This CD includes 17 de Seixas sonatas, of which 10 are in the single movement form favored by Scarlatti. There are nine sonatas with two movements and one sonata with three movements. The movements tend to be brief as compared to Soler's multi-movement sonatas. The multi-movement works usually include an allegro and dance movements such as a gigue or minuet. The sonatas are mostly short. They range in time on this CD from 1:15 for the sonata no 45 in G major to 9:37 for the single movement sonata no. 16 in c minor. The works do not follow Kastner's ordering on the CD. The CD opens with five single movement works, and the remainder of the disk includes multi-movement works interspersed with single movement compositions. The initial work in Kastner's ordering, a short, sprightly single movement sonata in C major appears late in the CD. Of the sonatas 12 are in the major key and 5 in the minor.
A student and younger contemporary of Domenico Scarlatti on the Iberian peninsula, Portuguese composer Carlos de Seixas (1704-1742) wrote harpsichord sonatas in much the same vein as his teacher. Since precise dates for the compositions of either composer are hard to come by, it is even possible that the student might have influenced the teacher in some ways. His sonatas here don't harness the differentiation of texture to the new possibilities of harmonic rhythm in quite the precise ways that Scarlatti's do, and the multimovement structure of many of the sonatas makes them a little diffuse as compared with Scarlatti's.
The first recording of the 12 sonatas Op. 1 and 2 by Nichelmann. Christoph Nichelmann, German composer mand keyboard virtuoso, is said to have studied with Johann Sebastian Bach. This is clearly audible in his keyboard sonatas, which follow the contrapuntal Baroque style and instrumental flourish of his master. However, the publication year of 1745 already hints at further developments in terms of style and expression: certain harmonic experiments and emotional outbursts already foreshadow the Sturm und Drang style of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.
Giovanni Battista Martini may be one of the best-known personalities in the history of music, generally referred to as 'Padre Martini'. His fame is mainly due to his theoretical writings and the fact that he was the teacher of famous composers like Johann Christian Bach, André Ernest Modeste Grétry, Niccolò Jommelli and Mozart. Very few people know his own compositions.
Johan van Veen
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)
Domenico Scarlatti, the sixth child of the celebrated composer Alessandro Scarlatti, was a prolific keyboard composer, and is best known today for his 555 sonatas for keyboard. Domenico was employed by various members of European royalty and nobility in Italy, Spain and Portugal throughout his career. His style was unusual and innovative, but very few of his works were published during his lifetime.