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Domenico Scarlatti biography 
 

Domenico Scarlatti

Artist: Domenico Scarlatti 
Born:October 26, 1685 , Naples, Italy
Died:July 23, 1757, Madrid
Summary:Domenico Scarlatti (October 26, 1685 July 23, 1757) was an Italian composer of the Baroque era. He was extremely influential in the development of keyboard music, especially in Spain, Portugal and England, through his highly idiosyncratic and individual style.
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Domenico Scarlatti Biography


Domenico Scarlatti (October 26, 1685 – July 23, 1757) was an Italian composer of the Baroque era. He was extremely influential in the development of keyboard music, especially in Spain, Portugal and England, through his highly idiosyncratic and individual style.

Domenico Scarlatti, portrayed by  in
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Domenico Scarlatti, portrayed by Domingo Antonio Velasco in 1738
Contents

Life and career

Surprisingly little is known about Scarlatti's life apart from legends and anecdotes. He was born in Naples, Italy, the sixth of ten children. Most likely he first studied under his father, Alessandro Scarlatti; other composers who may have been his early teachers include Gaetano Greco, Francesco Gasparini, and Bernardo Pasquini, all of whom seem to have influenced his musical style.

He became a composer and organist at the royal chapel in Naples in 1701, and in 1704, he revised Pollaroli's opera Irene for performance at Naples. Soon after this his father sent him to Venice, but the four years there are a blank in the record. In 1709 he went to Rome in the service of the exiled Polish queen Maria Casimira; while in Rome he met Thomas Roseingrave who would later lead the enthusiastic reception of the composer's sonatas in London. Domenico was already a harpsichord-player of eminence, and there is a story that at a trial of skill with George Friderich Handel at the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni in Rome he was adjudged perhaps superior to Handel on that instrument, although inferior on the organ. Later in life, he was known to cross himself in veneration, when speaking of Handel's skill.

Also while in Rome, Scarlatti composed several operas for Queen Casimira's private theatre. He was maestro di cappella at St Peter's from 1715 to 1719, and in the latter year came to London to direct his opera Narciso at the King's Theatre.

In 1720 or 1721 he went to Lisbon, where he taught music to the princess Maria Magdalena Barbara. He was at Naples again in 1725, but in 1729 went to Madrid as music master to the princess, who had married into the Spanish royal house. He remained in Spain for some twenty-five years. Maria Barbara became Queen of Spain. During this time he composed over five hundred keyboard sonatas. It is for these works that he is best remembered today.

Domenico Scarlatti died in Madrid, aged 71.

Music

Only a tiny fraction of this output was published in the composer's lifetime; Scarlatti himself seems to have overseen the publication in 1738 of the most famous collection, a book of 30 'Essercizi'. These were rapturously received throughout Europe; they seem to have influenced J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and were championed by the foremost English writer on music of the eighteenth century, Dr. Charles Burney. Scarlatti's influence on late-eighteenth style was therefore probably considerable, although he has always tended to be written into music history as an 'outsider'. The reasons for this may be due to generalizations about epochs (Baroque/Classical) or perhaps due to nationalistic tensions: Spain is almost off the map of most art-music histories, while Italy is seen as the land of opera. Unfortunately for Scarlatti, instrumental music is typically seen as, in the words of the Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein, 'A German Art'.

The Essercizi, however, did not reveal the full scope of Scarlatti's style: they are strikingly conservative when compared to his keyboard output as a whole. The mass of sonatas which were unpublished during the composer's lifetime have only appeared in print in fits and starts in the two and a half centuries since, and the repertoire is by no means well-understood today. Bizarrely, the Essercizi still dominate recital programmes. Scarlatti has, however, attracted notable admirers, including Chopin, Brahms, Heinrich Schenker and Vladimir Horowitz. The Russian school of pianism has always championed the sonatas.

The sonatas' technical difficulties have often caused them to be regarded 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. Above all, perhaps, Scarlatti's sonatas reveal a knack for the musical mot juste similar to that in Gershwin or Mozart.

Scarlatti sonata Recordings

Literature

External links

  • Piano Society - Scarlatti (http://www.pianosociety.com/index.php?id=52) - A short biography and some free recordings in MP3 format.


This biography is published under the GNU Licence






Items to buy by Domenico Scarlatti



Haydn & Scarlatti: The Complete Keyboard Sonatas (Version 2.0) (CD Sheet Music). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) and Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). Piano. CD Sheet Music (Version 2.0). CD-ROM. CD Sheet Music #30400007. Published by CD Sheet Music

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60 Sonatas - Volume I "(Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Ralph Kirkpatrick. For solo piano. Piano Collection. Baroque. SMP Level 9 (Advanced). Collection. Standard notation, introductory text and manuscript facsimiles (does not include words to the son

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24 Sonatas in progressive order By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Sauer. For Piano. Sheet Music. Published by Edition Peters

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"Selected Piano Sonatas, Volume I" "(Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Bengt Johnsson. For solo piano. Piano (Harpsichord), 2-hands. Henle Music Folios. Urtext edition-paper bound. Baroque. SMP Level 9 (Advanced). Collection. Introductory text and performance notes.

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"60 Sonatas, Books 1 and 2" By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Ralph Kirkpatrick. Piano. Softcover. 256 pages. G. Schirmer #LB2063. Published by G. Schirmer

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60 Sonatas - Volume II "(Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Ralph Kirkpatrick. For solo piano. Piano Collection. Baroque. SMP Level 9 (Advanced). Collection. Standard notation, performance notes and manuscript facsimiles (does not include words to the son

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Scarlatti -- Selected Sonatas By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Maurice Hinson. For Piano. Masterworks; Piano Collection. Alfred Masterwork Edition. Form: Sonata. Baroque; Masterwork. Early Advanced; Intermediate; Late Intermediate. Book. 64 pages. Published by Alfred Music

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"Selected Piano Sonatas, Volume II" "(Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Bengt Johnsson. For solo piano. Piano (Harpsichord), 2-hands. Henle Music Folios. Urtext edition-paper bound. Baroque. SMP Level 9 (Advanced). Collection. Introductory text and fingerings. 103 pa

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"Selected Piano Sonatas, Volume III" "(Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Bengt Johnsson. For solo piano. Piano (Harpsichord), 2-hands. Henle Music Folios. Urtext edition-paper bound. Baroque. SMP Level 9 (Advanced). Collection. Introductory text and fingerings. 114 pa

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"Sonatas, Volume 1" By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Maurice Hinson. For Piano. Masterworks; Piano Collection. Alfred Masterwork Edition. Form: Sonata. Baroque; Masterwork. Early Advanced; Intermediate; Late Intermediate. Book. 64 pages. Published by Alfred Music

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12 Easy Scarlatti Sonatas (Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Arranged by Alfred Mirovitch. Piano Publications. SMP Level 8 (Early Advanced). 24 pages. Edward B. Marks Music #M96. Published by Edward B. Marks Music

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100 Sonatas in Three Volumes - Volume 1 "(Sonata 1, K. 6 through Sonata 33, K. 226). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Eiji Hashimoto. For solo piano. Piano Collection. Classical Period. SMP Level 8 (Early Advanced). Collection. Introductory text and performance notes (does not inclu

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"Sonatas, Volume 2" By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Maurice Hinson. For Piano. Masterworks; Piano Collection. Alfred Masterwork Edition. Form: Sonata. Baroque; Masterwork. Early Advanced; Late Intermediate. Book. 68 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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At the Piano with Scarlatti By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Maurice Hinson. For Piano. Masterworks; Piano Collection. At the Piano. Baroque; Masterwork. Intermediate; Late Intermediate. Book. 64 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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"The Complete Works, Volume 8" By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). For Piano. Masterworks; Piano Collection. Kalmus Edition. Baroque; Masterwork. Book. 192 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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Il Mio Primo Scarlatti (My First Scarlatti) (Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Riccardo Risalti. Piano Collection. Ricordi #RER2762. Published by Ricordi

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Celebrate Scarlatti "By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Reid Alexander, Samuel S. Holland, Marc Widner, Andrew Hisey. For Piano. Solo Piano. Composer Editions. In the Composer Editions, pianists at various stages of musical development will find a practical selecti

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37 Keyboard Pieces & Sonatas: Book 2 By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by A. Goldsbrough. For Piano. ABRSM Signature Series. Grades 5-8. Sheet Music. Published by ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)

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"100 Sonatas - Volume 2 (Sonata 34, K232 - Sonata 67, K444)" (Piano Solo). By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Edited by Eiji Hashimoto. Piano Collection. SMP Level 9 (Advanced). 143 pages. G. Schirmer #ED3530. Published by G. Schirmer

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3 Sonatas By Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). Arranged by Schollmann. For 2 Guitar. Sheet Music. Published by Edition Peters

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