Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)




CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Complete Keyboard Sonatas - Volume 11
Sonata in B flat, K.472 (1756) [3:08]
Sonata in B flat, K.473 (1756) [4:16]
Sonata in C, K.384 (1754) [4:06]
Sonata in a minor, K.61 (1742) [3:15]
Sonata in g minor, K.347 (1754) [5:04]
Sonata in G, K.348 (1754) [2:21]
Sonata in d minor, K.64 [1:54]
Sonata in D, K.224 (1753) [3:26]
Sonata in f minor, K.462 [5:53]
Sonata in b minor, K.376 (1756) [3:45]
Sonata in b minor, K.377 (1756) [3:02]
Sonata in G, K.314 (1753) [4:38]
Sonata in D, K.278 (1753) [2:27]
Sonata in B flat, K.545 (1757) [3:05]
Sonata in a minor, K.148 (1752) [4:24]
Sonata in a minor, K.149 (1752) [2:13]
Sonata in c minor, K.58 (1742) [2:37]
Sonata in C, K.406 (1754) [3:37]
Gottlieb Wallisch (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, UK, 7-8 January 2007. DDD.
NAXOS 8.570468 [63:35]
Experience Classicsonline

This is the eleventh CD in Naxos’s very slowly unfolding series of Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas.  The earliest recordings in the series were made in 1994, this latest volume in 2007.  Though I am not normally a great fan of piano performances of music originally intended for the harpsichord, I am always prepared to make an exception when the playing is sensitive to the composer’s intentions, as is the case here.  In any event, with recommendable complete sets on the harpsichord already on the market – notably Scott Ross’s complete set on Warner and the 5- and 6-CD volumes recently reissued by Nimbus – Naxos were wise to offer piano versions.  Some sonatas may, in fact, have been intended for an early form of the fortepiano – K149 (track 16) is a case in point.
It was probably wise, too, not to give the whole set to one pianist but to share the volumes amongst a number of performers.  Some of the earlier volumes have been assigned to well-established pianists, such as Benjamin Frith, whose performances on Volume 5 Gary Higginson and Kevin Sutton both thought worth adding to your collection (8.554792 – see GH’s review and KS’s review.)  Michael Lewin’s contribution on Volume 2 (8.553067) has also been generally well received.
More recent volumes have tended to involve rising stars as, for example, Soyeon Lee on Volume 8, whose performances Patrick Waller rated on a par with Benjamin Frith’s (8.570010 – see review) and Gottlieb Wallisch falls into that category.  We seem to have missed out on Volumes 9 (8.570368 – Francesco Nicolosi) and 10 (8.570511 – Colleen Lee) but reviews elsewhere have been generally favourable and I am certainly pleased to have received Volume 11.
I hadn’t encountered Wallisch before hearing him on this CD, but this was a very promising introduction.  My first complete run-through of the recording, with critical faculties at least partly suspended – at any rate, without pen at the ready – was very favourable.  The name which keeps cropping up in any consideration of Scarlatti on the piano is that of Horowitz; I have to say that I actually preferred what I heard here to those Horowitz Scarlatti performances which I have heard. 
Subsequent, more critical listening confirmed my initial favourable impression; Wallisch resists any temptation to make these sonatas into big pianistic statements and he is alive to the requirements of the variety of the music represented here.   His style reminds me of Angela Hewitt’s Bach, my only criticism of which is that if she can play Bach on the piano so effectively, I’d love to hear her play his music on the harpsichord.  Wallisch now enters my pantheon along with Hewitt and Stephen Gutman, whose Toccata recording of Volume 1 of Rameau’s keyboard music surprised (TOCC0050 – see review) proved such an exception to my dislike of harpsichord music on the piano that I very much hope to receive his second volume when it appears.
The notes skate lightly over the question of whether certain of these sonatas were intended as pairs by Scarlatti.  Several of the sonatas here are indeed paired by their Kirkpatrick (K) numbers – two are even paired in the earlier Longo catalogue: K.347 and K.348 (tracks 5 and 6) = L.126 and L.127.  These two sonatas are clearly linked in the ninth Venice volume.  Other pairings in the K catalogue are preserved and mentioned as pairs without further comment – K.376 and 377 (trs.10 and 11) and 148 and 149 (trs.15 and 16).  Not all Kirkpatrick’s proposed pairings are preserved here, however: K.384 (tr.3), for example, appears to be paired with K.385 in the Venice collection, but only K.384 is offered here. 
I’m not going to get into an issue which has caused scholarly disagreement, other than to note that only one of the K pairings here is preserved in Pestelli’s catalogue – K.376 and 377 are P.246 and 245 respectively.  I should add that the dates given in the headnote are those of the relevant albums from the collection of Queen Maria Barbara, which were probably taken to Venice by the castrato Farinelli.
The recording is as good as my colleagues have reported of previous volumes and the presentation first-rate: the documentation even includes the older L and more recent P numbers, which I have omitted from the heading of this review to avoid complicating matters.  The notes in the booklet, as usual with Keith Anderson, are full and scholarly yet eminently readable – though I wish he had delivered his authoritative judgement on the pairing issue – and the cover illustration most apposite.
I wouldn’t want the whole series – I do, after all, prefer the harpsichord in this music, and I’m not sure anyway that I’ve got room in my bulging collection for all Scarlatti’s 555 extant sonatas – but would recommend the present CD as a good place to dip your toe into, along with, perhaps, Volume 5 and some of the volumes from the Nimbus set.  If you want the whole œuvre, I’d recommend plumping for the Scott Ross omnium gatherum on Warner (2564620922, 34 CDs for around £85).  If the Ross set is too much to consider, there’s a useful single-CD selection from it on mid-price Warner Elatus (2564600302).  I must also mention Mikhail Pletnev’s bargain-price 2-CD piano set on Virgin de Virgin 5 61961 2.
The smallest volume in the Nimbus series, though a collection of ‘left-overs’, would make a good place to start sampling what Richard Lester has to offer (NI1731, 3 CDs)  – I certainly thought so when I wrote my review of it and my colleague Mark Sealey concurred.  Completists will want that set of addenda and appendices, anyway, since it contains some works not included in Scott Ross’s set.
Don’t forget the excellent recent recording by the Avison Ensemble of the Concerti Grossi which the English composer Charles Avison wove out of a handful of Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas in 1744 (Divine Art DDA21213 – 2 CDs for one: see review).
Brian Wilson


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.