Domenico Scarlatti

Composer. Born 26 October 1685. Died 23 July 1757
Domenico Scarlatti
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1685-10-26
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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.

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Domenico Scarlatti Tracks

Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major (K.460) [Allegro]
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Sonata in C major (K.460) [Allegro]

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Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D major, K 491 arr Carlos
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Sonata in D major, K 491 arr Carlos
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G minor, Kk.30 'Cat's Fugue'
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Sonata in G minor, Kk.30 'Cat's Fugue'
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G minor (K. 88) for 2 harpsichords
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Sonata in G minor (K. 88) for 2 harpsichords

Sonata in G minor (K. 88) for 2 harpsichords

Performer
Dagmara Kapczyńska
Gwennaëlle Alibert
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major Kk.390
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Sonata in G major Kk.390

Sonata in G major Kk.390

Music Arranger
Julian Gray
Roland Pearl
Performer
Julian Gray
Roland Pearl
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in B minor, Kk.87
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Sonata in B minor, Kk.87
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, Kk.13
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Sonata in G major, Kk.13
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D major, Kk.535
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Sonata in D major, Kk.535
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D major Kk 119
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Sonata in D major Kk 119
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E minor, Kk81
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Sonata in E minor, Kk81
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major, Kk.420
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Sonata in C major, Kk.420
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major, K 132
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Sonata in C major, K 132
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major Kk.455
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Sonata in G major Kk.455
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, Kk.547
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Sonata in G major, Kk.547
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in E major, KK.531
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Sonata in E major, KK.531
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata k 193
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Sonata k 193
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata KK 9 in D minor (Pastorale)
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Sonata KK 9 in D minor (Pastorale)
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in F minor, Kk466
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Sonata in F minor, Kk466
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, K.455
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Sonata in G major, K.455
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in A major Kk.208
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Sonata in A major Kk.208
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonata in D major, Kk.33
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Keyboard Sonata in D major, Kk.33
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard sonata in D, K492
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Keyboard sonata in D, K492
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D major, K 491
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Sonata in D major, K 491
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C major, Kk.132
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Sonata in C major, Kk.132
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in B minor, Kk 87
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Sonata in B minor, Kk 87
Domenico Scarlatti
Extract from Sonata in E KK.531
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Extract from Sonata in E KK.531
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K.517
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Keyboard Sonata in D minor, K.517
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, Kk.146
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Sonata in G major, Kk.146
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in A minor Kk109
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Sonata in A minor Kk109
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G Kk 91
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Sonata in G Kk 91
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in A major, Kk208
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Sonata in A major, Kk208
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, Kk391
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Sonata in G major, Kk391
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in G major, Kk2
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Sonata in G major, Kk2

Sonata in G major, Kk2

Performer
Vojtech Spurny
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D minor, Kk.417
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Sonata in D minor, Kk.417
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonata in D major Kk.118
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Keyboard Sonata in D major Kk.118
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in C minor K.11/L/352/P.67
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Sonata in C minor K.11/L/352/P.67
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata in D minor, K 9, 'Pastorale'
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Sonata in D minor, K 9, 'Pastorale'
Domenico Scarlatti
Keyboard Sonata Kk.11 in C minor
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Keyboard Sonata Kk.11 in C minor
Domenico Scarlatti
Stabat mater for 10 voices, organ & basso continuo in C minor
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Stabat mater for 10 voices, organ & basso continuo in C minor

Stabat mater for 10 voices, organ & basso continuo in C minor

Performer
Soren Christian Vestergaard
Choir
Danish National Radio Chorus
Conductor
Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata K. 20 in E major
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Sonata K. 20 in E major
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