Strums ,Drums and Fireworks

Very interesting discussion between Yevgeny Sudbin and Elena Vorotko at the RAM today under the title Ancestral Voices,strums,drums and fireworks.Dott.Vorotko showed us the various possibilities of the instruments in Scarlatti`s day although there is no evidence of which intrument he preferred.In fact Mo Sudbin pointed out that there were no performance indications in the original scores that have been collected.It was interesting to note that where Scarlatti wanted a dynamic difference he wrote more or less notes.Any expression was added by ornamentation in a “tasteful”way.I suppose that herein lies a clue that is the word “taste”.Gone are the days of Pastoral and Capriccio the names given to two Scarlatti sonatas in the Romantic period.Of course in the period of so called “Romantic” pianism to transmit certain emotions and sounds it was necessary to use pianistic effects.The Busoni Organ transcriptions may still have a sense in their attempt to reproduce organ sonorities on the piano ,and in any case are Masterworks in their own right. .However I think that thanks to pianists like Michelangeli,Alicia dellarocha,Angela Hewitt,Pires and even Martha Argerich we have come to be convinced of Scarlatti`s purity almost Mozart not to say Bach like .The addition of piano effects ,octaves,pedal ,however discreet can take away from the absolute purity of the original conception.Even Horowitz , considered by some the greatest pianist alive or dead,resisted from calling on his enormous arsenal to add to the purity of these gems. However hats off to the RAM for finding two great artists ready to battle this age old problem out. No winners or loosers it is as I say a question of taste

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