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David Greilsammer

scarlatti: cage: sonatas

Sony Classical

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Scarlatti: Cage: Sonatas - David Greilsammer - Sony Classical
David Greilsammer: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
David Greilsammer en interview avec Michel Field - LCI
1 Sonata in D Minor, K. 213: Andante  
2 Sonatas and Interludes: Sonata XVI & XV "Gemini"  
3 Sonata in D Minor, K. 141: Allegro  
4 Sonatas And Interludes: Sonata XIII  
5 Sonata in E Major, K. 531: Allegro  
6 Sonatas and Interludes: Sonata XI  
7 Sonata in B Minor, K. 27: Allegro  
8 Sonatas and Interludes: Sonata I  
9 Sonata in B Minor, K. 87: Andante Mosso  
10 Sonatas and Interludes: Sonata XII  
11 Sonata in A Minor, K. 175: Allegro  
12 Sonatas and Interludes: Sonata XVI  
13 Sonata in E Major, K. 381: Andante commodo  
14 Sonatas and Interludes: Sonata V  
15 Sonata in D Major, K. 492: Presto  
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The juxtaposition of tracks – alternating between the two composers – highlights some unique similarities between two completely different worlds. In Greilsammer's words, this is "Music from another planet. This is how I always felt when listening to the sonatas of John Cage and Domenico Scarlatti. As true visionaries they treated the sonata not as a rigid and momentous form but as a magic space devoted to creation and experimentation." Greilsammer has previously performed a similar solo programme, leading the New York Times to comment that he "finds fascinating ways to juxtapose pieces spanning centuries, aiming to highlight surprising musical resonances among works vastly different in language and style."

The two composers are characterised by their radical attitude. In 1938, when invited to write music for dance, Cage initially envisaged a work for a large number of percussion instruments, but the stage was too small. His solution was to insert objects between the strings of a piano, turning it into a percussion orchestra. The resultant sounds revealed an imaginary troupe of dancers combining African, Indian and Western rhythms. The sonatas on Greilsammer's new album are for prepared piano, mostly using screws and bolts, but also pieces of rubber and plastic, several nuts and one eraser. Cage was one of the first western composers to use the ideas and rhythmic structures of traditional Indian music, whereas the Scarlatti sonatas often refer to Andalusian Flamenco, derived from the music of gypsies, some of whom originated in northern India. A man who was always attracted to the unknown, Scarlatti (1685–1757) led a restless artist's life between Naples, Rome, London, Lisbon and Seville, distancing himself from his Baroque contemporaries and escaping from the shadow of his famous father Alessandro. Eventually he settled in Madrid and wrote more than 550 keyboard sonatas during the final years of his life.

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