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Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 28

Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 28

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This 28th volume in the series features another selection of Scarlatti’s original, imaginative and colourful works. Pianist Sang Woo Kang is an active chamber musician, concerto soloist and recitalist whose Naxos album of Mozart’s fugues, rondos and fantasias received critical acclaim upon its release in December 2014 (8.573114).


It’s been a while since pianist Sang Woo Kang graced the Naxos catalog with a disc of short Mozart works. He returns to the label’s fold with a very fine Scarlatti release.

Kang brings appreciable rhythmic kick to the F minor K. 239 sonata that markedly differs from Alexandre Tharaud’s gentler, more refined interpretation. The G minor K. 31 boasts comparable vigor, along with attractively varied articulation. I wonder if Vladimir Horowitz’s recording of the G major K. 55 subliminally influenced Kang’s bracing performance, although his downward scales aren’t quite so defined as the legendary master’s.

Kang’s measured and elegantly sculpted B major K. 245 sonata presents a convincing antipode to renditions by Marcelle Meyer (rapid and lavishly pedaled) and Carlo Grante (brisk and dry-point). I also enjoyed Kang’s songful nuances in the C minor K. 174 sonata’s opening section, and how his sonority changes when the G major episode begins.

Had I been in the producer’s chair, I would have asked Kang not to underplay the G minor K. 234’s hemiolas, but rather to go the opposite route. However, Kang has the benefit of that gorgeously regulated Steinway in the studio of this release’s real producer and engineer Joseph Patrych. In short, Kang’s entry in Naxos’ ongoing complete Scarlatti survey has much to recommend it.

-- (Jed Distler)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Naxos Regular CD
    • UPC/Barcode: 747313393879
    • Item Number: 8573938