A 10/10 review: “Your ears will continue to smile”

The superb music website ClassicsToday.com – “the world’s first and only classical music daily” – has just published a gushing an very enthusiastic review of our recent release Scarlatti Recreated, solo piano transcription and homages of the piano sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti performed stunningly by pianist Sandro Russo.  The record was given an outstanding 10 out of 10 rating for both artistic quality and sound quality by Classics Today reviewer Jed Distler, who is himself an accomplished pianist and composer in addition to music writer.  We are very pleased to reproduce the text of the article below, but please visit their site by clicking on the Classics Today logo above or by clicking here.  (Click on the cover image above to visit our catalogue page for Scarlatti Recreated or click here.

Delectable Scarlatti Recreations
Review by: Jed Distler

What a wonderful idea: Here’s a program that features transcriptions of Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas along with original works that use the sonatas as a jumping-off point. Many Classical- and Romantic-period composers and pianists felt the need to update Scarlatti’s keyboard textures by filling in chords, adding double notes or octaves, or spicing up the harmonies. Politically incorrect by 21st-century standards, true, but “inauthenticity” can be fun, especially in the hands of a pianist like Sandro Russo.

He revels in Louis Brassin’s unabashedly upholstered transformation of the K. 525 F major sonata and its humorously leaping embellishments, and conveys the full impact of Granados’ subtle, full-bodied piano writing with little help from the sustain pedal. The multi-layered strands of Ignaz Friedman’s busy rewrite of K. 523 suggests an overdubbed second piano, while Russo captures the impetuous quality of Marc-André Hamelin’s bitonal Scarlatti-based etude with no less sparkle than in the composer’s own performances. And although several pianists have taken up Raymond Lewenthal’s nutty, harmonically pungent Scarlatti-like Toccata in recent years, Russo’s crisp rhythms and slightly dry touch are just what the doctor ordered. Even after you’ve finished playing this disc, your ears will continue to smile.
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