Other 'effects' include a guitar in K, bagpipes with drones and flute in K But these are not gratuitous, nor really only to display virtuosity on an instrument of which his young pupil might not, perhaps, have thought it capable. Lester writes in the accompanying notes, which are a little on the skimpy side for the scale of this enterprise, that his choice of instrument was influenced heavily by those used by Maria Barbara's family at their various palaces. She had seven harpsichords and five pianofortes at her disposal. On the first two discs of this set Lester plays a copy of a two-manual harpsichord by Stephen Wessell.
For K and K the organ of All Saints church in Friern Barnet North London is heard here since the score specifies a 'chamber organ with two keyboards, of flutes and reeds'. Lester's playing is consistent without being either trying or tiring. It's playing which could only be as inspired as it is because of love for and immersion in the music. These recordings, which are going a long way to marking Lester's card for the future, took place over a number of months in the summer of ; this is time enough for the player to reflect and refine, but not long enough for his interpretive ideas to develop into what, however excellent, might then become inconsistent.
The six CD set contains almost six and a half hours of listening; so it's clearly to everyone's advantage — not least to that of the reputation of Scarlatti, most of whose keyboard sonatas tend to be in heard in recitals of selections — that a real sense of variety emerges so unequivocally… of timbre, tempo, tone, touch, timing, texture and temperament. This Lester achieves by both a first class technique and a real love for and engagement in the world in which Scarlatti was working. Specifically, after listening to one or more of these CDs, one is struck by the extent to which the performer conveys everything of the composer's creative wit and will: it never wants to run dry.
This is more because Scarlatti brings his influences the dance, the Andalusian warmth, the somewhat isolated sobriety of the court, the quirky, the sardonic, the floridly melodic into the music, rather than skewing what the harpsichord could do towards the end of its heyday in order to imitate or reflect those influences. It takes detachment and quite some act of faith to do that. Lester has both in good measure. If you're in the market for superb playing of superbly individualistic high Baroque harpsichord music with all the variety and color of Scarlatti; or keen to explore this repertoire of his based on having heard individual sonatas, and certainly other volumes in this series, don't hesitate to buy this well-recorded and infinitely satisfying second release.
It seems likely to become the definitive collection. Unhesitatingly recommended. Sign Up for Our Newsletter:. Search: Search. Also Available. Ask a question about this CD. Qty: Add to Basket. Details Lester writes in the accompanying notes that his choice of instrument was influenced heavily by those used by Maria Barbara's family at their various palaces.
Reviews The second volume in this landmark series Volume I — NI — was very favorably reviewed in May of the complete Scarlatti sonatas played by Richard Lester harpsichord and organ is every bit as solid, spectacular — indeed every bit as commendable as the first. Mikhail Pletnev. Mozart - Piano Concertos. Romance Excerpt. Allegro assai. Rondo Allegro assai. Relaxing Mozart.
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