Domenico Scarlatti
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1685-10-26
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/95c7a1d1-5cfd-41d5-99f9-0611262de8e1
Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti Biography (BBC)

One of music’s great individualists, Domenico Scarlatti was born in Naples in 1685, the son of one of the most famous musicians of the day, Alessandro Scarlatti. Alessandro was primarily a composer of opera and church music, and in the early part of his career Domenico seemed to be heading in the same direction, first in Naples, then in Venice and finally in Rome, where in 1713 he became assistant and later maestro at the Cappella Giulia at St Peter’s.

It was his similar, parallel appointment at the private chapel of the Portuguese ambassador, however, that seems to have changed his life, as it was presumably this contact which led to his departure from Italy in the early 1720s to take charge of the patriarchal chapel in Lisbon. There he also acted as harpsichord tutor to the king’s daughter, the Infanta Maria Barbara, and when in 1728 she married the Spanish Crown Prince Fernando, Scarlatti followed her to Madrid. He was to remain a member of the Spanish royal household, apparently quite content with duties confined to teaching and playing the harpsichord, until his death nearly thirty years later.

Scarlatti’s reputation today rightly rests on his harpsichord sonatas – over 500 of them, mostly written for Maria Barbara – which over the years have been a treasured part of the repertoires of harpsichordists and pianists alike. Though few depart from a standardised and simple formal design – a single movement in two repeated halves – their virtuoso techniques and quirky surprises mark them out as the work of a highly active imagination, while their rhythmic vigour, harmonic sensuousness, open air excitement and drowsy lyricism seem a clear response to the seductive atmosphere of his adopted Spanish homeland.

Scarlatti’s vocal output is generally more conventional; a handful of secular chamber cantatas written in Spain echo the extrovert fantasy of the sonatas, but the church music he produced in Rome is mostly in the consciously conservative style favoured by the authorities there, and only the austerely expressive choral Stabat Mater and a beautiful late, Spanish Salve regina for soprano and strings have found a regular place in the modern-day repertoire. Much of the music of the 15-or-so operas he composed for Naples and Rome is lost. Frustratingly sketchy, also, are details of his character, from which we are perhaps left to conclude that, for one with such a strong creative personality, he was an unusually retiring man.

Profile © Lindsay Kemp

Domenico Scarlatti Biography (Wikipedia)

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (Naples, 26 October 1685 – Madrid, 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period. Like his renowned father Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.


Featured Works


Domenico Scarlatti Performances

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Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E major Kk.135, arr. Janne Rattya
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Sonata in E major Kk.135, arr. Janne Rattya
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E minor (K. 81) for flute and harpsichord
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Sonata in E minor (K. 81) for flute and harpsichord
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G minor (K. 88) for 2 harpsichords
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Sonata in G minor (K. 88) for 2 harpsichords
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in F minor (K. 69)
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Sonata in F minor (K. 69)
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard sonata in B minor, K.27
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Keyboard sonata in B minor, K.27
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, K.455
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Sonata in G major, K.455
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major, Kk.159
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Sonata in C major, Kk.159
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata for Harpichord in D major K.119
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Sonata for Harpichord in D major K.119
Domenico Scarlatti
Scarlatti in D major Kk.491(arr. Carlos)
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Scarlatti in D major Kk.491(arr. Carlos)
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata (Kk. 87) in B minor
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Sonata (Kk. 87) in B minor
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata for keyboard (L.23) in E major
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Sonata for keyboard (L.23) in E major
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major (Kk.461)
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Sonata in C major (Kk.461)
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E major, K.207
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Sonata in E major, K.207
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E major Kk.531
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Sonata in E major Kk.531
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in A major, Kk.208
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Sonata in A major, Kk.208
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonata in C Minor, K.56
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Keyboard Sonata in C Minor, K.56
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonata in B flat major, K.545
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Keyboard Sonata in B flat major, K.545
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D minor Kk427
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Sonata in D minor Kk427
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata (Kk.141) in D minor
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Sonata (Kk.141) in D minor
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E major Kk. 531
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Sonata in E major Kk. 531
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major (K.420)
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Sonata in C major (K.420)
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C, K487
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Sonata in C, K487
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in A major, Kk.212
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Sonata in A major, Kk.212
Playlists featuring Domenico Scarlatti
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
Essential Classics: Guest Choices

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