Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Domenico Scarlatti, Scott Ross (Harpsichord)|
Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Works - Scott Ross
The late Scott Ross recorded this monumental set as a series of weekly programs for French radio during 1985, the 300th anniversary of Scarlatti's birth. Learning and recording so much music weekly had some disadvantages... more »
The late Scott Ross recorded this monumental set as a series of weekly programs for French radio during 1985, the 300th anniversary of Scarlatti's birth. Learning and recording so much music weekly had some disadvantages, and not every one of these performances maintains the same high level. But most of them do; Ross gives us generally fine playing of this magnificent body of music, in its only complete recording ever. I never lost my interest while listening through the entire set. Erato offers 34 discs for the price of 20, as it should; the music could have easily fit onto 25 discs and saved us some shelf space. --Leslie Gerber
So much bang for your buck...
Douglas S. Halfen | Baltimore, MD, USA | 03/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Contrary to Leslie Gerber's review, I believe that every single one of these performances is top-notch - pick any disc, go to any single track, and you'll find something well worth a listen! Domenico Scarlatti may not have had the contrapuntal skills of Bach, but his music exhibits a tremendous amount of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic invention that can be far easier (though certainly no less rewarding) to digest than your typical keyboard masterpiece by JSB. Scott Ross brings all of these pieces to beautiful, shimmering life, and while he may be now dead, these recordings will forever testify to his considerable skills in both interpretation and performance of early keyboard music on a vintage harpsichord.My only complaint is that the music, or more precisely, perhaps, the instrument on which it is played, develops a certain "sameness" after about 30 minutes of listening pleasure; one can only listen to the tinkling of a harpsichord for so long, IMHumbleO! (And it is a _beautiful_ harpsichord being played!) I have been dousing myself in these discs for about ten years now, as I bought the set just after it was released, and I can honestly say that there's more good music here, and enough musical variety from piece to piece, to keep another music lover just as happy as I've been. Few boxed sets that I've purchased over the last decade (exceptions: Lionel Rogg's Bach organ music and the Borodin Shostakovich Quartets on Melodiya) have had the same staying power that this one has."
Kirk McElhearn | A village in the French Alps | 06/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a delightful body of work, and I must say I am overwhelmed by the variety. I had wondered if 555 sonatas was not a bit much, whether it would all sound alike, but listening to the different pieces I find very little repitition.There is, of course, a style that is obvious, and recognizable. If I were to qualify this music, I would say that, above all, it sounds like music of a composer who really enjoyed playing his instrument. When you think that this represents about 30 years of Scarlatti's life, during which time he composed almost no other music, you understand that he put everything into it.He wrote most of these works in Spain, after leaving his native Italy and not looking back. Being a tutor for Princess Maria Barbara of Braganza, his job, it seems, was to write music and teach. What is amazing is that he focused on just one instrument, and just one style, exploring every possibility of melody and rhythm, and never does it sound repetitive.The works are all very short, the longest being 7 minutes or so. These are not sonatas as we tend to think of the word, as multi-movement pieces built around a specific theme. These are short, concise pieces, where the melody and rhythm speak out instantly. Most of them are binary works, where there is a AABB repeat structure (I am simplifying a bit), and listening to them you can easily hear the structure of each piece.Many of the pieces are rather fast, showing a certain exuberence, but even the slower pieces, and the few fugues, are energetic in their own way.In short, this is a major body of work that must be heard. While the 34 CD set is perhaps prohibitive, there is a 3 CD anthology, a sort of best-of of this set (and I have a copy to sell or trade, if anyone is interested). By all means, check out this music."
Kirk McElhearn | 12/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Think of this collection as a huge anthology of short stories, full of entertaining plot twists, character quirks, and other forms of wit. You will not find the kind of serene depth that you would in, say, Bach, but the music is continuously entertaining and the performance is superb.If you have a CD player in your car, this collection is ideal commuting music: always upbeat, never fades away or blasts you out of your seat (harpsichords are like that), and short enough that you don't have to sit for long in a parking spot waiting for the piece to end. But using these pieces as background doesn't do them justice; they inevetably reward careful listening."