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Domenico Scarlatti
Featured on:
Scarlatti cdc 006
Scarlatti/Vivaldi cdc 006/007

Music Sample:
Sonata in Si minore K27
"I have detached him by force from Naples, where although there was room for his talent, his talent was not for such a place. I am removing him also from Rome, because Rome has no shelter for Music, which here lives in beggary. This son of mine is an eagle whose wings are grown. He must not remain idle in the nest, and I must not hinder his flight."
This is how Domenico’s father, Alessandro, wrote about his promising son when he decided to send him to Venice "to make his fortune". His father was well aware of his enormous potential, of his very great qualities. Domenico was active in all the fields of musical composition. He ranged from theatrical works (where he made his

debut) to religious music (his "Stabat Mater a 10 Voci e Continuo" is an authentic masterpiece). He also dedicated himself to compositions for the harpsichord and it was here that he demonstrated his true greatness and created an artistic ideal which is amongst the most luminous of all ages.

We know only about the essential elements and features of his life. ManuscriptHe was born the son of a Neapolitan musician, wandered like a pilgrim in a number of Italian cities, and dedicated himself to "his" chamber music in Madrid. During his lifetime he achieved the reputation of being an excellent harpsichord player equal to his contemporary Handel.
What do we know about his personality, his character, his way of thinking? Almost nothing. But his works speak for him, above all his "Sonatas for Harpsichord", those monuments to Eurospean culture of the early eighteenth century. As a composer he produced 15 operas (some of which are lost or incomplete), 555 sonatas for harpsichord, 15 works of religious music, various compositions of a non-religious character, and 45 cantatas and arias. He was also a great innovator in the technical use of the keyboard.

1865 Born in Naples (26th October), the seventh son of Alessandro, a figure of notable importance in the musical world of the Neapolitan court, and of Antonia Anzalone. From his father he received his first musical instruction.
1701 Appointed organist and composer of music of the Naples Royal Chapel.
1702 Goes with his father to Florence were he composes his first official pieces (three cantatas). At the end of the year he returned to Naples to begin his works as a composer for the theatre (he would write about fifteen operas).
1703 Debut in the world of theatre with "L’Ottavia Ristituita al Trono". The whole of the Scarlatti family involved in the production.
1705 In Venice to finish his studies under the guidance of Francesco Gasperini, the Chapel Master of the Ospedale della Pietà. Meets Vivaldi and Handel. Engaged in a contest of talent and ability with the latter in playng the organ and the harpsichord (1709).
1713 Assistant to the Master of the Giulia Chapel (S. Pietro), Tommaso Bai. After the latter’s death in 1714 appointed to the post on a salary of 15 scudos a month. Retains the position until 1719.
1718 His theatrical career comes to an end with the performance of "Berenice Regina d’Egitto" at the Capranica Theatre in Rome.
1720 In Lisbon in the service of JohnV Chapel Master of the cathedral. Composed chiefly religious music.
1724 Once again in Italy (Rome and Naples).
1728 Marriage to M.C. Gentili, by whom he had five children.
1729 Moves to seville as Maestro to the Infanta Maria Barbara di Braganza. With her then also moves to Madrid in 1733.
1738 His collection of thirty "Essercizi per Gravicembalo" published in London.
1740 (circa) Married to A.M.Ximenes after the death of his first wife. Four children follow.
1746 After the accession to the throne of Prince Ferdinand (VI) given the title "Master to the Catholic Kings".
1754 The last work we know about is published: "Salve Regina" contains excellent religious music.
1757 Death in Madrid in Callee de Laganitas. Buried in the Church of San Norberto.

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