Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Maria Tipo Plays Domenico Scarlatti

Of those composers whose virtuosity embraced improvisation and performance as well as composition, few have written music that has proved capable of surviving the disappearance of the instrument for which they wrote. What would become of Chopin if the piano were to fall into disfavour ? Where was Couperin without the harpsichord ? Yet Rameau wrote for the latter instrument, and his idiom, his restless harmonies and even his ornamentation translate to the modern piano though its qualities are quite distinct from those of the harpsichord. The same argument has been made for the music of Domenico Scarlatti. Could anyone play the harpsichord better than he ? Apparently not : in Venice he fought a musical 'due' with Handel (both composers were of course born in that annus mirabilis for European music) : though Handel had the ascendancy as far as the organ was concerned, Scarlatti was proclaimed king of the harpsichord. This was no mean achievement for the son of Alessandro Scarlatti : he had eschewed vocal and operatic forms — where applause tends to be as ephemeral as it is enthusiastic — despite this being the field in which his father excelled. And as his fame grew, he gradually ceased to be known as 'Scarlatti the Younger' and became plain Scarlatti. His compositions are his legacy to us, and they transcend the fragile limitations of the instrument for which they were written. As we know, the harpsichord fell into disuse, eclipsed by instruments with a greater dynamic range and capable of more startling effects. The term pianoforte itself heralds dynamic excitement, impetuosity and richness of tone. The young Mozart was awakened to the potential of the instrument for which he would eventually write so many concertos when he heard a new Stein piano from Augsburg. That instrument was, in a sense, to become his voice. Scarlatti is unlikely to have a similar experience ; if by any chance he did, he nonetheless remained faithful toan instrument that offered no such possibilities...
André Tubeuf, from the booklet (translated by Mark Valencia)

Maria Tipo
Domenico Scarlatti


1 Sonata in E major, K. 495 (L. 426)  4:14
2 Sonata in E major, K. 381 (L. 225)  4:29
3 Sonata in E major, K. 20 (L. 375) 'Capriccio'  3:08
4 Sonata in E minor, K. 394 (L. 275)  5:10
5 Sonata in G major, K. 454 (L. 184)  4:48
6 Sonata in G major, K. 425 (L. 333)  2:45
7 Sonata in D major, K. 491 (L. 164)  5:50
8 Sonata in D minor, K. 32 (L. 423)  2:27
9 Sonata in A major, K. 342 (L. 191)  2:05
10 Sonata in A minor, K. 109 (L. 138)  5:06
11 Sonata in A major, K. 39 (L. 391)  2:47
12 Sonata in G major, K. 125 (L. 487)  2:22
13 Sonata in G major, K. 470 (L. 304)  4:49
14 Sonata in G major, K. 124 (L. 232)  5:16
15 Sonata in G major, K. 79 (L. 80)  2:17
16 Sonata in G major, K. 547 (L. S28)  4:16
17 Sonata in B-Flat major, K. 551 (L. 396)  5:04
18 Sonata in B-Flat minor, K. 128 (L. 296)  7:15


Maria Tipo - p

Recorded at Salle Wagram, Paris ; November 27 & 28, 1987


Melanchthon said...


kingpossum said...

Many thanks...I am new to Scarlatti and the pianist Maria Tipo both, so this will be a treat to explore.

george said...

Wonderful post!
Many thanks, Mel.