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Work

Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti Composer

Sonata in A, K.26, L.368   

Performances: 6
Tracks: 6
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Musicology:
  • Sonata in A, K.26, L.368
    Key: A
    Genre: Sonata
    Pr. Instrument: Harpsichord
This A major effort first appeared in London in 1738 as one of the 30 Essercizi per gravicembalo, the title selected by the young Scarlatti for his first keyboard forays into the sonata genre. It would turn out that the composer would favor A major, in the end producing 50 sonatas in that key out of his phenomenal total of 555. Marked Presto, it is, like most of his early keyboard sonatas, energetic and brimming with vivid keyboard colors, but it also presents substantial technical demands to the harpsichordist or pianist performing it, with much challenging writing that includes hand crossings.

This Sonata in A major opens with a playful theme that seems to windup before it finally gets started, the opening phrase repeating several times before scampering off to finish the first subject. The spirited second subject comes across as almost machine-like in its deliciously delicate patter. The music in the exposition and repeat is energetic and light in its busy travels up and down the keyboard, but in the second half the mood turns a bit lighter and features an even more breathless sense to the dizzying pace. This charming Sonata typically lasts about three-and-a-half minutes.

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