Alessandro Scarlatti: Opera omnia per tastiera Vol. V

Floral design

Francesco Tasini organ
Tactus TC661915

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his Scarlatti’s output of keyboard music runs to six volumes in the modern Opera Omnia  and he can be credited with founding a distinctive Neapolitan school of keyboard composition. This release is all played on the organ (a charming small instrument from 1836/restored 1991), though three pieces are described as per cembalo, and consists largely of toccatas though this is a word that meant almost anything at the time. Francesco Tasini is very much a crusader on behalf of this music but his imaginative, though absolutely in style, textural and melodic enhancements cannot convince me that the repertoire is much more than a footnote to the composer’s vocal music. I also felt that his flexibility of pulse does not always serve the music well: the phrase ‘get on with it’ did cross my mind once or twice. In the final analysis I enjoyed the instrument more than the music.

David Hansell