W. Dean Sutcliffe investigates one of the greatest yet least understood repertories of Western keyboard music: the 555 keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Scarlatti occupies a position of solitary splendour in musical history. The sources of his style are often obscure and his immediate influence is difficult to discern. Further, the lack of hard documentary evidence has hindered musicological activity. Dr Sutcliffe offers not just a thorough reconsideration of the historical factors that have contributed to Scarlatti's position, but also sustained engagement with the music, offering both individual readings and broader commentary of an unprecedented kind. A principal task of this book is to remove the composer from his critical ghetto (however honourable) and redefine his image. In so doing it will reflect on the historiographical difficulties involved in understanding eighteenth-century musical style.

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