Review, Naxos CD “Scarlatti-Keyboard Sonatas” Vol. 12, The Dallas Morning News

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The Dallas Morning News, October 2010


Lawson Taitte

Viennese pianist Gerda Struhal, virtually unknown in the United States, might change your attitude about Domenico Scarlatti. Especially on the piano, as opposed to harpsichord, most players have emphasized their brilliance and local Spanish color. It’s easy to write off the music as fun, but not very nourishing.

Struhal finds both lyricism and substance in the 19 sonatas on this disc. The composer’s standard quirks make each piece instantly recognizable as his. Yet you find yourself making comparisons to Mozart or Schubert—representatives of a much later generation. Listen to the beautiful G major Sonata, K. 547, and notice how rich it seems. Or take note of the clanging dissonances in the G minor, K. 93—pungent and almost dangerous-sounding. These are the only available piano performances of some of these works, but even the familiar ones sound new.

  Gerda   Posted in: News