Who is Domenico Scarlatti?

The title of our upcoming concert ‘The Scarlatti Sphere’ refers to a Neapolitan composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757).
Here is the 5 facts and stories about him…
1. Domenico Scarlatti was born in 1685, the same year as Johan Sebastian Bach and George Friedric Handel.

And his father is also a famous composer, Alessandro Scarlatti.

2. Domenico was very good at harpsichord (an old keyboard instrument) from young age and wrote ‘555’ sonatas for this instrument!

In 80s’, a legendary harpsichordist, Scott Ross became the first musician to record the complete keyboard sonatas, all 555…!

3. But he might have not been good at organ as much as the harpsichord…

There is a story of a trial of skill with Handel at the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni in Rome, where Scarlatti was judged possibly superior to Handel on the harpsichord, although inferior on the organ. Later in life, he was known to cross himself in veneration when speaking of Handel’s skill…

4. He spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.

He was a teacher of the important Portuguese princess Maria Barbara who later became a Queen of Spain by marriage to Ferdinand VI of Spain.

5. Scarlatti has been very, very popular in England (even he paid a visit in London in 1719)!

Thomas Roseingrave, an English-born Irish composer and organist, met Domenico in Venice in 1710 where he was sent “to improve himself in the art of music”. He was greatly impressed by Domenico’s harpsichord playing. He followed Scarlatti to Naples and Rome and, later in life, he published an edition of Scarlatti’s sonatas for harpsichord which led to a “Scarlatti cult” in England…

In the Duo Recital ‘The Scarlatti Sphere’ on 18 September, an acclaimed harpsichordist Masumi Yamamoto will introduce this Roseingrave edition of Scarlatti’s keyboard works and also rare compositions by his followers in England!

Book your ticket online now from our box office here www.ticketsource.co.uk/otleybaroque


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