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Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonatas

Konstantin Scherbakov, piano

Naxos 8.554842

 

 

 

 

classics today

"Konstantin Scherbakov approaches Scarlatti from a pianistic perspective in that he draws upon the instrument's infinite capacity for tone color and dynamic shading for maximum musical effect. His extraordinary sense of timing and wide variety of articulations hold attention in slow, texturally spare works like the F major K. 542 and F minor K. 238 sonatas (the gorgeously calibrated diminuendos in the latter will take your breath away). His scales and ornaments are unfailingly alive, pinpointed, and peppered with rhythmic sparkle, as in the C major K. 422 (whose melodic surprises foreshadow Haydn), the heel-clicking F major K. 17, and D major K. 313 sonatas. Lyrical pieces, such as the achingly eloquent G major K. 283, also benefit from Scherbakov's imagination, taste, and technical finish. I wouldn't hesitate to enshrine Scherbakov alongside the great Scarlatti pianists on disc, including Horowitz, Pletnev, Meyer, Tipo, and Schiff. Yes, he's that good! The excellent engineering gives the piano a slightly metallic edge, and the bass has great richness without exaggeration. This is the finest release thus far in Naxos' ongoing complete Scarlatti sonata cycle." Jed Distler, Classics Today

 

“Konstantin Scherbakov has an imaginative and sensitive touch as a performer of this repertoire. His playing is true to the baroque stylistic origins of the music, while also pointing up its emotional possibilities. Excepting ‘purists’ who cannot endure this music on a modern piano, Scherbakov will give the listener the utmost pleasure.The recording too does justice to Scarlatti, since it is both atmospheric in ambience and clear in detail… Since he has so many sonatas to his credit, it is all too tempting to consider that Scarlatti composed to a formula. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, and this most recent issue in the valuable Naxos collection can therefore be welcomed with enthusiasm.” MusicWeb International

 

"In terms of pianism and technical command, Scherbakov's performances easily surpass those of the earlier volumes. His phrasing, sonorities and trills are superbly executed. Further, I have never heard in this music such a wide range of dynamics and articulations. Additional features such as the realization of Scarlatti's impetuosity and sharply-etched contours are also brilliantly represented by this splendid Siberian-born pianist."  MusicWeb International

 

"Considering the virtuoso nature of Scherbakov's previous recorded repertoire (Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, Liszt arrangements of Beethoven Symphonies, Godowsky piano music), it's surprising that he has selected such a genteel collection of Scarlatti. There is little of the composer's overt virtuosity here, on a disc dominated by lyricism and pleasantries. Scherbakov's playing, though, is excellent. He keeps things moving well enough but never tries to turn these pieces into anything too dazzling or vehement... an hour of Scarlatti played with elegance on the piano and beautifully recorded..." Leslie Gerber, Amazon.com

 

"You can play this disc again and again and marvel at the insights on it, at the subtleties, the wit, the vibrant colors, the astonishing inventiveness of Scarlatti's keyboard writing... Every performance of these sixteen sonatas is memorable." Allclassics