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Domenico Scarlatti : Transcribed by Yuri Liberzon : Two Sonatas (K1 /L366 , and K27 / L449):Bergmann

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Domenico Scarlatti : transcribed by Yuri Liberzon

Bergmann Edition : 14 pages

It is quite amazing how many of Domenico Scarlatti’s 555 sonatas fit onto either one or two guitars without a great deal of ‘shuffling’ the notes around. Over the years I have accumulated a good number of various guitarists’ versions of many of these often gripping pieces and if you didn’t know they were not written for the guitar it is often the case that you wouldn’t be able to tell from the writing, so inherent is the feel of the guitar style in many of Scarlatti’s compositions. Both these Sonatas, incidentally, are preserved in their home keys, Dm, and Bm respectively.

K1 is mostly in two voices throughout, and there is the often – found imitation in the lower part of the top voice’s theme, quasi – fugue. Liberzon has taken great care to introduce a great deal of not only left, but also right hand fingerings, to alleviate any problems the performer might have in interpreting these substantial works, but it is fair to say that it is quite a handful especially at its Allegro indication. It does fall very naturally under one’s hands and, providing the player can move instantly from one position to the next, then this two -part sonata is very guitaristic, and great fun to play

K27 is a touch more complex in a few places, and so one has to take notice of Liberzon’s very useful suggestions. This Sonata has one place (in both sections) where a pair of arpeggiated chords repeat over and over ,and this is a very unusual part of this particular Sonata, as in the first part it occurs 6 times in a row, and in the second part seven! Other than that odd detail, it is another very quickly changing piece that never stands still for a moment, and therefore one has to be really ready for the sudden change from one detail to the next. The music itself is constantly interesting and beautifully arranged from the keyboard original.

I can see that both of these substantial sonatas would be great in a concert , and are very useful for the player that wants to increase his playing ability from intermediate upwards to advanced, because they are both in that category

Chris Dumigan

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