Scar­latti SonataS

Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

Yevgeny Sud­bin (BIS SACD 2138) Mid­way through a Scar­latti recital, as­ton­ish­ment prompts the puz­zled query: How does he do it? Ev­ery sonata is dis­tinct, full of sur­prise dis­play­ing a spe­cial kind of play­ful in­ge­nu­ity. How could such va­ri­ety spring from a sin­gle source? Scar­latti’s in­ven­tive pow­ers seem to be el­e­ments of two dis­tinct worlds that spar and com­bine in ways that give his mu­sic its marked sense of con­trast, un­pre­dictabil­ity and de­light. I call these sources ‘calle’ (street) and ‘corte’ (the court). The 555 sonatas of Scar­latti con­sti­tute an enor­mous pat­ri­mony to pi­anists and the finest ex­po­nents of this specif­i­cally pi­anis­tic Scar­latti (set­ting aside the harp­si­chord) are keenly sen­si­tive to both el­e­ments. We want flash and daz­zle but also the spell-in­duc­ing magic of the aria and fugue. Who bet­ter to un­der­take this than Yevgeny Sud­bin? He cap­tures both as­pects of Scar­latti’s ge­nius, bet­ter than any­one; his or­na­men­ta­tion is in a class of its own. Fritz Bal­wit

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