Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Harpsichord Sonatas, 1742 (part I)
Most of Domenico Scarlatti’s works for harpsichord are preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice. They are in fifteen precious volumes, elegantly bound in leather with the Spanish and Portuguese royal coats of arms embossed in gold. This recording covers the music in the first volume, dated 1742, which is particularly interesting from a historical and stylistic point of view. It is the earliest of the fifteen volumes, includes more pieces - sixty-one in all - and the writing is graphically very different from the others. This volume contains various types of compositions, unlike those in later volumes, where Scarlatti invariably kept to the formhe is most famous for: the Sonata. There are dances such as the Minuet, the Gavotte and the Gigue, three fugues, a Capriccio, a Theme and Variations and several Sonatas in more than one movement, some of which were composed for a high-pitched solo instrument and basso continuo; a variety of forms he later abandoned to continue to compose exclusively sonatas, seemingly without evolving the form.