October 25, 2019
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the birth of Domenico Scarlatti, born October 26, 1685. That year was a good vintage for Baroque composers: it also marked the birth year for JS Bach and Handel.
Scarlatti was a Baroque composer, but many of his works foreshadowed the Classical era, when he began writing sonatas for harpsichord (that weren’t structured the way we think of sonatas, like Mozart’s, but they definitely explored what the keyboard had to offer, and changed tonalities like a classical sonata). He was a whiz on the keyboard and his zippy-quick passages that he wrote served as a vehicle to show this off.
On any online forum dedicated to classical music, when Baroque era performance practise comes up, the debate regarding Baroque music on period instruments vs. modern day instruments predictably comes up. I’m more of an “anything goes” kind of person, and welcome hearing Baroque music on both period and modern instruments, all the way to using very un-traditional instruments for the classics. Do you have a preference?
Give this clip a try. You may find the harpsichord rather harsh and abrasive at first, but after a while, your ears will adjust. Zuzana Rudickova plays Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas on harpsichord.
Domenico Scaraltti was born on October 26, 1685 in Naples, and died July 23, 1757 in Madrid.