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Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti Composer

Sonata in F#, K.318, L.31

Performances: 5
Tracks: 5
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Musicology:
  • Sonata in F#, K.318, L.31
    Key: F#
    Genre: Sonata
    Pr. Instrument: Harpsichord
Housed originally in the sixth Venice volume that dates to 1753, this Sonata is in the unusual key of F sharp major, a key seldom chosen by most composers, and rarely selected by Scarlatti. Of his 555 keyboard sonatas only two are in F sharp major, the other being this one's successor, K. 319. What makes this business of keys all the more interesting is the Sonata K. 318 here is not so firmly rooted in F sharp major after all, as it spends much time modulating to nearby and remote keys. In any event, most listeners will find this reflective Sonata a worthwhile, if somewhat quirky piece.

The delicate, rather lonely descending scale that opens the Sonata establishes the key of F sharp major but thereafter the music wanders elsewhere, growing emotionally warmer and texturally richer in its Andante pacing: thematic material eschews neutrality for feeling, and ensuing descending scales have a different rhythmic pattern and an almost fervent sense. In the second half of the Sonata, where Scarlatti typically develops his material, the music begins with an almost Chopin-esque gloom, which then yields to a playful manner and then finally to the intimate warmth predominant in the first half. This Sonata typically lasts about six minutes.

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