Domenico Scarlatti was born in 1685, the same year as J S Bach and Handel. Early life was spent in Naples and Rome where his father Alessandro held important posts. From 1719 he resided in Portugal, teaching keyboard to Maria Bárbara, daughter of King John V, whose marriage ten years later initiated a move to the Spanish court where he remained based until his death in 1757.
Few details are known of Scarlatti’s life and a considerable amount of his music has been lost. He nevertheless left 555 single movement sonatas contained in two collections known as the Venice and Parma manuscripts. His brilliance at the keyboard is reflected in these sonatas which require very considerable dexterity.
For this recording Carole Cerasi, whose previous discs for Metronome have attracted important awards and critical acclaim, has chosen fifteen contrasting sonatas which brilliantly illustrate Scarlatti’s staggering virtuosity, unexpected eccentricities and a strong awareness of Iberian influences.
“Domenico Scarlatti's fusion of Italian and Iberian styles dazzles in this artfully programmed recital...It's a playful performance, as impressive in its moments of introspection as it is in those of extrovert brilliance.” The Independent on Sunday, 3rd June 2012 *****
“Cerasi's recording builds a sense of a deeper Scarlatti, a composer filled with delightful musical quirks and oddities, at turns wheeling, ruminative and bumptious. It is a well-plotted disc, capturing the full range of the composer's moods...With Cerasi, there are no false steps...In short, Cerasi's disc is [a] delight and will please longtime Scarlatti collectors as much as it entices newcomers to explore further.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012