The Naxos label made the unusual decision to issue all of the Scarlatti keyboard sonatas (Essercizi per Gravicembalo, as he called them) with a different pianist on each succeeding CD. The level of playing (and recorded sound) has been extremely high. This series simply keeps going from strength to strength. And this one, featuring Viennese pianist Gerda Struhal, is one of the very best. Struhal has a lovely tone, a fluid touch and command of a wide range of dynamics which she uses expertly and musically. She is given a lovely piano on which to play, too. Its mellow bass register is particularly delicious. Her nuanced playing is really a joy to encounter. Like others in the series the disc features both familiar and unfamiliar sonatas -- not surprising considering there are 555 of them and even if one is fairly acquainted with many of them there are necessarily some that are new discoveries. For instance, I had never to my knowledge heard the Sonata in F Minor, K. 387/L. 175/P.415, which features striking opening phrases ending with left hand octaves. Struhal plays it sassily and I found myself going back to it again and again. I was also charmed by her playing of the familiar 6/8 jeu, Sonata in A Major, K. 323/L. 95/P. 411, a veritable moto perpetuo.
I had never heard of Ms Struhal but will be looking for any future recordings she makes.