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A contemporary of Bach and Handel, the Naples-born Scarlatti was the son of a popular opera writer. Following in his father's footsteps, the young Scarlatti composed several operas himself. He also played the harpsichord and organ. Offered the post of music teacher at the Portuguese court, he accepted it and when the Italian princess Isabella Farnese became the queen od Spain he moved to Madrid to teach harpsichord music there. To make lessons easier and more pleasant to his aristocratic pupils he composed about 600 short pieces which he modestly called essercizi (etudes). Their recurrent motif foreshadowed the allegro-sonata form and today they are commonly called sonatas. Scarlatti's sonatas are lively, humorous and virtuosic, a typical example of the 18th century gallant style. What makes them very attractive for the contemporary listener is their connections with Spanish folklore (characteristic chord sequences, perfect imitation of the guitar sound and technique). The sonatas on this album have been selected, arranged and performed by Wladyslaw Klosiewicz, one of the most oustanding harpsichordists now and an expert on old music interpretation. His interpretation is certainly superb, humorous and colourful. (MUZYKA PAP)