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Scarlatti, D.: Sonatas

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 16, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Scarlatti, D.: Sonatas by Ivo Pogorelich [Piano]

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Product Details

  • Performer: Ivo Pogorelich
  • Composer: Scarlatti, Giuseppe Domenico [Composer]
  • Audio CD (February 16, 1993)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001GGV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,915 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Somehow strange, I decided to get this album - Ivo Pogorelich playing 15 Scarlatti Sonatas - many years after it was recorded and issued by Deutsche Grammophon. It simply happened shortly after attending Ivo's live recital in Bucharest during the "George Enescu" International Festival in September 2003. On that occasion, he offered some Beethoven Sonatas - the F sharp minor op.78 and the celebrated op.111 - coupled with pieces by Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Though flawless from technical viewpoint, his approach raised then many doubts (especially in Beethoven works) concerning the rhythmic licenses he indulged himself. Namely, he developed and employed a very slow pace, phrasing against the use, in order to convey the musical truth of those scores and - perhaps - to ostentatiously shade a new light on them. But this questionable manner in which Pogorelich decided to lead then the Beethovenian discourse baffled the audience. An audience aware of the fact that it was experiencing a great virtuoso's music-making, but unable to assume what it was hearing. For many, such an approach seemed totally inappropriate and even disturbing, causing the frustration that the world conjured up from the keyboard was quite totally Ivo's and not even a single bit Beethoven's. The concert-goers' habits and expectations were blown up from the very first bars. For others - taking Beethoven as a mere pretext for a personal confession - was quite the clue of that evening. However, the procedure was less bothering in Russian repertoire filling the second half of the recital.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Pogorelich's rendition of fifteen or so of the Master's sonatas is nothing short of orgasmic; this CD is a big-hearted, rowdy, full-throated, plates-filled, glasses-overflowing, week-long Mediterranean romp, and we are all invited. Pogorelich's sound is robust in the "riotous" sonatas, and crystalline and delicate in the "sensual" ones. His technique is...oh, goodness! I mean this man has the incredible ability to, within a sixteen-note, shift from a full-throttle fortissimo to a most delicate pianissimo; any pianist can tell you: that ain't easy. Pogorelich's ability to "shade" the voices and "nuance" a phrase is unmatched. I cannot recommend this recording too highly; it is absolutely astonishing. The control that Pogorelich has over the instrument is spectacular, and his musicianship flawless, though I realize that not few would violently disagree with my assessment of his musicianship.
Might I also suggest two other performer's delightful recordings of Scarlatti's (The Master) sonatas, both of which I might happily add are available through Amazon.com; namely those of: Dubravka Tomsic, and Eteri Andjaparidze. One caveat however, while both Tomsic and Andjaparidze are brilliant technicians, as far as pure joy and flare are concerned Tomsic comes closer to Pogorelich's lofty heights than does Eteri. Nevertheless those are two additionally brilliant recordings. I haven't heard Horowitz's renditions in quite some time so I do not feel qualified to speak as to their quality, only to say that I seem to remember that they seemed a bit lifeless when I heard them last.
N.B. For those like me who are hard-core Scarlatti fans, one more suggestion: try to catch the Shostakovich's orchestration for wind ensemble, a quintet if I am not mistaken, of few of The Masters sonatas; they are quite charming and, in typical Shostakovich fashion, quite witty.
2 Comments 25 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I saw the performance of these pieces at the beautiful, now closed, Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Ca. After having seen Mr. P several other times with mixed feelings due to his idiosyncratic approach at his young age, and knowing of Horowitz's splendid Scarlati, I was astounded by the professional and gorgeous approach he took to this music in live performance. While somewhat different in approach to Mr. H, it is perfect in all its own ways. It was unforgettable, and I have been to many piano recitals. The recording reproduces the performance as well as one could wish for and brings back some great memories.
Richard Jacobson
Comment 21 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Pogorelich really exploits the loud-soft and gradations between them in this very idiomatic piano recording. The selection is a little limited--maybe too many from the Essercizi? But he plays them so well! Everyone does K 1, but Pogorelich makes it sound like music (unlike Tomsic or Pletnev). K 8 sounds like a tragic funeral march for 3-legged mortally wounded--not a very attractive description, but I mean he gets that gothic horror. And K 450 is perfect--no labor at all to the difficult trills.

I do complain a little of the repetitions that are mostly exact.

A little variation would be nice. Still, this is the album I'd be most likely to play for a Scarlatti virgin in hopes of seduction!
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Format: Audio CD
Domenico Scarlatti and Ivo Pogorelich share much in common, even to the kind of upbringing they had. Both lived in a Mediterranean coastal community that was 'off the beaten path', as it were. Scarlatti was from Naples (at a time when it was not a major city), and Pogorelich is from Dubrovnik along the Croatian coasts. Thus it might seem like a natural to have the pairing of Pogorelich playing these pieces by Scarlatti.

Domenico Scarlatti was son of Alessandro Scarlatti, also a noted Baroque composer. Domenico was composer of well over 500 sonatas, most of which were not published in his lifetime. His career was spent largely in Portugal and Spain, a bit far from the centre of gravity of the Baroque era, and so he is often overlooked; his father's compositions are better known in many ways, also, which adds to his being overshadowed. However, there is a unique power and vitality to the composition of Domenico, which made his music very popular. However, according to one commentator, ' The sonatas' technical difficulties have often caused them to be regarded unjustly as mere studies in virtuosity, and modern pianoforte technique owes much to their influence. They display a harmonic audacity, and adventurous use of modulation (changing from one key to another), a freshness and variety of invention and a vigorous intellectuality in thematic and structural terms which belies their "popular" tone and their apparently careless appearance on the page.'

Ivo Pogorelich is a popular musician in the musical sense as well as in the success of his career. He is also very skilled in interpreting the kind of technical requirements as well as the spirit of the compositions of a composer like Scarlatti.
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