While Ivo Pogorelich established his reputation performing mainly Romantic repertoire, his few forays into the Baroque reveal him to be an equally engaging- if not eccentric musician here as well. In quicker movements, such as the opening Preludes of the English Suites for instance Pogorelich's rhythmic control and contrapuntal clarity are simply amazing. Slower movements likewise are handled with remarkable intensity and delicacy. Pogorelich's performances of four Scarlatti sonatas concluding the program as well are wonderfully animated and knowing.
Emil Georg Conrad von Sauer (October 8, 1862 – April 27, 1942) was a notable German composer, pianist, score editor, and music (piano) teacher. He was a pupil of Franz Liszt and one of the most distinguished pianists of his generation. Josef Hofmann called von Sauer "a truly great virtuoso." Martin Krause, another Liszt pupil, called von Sauer "the legitimate heir of Liszt; he has more of his charm and geniality than any other Liszt pupil."From Wiki
Acclaimed French harpsichord player Christophe Rousset seems to have made only this one CD of Domenico Scarlatti sonatas to date. All but the last 4 sonatas were performed on a single manual Portuguese instrument dating from 1785. It has a silent action, a pungent bass and spicy, rich sonorities right up to the top treble. The other instrument has two manuals and, dating from 1756 England, is closer in time to Scarlatti's own era. Rousset makes good use of the resources the two manuals provide, and accidentally kicks the wooden casing, in K 140. Like most keyboard players who enjoy a challenge, he has a high old time with the frenetic repetitions and hand crossings in K 141 (which M.Argerich did on piano in a famous Youtube video btw)
The biggest surprise on this wonderfully exuberant and exhilarating disc comes with the very first notes: the piano tone is rich and full, worlds away from the slightly distant, musical-box tone that is often thought appropriate for recordings of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas on a modern concert grand. But as the soundworld suggests, Tharaud is totally unapologetic about playing these pieces – all originally composed for harpsichord even though the earliest fortepianos were in circulation in Scarlatti's time – on a piano. In the sleevenotes, Tharaud says that of the four baroque keyboard composers that he has recorded so far – Bach, Couperin, Rameau and now Scarlatti – it's the last whose music is most suited to this treatment. His selection of sonatas is chosen for maximum variety, with a group in which the Spanish inflections of flamenco and folk music can be heard, others in which he gets a chance to show some dazzling technique, alongside those in which the playfulness is replaced by profound introspection.
Biber's 'Rosary Sonatas' for violin and basso continuo stand alone in the violin literature and in music history, offering a unique combination of programmatic material and the use of scordatura. The cycle consists of fifteen sonatas for violin and basso continuo, and a closing Passacaglia for solo violin, composed c.1687. Through the copper engravings inserted at the head of each sonata in the manuscript depicting key moments in the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary, the music has become associated with the Catholic Mysteries of the Rosary.