Sunday Playlist: For Brian – Domenico Scarlatti: Sonatas For Organ

I knew of Domenico Scarlatti’s ‘Salve Regina’ (about which I wrote yesterday) and his ‘Stabat Mater’ (about which I’ll be writing next month) I knew he’d written operas (but have never heard any of them), and I knew of his vast output of keyboard sonatas – which I assumed were all written for the harpsichord not so …

The fame and popularity of Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas as one of the most idiomatic and yet most idiosyncratic collections of harpsichord music in existence have largely obscured the fact that a certain number of these works are also suitable for the organ – a few indeed were originally intended for that instrument. The pair Kk254 4 and Kk255 6 fall into the former category, their predominantly simple textures being well suited to the Baroque organ sound. Kk255 has two unusual annotations, indicating the composer’s use of musical mimicry: ‘oytabado’ (bar 37) probably deriving from ‘oitavado’, a popular eighteenth-century Portuguese dance, and ‘tortorilla’ (bar 64) meaning ‘turtle dove’. In one manuscript source (I-Vnm MS.9774) the sonata Kk287 5 is headed ‘Per organo da camera con due Tastatura Flautato e Trombone’ and its companion piece, Kk288 2, also has registration marks (I-PAc AG31412). Formally, both these pieces are organ voluntaries, neither being in the binary form with double bar which is standard in Scarlatti’s sonatas. Kk328 3 similarly falls into this second category, bearing the indications of registration ‘Flo’ and ‘Org.’ (‘flauto’ meaning ‘flute stop’, and ‘organo’ meaning ‘diapason’).

Source: Liner notes to CD:  Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) Stabat mater

Enjoy :-)


[audio:|titles=Organ Sonata in C minor Kk254]
[audio:|titles=Organ Sonata in C major Kk255]
[audio:|titles=Organ Sonata in D major Kk287]
[audio:|titles=Organ Sonata in D major Kk288]
[audio:|titles=Organ Sonata in G major Kk328]

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