Scarlatti - Sonata in D Kp 214

Grade 8 ABRSM 2019 - 2020 Syllabus

Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev here brings out a glorious sense of fun and clarity to the playing of this music.

Notice how the phrasing is driven by the feel for the harmonic flow.  The playing is not simply staccato or legato but uses a mixture of sensitive articulation to give the line interest and colour.  The rate of harmonic change itself is fairly slow and so the quickness of this Allegro tempo really helps to give energy and 'lift' to the musical flow.

A Harpsichord Version (Ross Scott)

This is typical of the sound world of the Baroque, where the richness of the chordal textures are brought about through the combination of different pitch length 'stops'.  

Whilst there were early forms of the piano around during the composer's lifetime, they were undeveloped and the main large keyboard of choice for Scarlatti's music was the harpsichord whose sound was produced by the plucking action of quills against the string.

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