Sonata no. 9 in C Major [5.29]
Sonata no. 15 in c minor [6.42]
Sonata no. 1 in C Major [3.56]
Sonata no. 14 in c minor [3.42]
Sonata no. 22 in d minor [2.26]
Sonata no. 24 in D Major [2.40]
Sonata no. 19 in D Major [4.48]
Sonata no. 25 in d minor [5.34]
Sonata no. 6 in C Major [3.20]
Sonata no. 13 in c minor
rec: November 1981.
PORTUGALSOM CD 870014/PS
Carlos Seixas was a prolific Portuguese composer who wrote more than 700
keyboard works. Many of these pieces were lost in the great earthquake of
1755 that destroyed the musical library of the Royal Palace, but some one
hundred keyboard sonatas, in addition to the works on this disc, are extant.
Seixas's musical career corresponds to a time when Portugal, which had been
relatively isolated from the rest of Europe, opened itself to outside influences.
One of the first musical influences was that of Italian baroque music, which
can clearly be heard in these short sonatas.
Named vice-master of the Chapel Royal in Lisbon, Seixas was in contact with
many foreign musicians, undoubtedly including Domenico Scarlatti, who came
to Lisbon in 1719. While Seixas's works do not sound as though they are greatly
influenced by Scarlatti's work, which is much more rhythmic and dynamic,
it is clear that he learned from the great Italian composer.
This disc contains a selection of harpsichord sonatas, all of which contain
three movements or less. These are very melodic pieces, not virtuoso works
where the music is overwhelmed by its difficulty. Many of his works feature
a relatively simple left-hand part, with melodic structures for the right
hand that are developed and elaborated in variations. Some of them, such
as sonata number 9 in C Major, have a clear Iberian sound, with a melody
progressing over a harmonic base that modulates back and forth in two keys.
This is similar to a great deal of Spanish guitar music in sound, and it
produces some very interesting music on the harpsichord.
All in all, this is a very fine recording of some little-known works that
any lover of 18th century harpsichord music should listen to. The only drawback
is perhaps the selection of works - the 9 sonatas on this recording are all
in 4 keys: C Major and minor, and D Major and minor. While it is possible
that Seixas used only a limited number of keys for his works, a bit more
variety on this recording might have been interesting.
A very attractive disc of short harpsichord works by a little-known 18th
century Portuguese composer.
The prices are: UK pounds 6 and US dollars 10 (freight not included).
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