A Delightful Scarlatti Piano Disc Reissued

Review by: Jed Distler

500x500

Artistic Quality: 8

Sound Quality: 9

The Outhere label’s “Rewind Collection” consists of reissues drawn from various European independent labels. This 2005 Scarlatti recital by pianist Racha Arodaky, for example, originally appeared on Zig-Zag Territories. Arodaky’s unbridled mastery deserves consideration, even among Scarlatti collectors who’ve heard it all.

Her well-contrasted program opens with a beautifully sung-out and flexibly-proportioned reading of the F minor K. 466 sonata. These characteristics similarly inform Arodaky’s E-flat K. 474. There’s an off-hand quality to the E-flat K. 113’s ornaments that masks Arodaky’s pinpointed articulation, not unlike a seasoned actor “throwing away” a crucial line. Her timing is less focused in the famous D minor K. 9, with its unsettled speed-ups and slow-downs–no match for the classic Lipatti version’s shapely eloquence.

The D minor K. 1 goes at quite a clip–perhaps a shade too fast for comfort–although the impetuously-phrased A major K. 209’s trills and repeated notes are crisply centered. So are the G major K. 427’s echoed phrases, which emerge with lovely variations in shading and emphasis. The slightly dry yet lilting B-flat K. 551 also reveals Arodaky at her best, while the middle-register counterpoint of the celebrated “Cat’s Fugue” K. 30 is intelligently scaled in terms of dynamic build. A fine disc, highly recommended. Incidentally, piano mavens also should seek out Arodaky’s Zig-Zag Territories release devoted to Scriabin Préludes: it’s even more special than her Scarlatti!



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Scarlatti Sonata Collections: Horowitz (Sony), Scarlatti Sonata Collections: Pletnev (Virgin Classics)

  • SCARLATTI, DOMENICO:
    Domenico Scarlatti: Sonatas K. 1, 9, 30, 32, 87, 159, 193, 208, 209, 213, 247, 427, 466, 474, 457, 481, 462, 551
  • Racha Arodaky (piano)

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