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Lucas Debargue takes tasteful advantage of the piano's dynamic range on 'Scarlatti Sonatas' / LIMELIGHT

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Lucas Debargue came fourth in the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition, but nonetheless was the talk of the town. Although he's recorded Scarlatti before (his debut disc with Sony included a handful of pieces), this four-disc set is a more serious proposition. The first thing to note, which may cause some purists to run screaming, is the fact that these are played on piano. Debargue mentions, though, that he plays these with some nods to harpsichord technique – he uses almost no pedal on this collection, for instance.

Debargue plays these with a lovely light touch (hear how crisp the Sonata in E, K. 531 is!), and, as one of the aforementioned purists, I didn't find myself missing the harpsichord at all. Debargue also takes tasteful advantage of the piano's dynamic range. Still, while it might sound a little harsh, I'm not really sure why this needed to be a four-disc set. This is a lovely collection, but it's also an awful lot of Scarlatti. I'd have preferred to see a trim single disc.

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