Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:
Fanfare Magazine: 43:4 (03-04/2020) 
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information
Les abonnés à Fanfare Magazine ont accès aux archives du magazine sur internet.
Subscribers to Fanfare Magazine have access to the archives of the magazine on the net.

Sony 19075944462

Scarlatti: 52 Sonatas Product Image

Code-barres / Barcode : 190759444627

Reviewer: David Reznick

Having been a public school teacher from the Ice Age to about the Bobby Soxer era, I can tell you that the greatest thing about introducing my young charges to the best that has been taught and said is summer vacation. Don’t let any teacher tell you how he slaves away on lesson plans while the rabble is taking its dolce farniente on the Mexican Riviera. Bushwa! They love it as much as the third grader who looks down the road and sees three months worth of loafing, eating, and multiple daily doses of Judge Judy. Americans in general love their holidays and often invent new ones. So when I received my marching orders from Tenafly and found not one but two recordings of piano sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti—between the two, about a hundred of them, I thought it might be Scarlatti’s birthday or something. But, apparently, just a coincidence.

In the red corner, wearing a Superman costume with a big red clef on his chest, the pride of Germany, known as the Fun Hun—Christoph Ullrich! And in the blue corner, wearing lacy (but masculine) underwear, the Parisian je ne sais quoi —Lucas Debarque!

I spent two delightful days in the company of these two gentlemen. They are perhaps the finest pianists their countries have to offer; and they have definite ideas about how Scarlatti should be played. In the hands of these virtuosi, Scarlatti sounds like two different composers. Ullrich, who probably practiced rapidity études until his fingernails fell off, plays these sonatas with such speed and apparent ease that it’s all the listener can do to keep up. This rapidity is the most noticeable detail of his art; and when it is combined with a steady crescendo, the power it generates is like a tsunami, overwhel-ming and thrilling.

Debarque sees these works as opportunities to make personal statements. He, like Ullrich, can play like the wind, but more often, he plays more slowly, often leaving tiny pauses within the phrases. And immediately the first thing one notices is the continuous use of rubato, something not usually found in this repertoire. This helps him to bring out the beautiful and often unexpected harmonies and adds emotional depth where we have not heard it before. Finally, I would note that when I reviewed the Ullrich I made the point that the accompanying notes were outstanding. And now I’ll add that the notes in the Debarque set are every bit as excellent.

So what’s your choice? If you love Scarlatti, it’s easy: get both of them. Read and listen long enough, and you might eventually find yourself conducting an advanced Scarlatti seminar.

Fermer la fenêtre/Close window

Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
(Bouton en haut à droite)

Pour acheter l'album
ou le télécharger

To purchase the CD
or to download it

Choose your country and curency
when reaching
Presto Classical
(Upper right corner of the page)


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews