Summer Sonata Reading

There’s nothing like getting to know pieces through your fingers. I try to be doing a little bit of reading through new pieces all through the year, but summer naturally affords more time at the piano. My project this summer has been to go through as many as I can of the Ralph Kirkpatrick edition of 60 Scarlatti sonatas as published by Schirmer.  I hardly need to remind you of the delights of this music, with its quirky keyboard textures and unexpected harmonic moves. But maybe not everybody who uses that Schirmer edition is aware that Kirkpatrick recorded the same 60 pieces for Columbia Records. He used what he describes as a “frankly modern harpsichord” by John Challis. I am no lover of the harpsichord, much preferring to hear Bach, for example, on the piano. But Kirkpatrick’s instrument strikes me as having an exceptionally mellifluous sound, and I find his recordings delightful. Give these early sonatas a try: