Dating scarlatti sonatas
In these suites the French composer used several dance forms, giving each piece a title with a descriptive or evocative purpose, or sometimes a dedication whose meaning is partly hidden.
In this way Couperin creates a veritable gallery of characters, places and events displaying a vast range of expressive resources.
Unlike Couperin, however, Scarlatti uses only one musical form, the two-part sonata.
And only rarely does he provide titles explaining the piece’s contents: apart from some sonatas designated Toccata, Minuetto, Pastorale or Gavotta, only the most laconic tempo indications are given: Allegro, Presto and Andante are the most frequent; Allegretto, Vivo and Vivace are less usual, while other markings are rare.
The universal appeal of these sonatas -- containing Scarlatti's trademark influence of Iberian folk music and dances -- is such that they have been pushed beyond the boundaries of the intended instrument, and thus the recording also boasts performances of selected sonatas on the harp and accordion, bringing these wonderful sonatas into the 21st century.
They represent the early maturity of Scarlatti’s style. Sonatas following the Essercizi; they are very rich in virtuoso contents (Ralph Kirkpatrick describes them as “flamboyant”).
Clearly, then, the musical world of Scarlatti’s sonatas possesses neither structural variety nor literary suggestion: the composer is thus faced with the challenge of breathing new life into the same formal framework.
It is also up to performers to identify themselves time and again with the ever- different expressive world of each sonata.
The resulting classification would be the following: 1.
Sonatas composed during Scarlatti’s first trip to Portugal (1719–c.1724).Baroque powerhouse Domenico Scarlatti -- son of the great Alessandro Scarlatti and born in 1600, the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Friderich Handel -- wrote an enormous 555 keyboard sonatas.