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Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Keyboard Sonatas
Peter Katin (piano)
rec. St Margaret’s Church, Putney, London, 9-10 September 1985
CLAUDIO CR3502-2 [61.59]

This is the second CD to come my way this year celebrating the considerable artistry and versatility of pianist Peter Katin (1930-2015). Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing his recordings of some very well known and not so well known Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov works on Decca Eloquence. They were originally set down in 1958 and 1959 and issued on LP but never saw the light of day again until this year.

Now this new Claudio disc appears. I am impressed not only with Katin’s sensitive and robust readings but also, judging by his own lucid and learned notes, his in-depth knowledge of the Scarlatti sonatas. He reflects on the allowances that need to be made for the difference in sound created by the use of a modern pianoforte rather than a harpsichord. Katin also fires a shot at those observers who think all Scarlatti’s sonatas sound alike. He writes that although there are many similarities, “… even so I found such variety while putting together the fourteen sonatas recorded here that the resulting embarrassment of riches made my task far from easy …”

He hear fourteen of the 550 sonatas Scarlatti composed in Madrid from his arrival there in 1733 until his death. Each succeeds in captivating the ear and holding the attention. Of these sonatas, I would mention a few that impressed me particularly. The striking and solemn D major K490, the serene and calming A major K208, the delight and buoyancy of the E flat K193, the appealing G major K539 with its evocations of chiming and clanging bells and the ambitious and C major K356 that has “the charming quality of a music box”.

Claudio re-mastered the 1985 recordings using a Nagra IV-S reel-to-reel machine direct to Nagra VII 192/24 HJD from original masters. This recording is also available as DVD-Audio UHD disc CR3502-6.

This makes for a very worthy addition to the Scarlatti discography with warm and excellent high definition transfers.

Ian Lace

Disc contents
Keyboard Sonatas
D major K96 [4.56]
D major K490 [7.49]
D minor K517 [3.03]
A major K208 [3.34]
A minor K3 [2.38]
F minor K238 [6.29]
F minor K239 [3.15]
E flat major K193 [4.06]
C minor K84 [3.00]
G major K471 [3.30]
G major K539 [4.50]
C major K356 [8.02]
C major K159 [2.16]
C major K420 [4.29]

 

 



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