The Jewels of the Spanish Baroque
Pianist and Speaker Yelena Grinberg will explore some of the most exquisite and rarely-heard keyboard works by the “3 S’s” of the Iberian Baroque: Domenico Scarlatti, Carlos Seixas, and Antonio Soler.
Born in the same year as Bach and Handel, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) pioneered the early Classical sonata genre, having composed 555+ of these kaleidoscopic little gems while living abroad in Spain. Collectively, these Sonatas reveal his fascination with the piquant flavors and sounds of Spanish folk rhythms, amorous melodies, exotic harmonies, fiery flamenco, nimble footwork of the zapateado, and the seductive sounds of the castanets.
Following in Scarlatti’s footsteps, Carlos Seixas (1704-1742) was the pre-eminent Portuguese composer, organist, and harpsichord virtuoso whose music is virtually never heard to this day. While he lived to be only 38, Seixas composed an astounding 700 keyboard sonatas of which only about 100 survived due to the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon in which the majority of the them got destroyed. Seixas fused Scarlatti’s lyrical Italianate style alongside the colorful and impassioned Spanish-Portuguese style, opting for grand gestures, dramatic flair, and dazzling keyboard virtuosity.
A pupil and disciple of Scarlatti, Antonio Soler (1729-1783) was one of the most renowned Spanish Baroque composers of his generation best known for his keyboard sonatas whose eclectic style, like that of Scarlatti and Seixas, spans the late Baroque and early Classical eras. Over his lifetime, Soler composed more than 500 works, which include his majestic Six Concertos for Two Organs, quintets for organ and strings, motets, masses, an important 1762 treatise, Llave de la modulacion (The Key to Modulation), and 150+ keyboard sonatas. In the latter, Soler often expanded Scarlatti’s single-movement Sonata into a larger scale, two-, three-, and four-movement design, employing an even greater virtuosity and more harmonically and rhythmically varied approach.
- On Wednesday, September 6th, 2017, at 7 pm.
- On Sunday, September 10th, 2017, at 5 pm.