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David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2017

We continue where we left off last February with a further collection—seventeen in number—of the sonatas that Domenico Scarlatti encompassed in one movement. Regular readers will know of my antipathy towards music intended for the harpsichord being played on a modern piano. Well here we have a pianist in total sympathy with those feelings, for he almost manages to recreate that instrument on a modern Steinway. He has even achieved an almost impossible harpsichord pungency in the left hand, and I guess his foot never came near the sustaining pedal, the playing so crisp, neat and staccato. Starting out with K341, and later including K504, they represent the most brief of Scarlatti’s works in this genre, and are little more than an undeveloped theme. Born in 1974, the Brazilian pianist, Sergio Monteiro, is a multi-award winner, and equally important is his passion for performing contemporary music. His brief biography with the disc does not mention any performances of Baroque music, so I remain mystified as to how this disc, recorded last year, came about. Chronological it covers Scarlatti’s later life from 1754 to his death in 1757, and seems to have come from a composer who had given us the highly developed three- movement works, and was no longer interested in lengthy development. Most are of a happy disposition, the disc seemingly much shorter than its generous length. I would equally commend the recording made at the Wanda Bass School of Music, Oklahoma City, the dry nature of the sound helping to create the period feel, while keeping a highly pleasing quality. Probably the most attractive release in the series to date. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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