projected complete recording of the Scarlatti sonatas undertaken by Naxos Records. Apparently the policy in this project is to use the piano throughout, to observe repeats in each sonata, and to ignore the convention of pairing many of the sonatas.
Jando's fingers trip nimbly through a selection of 16 sonatas on this CD. The selection includes ones that are much duplicated in my record collection and some that I have never heard before. Amongst the latter is a virtuoso piece featuring rapid descending scales (Track 2) and another featuring passages of repeated single notes, suggesting guitar technique (Track 3).
Offering 67 minutes at extreme budget price, this is very good value indeed. Don't expect top quality piano recording, however. The sound here is strangely muted.
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on 2 January 2010
This third volume of Scarlatti Sonatas on Naxos continues the excellent musicianship of previous ones. I like the fact that each volume features a different pianist, so one can compare different readings of this composer. In Dando's case, I was struck by how much this artist seems to try to make the piano evoke the sound of the harpsichord--a very appropriately baroque treatment, yet rounded by the piano's full sound.
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