Scarlatti: Sonates | 5

Floral design

Pierre Hantaï harpsichord
Mirare MIR326
K. 27, 87, 124, 157, 205, 211, 238, 252, 253, 277, 388, 401, 474, 475, 547, 551

You have to admire anyone who takes on ‘the complete’ anything, let alone Scarlatti’s 555-stoned obelisk. A weakness of the package is the use of three nevertheless very good generic essays which tell us nothing about the specific sonatas in this programme other than by pure luck. Massive and more than counter-balancing strengths are the programming – a mix of earlier and later pieces – and the superb playing. In my doodles, I noted ‘business-like but with panache’, which I’m happy to stay with. In an ideal world, a variety of instruments might be used but I’m not at all unhappy with what I’ve just heard. In the end, the music itself is what you remember.

David Hansell