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Work

Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti Composer

Sonata in B-, K.27, L.449

Performances: 33
Tracks: 33
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Musicology:
  • Sonata in B-, K.27, L.449
    Key: B-
    Year: 1738-39
    Genre: Sonata
    Pr. Instrument: Harpsichord
This is one of Scarlatti's earliest keyboard sonatas, first appearing in London in the Essercizi per gravicembalo (30). This volume was the first publication anywhere of Scarlatti's sonatas; yet it did not appear until 1738, when the composer was 53. The Sonata in B minor here may well date to a decade or two before that year, like many of its other 29 siblings appearing in that premiere issue.

It is more moderately paced and less busy-sounding than its Allegro marking would normally suggest. That said, it is hardly free of conflict or tension: from the beginning the music seems constantly evolving, subtly building and seething, especially in the development section, which occupies the latter half of the Sonata. The work opens with a gentle, melancholy theme whose overall trajectory and harmonies seem mostly in descent. The music develops animation in the second subject and the mood brightens in places, yielding a radiance that almost counterbalances the preceding dark music. As suggested above, in the development section there is a greater sense of tension. The secondary material is less vibrant here, but more reflective and agitated instead. This four-minute Sonata is one of the better early efforts by Scarlatti.

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