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12 Sonate per Clavicembalo (12 Italian Keyboard Sonatas).

12 Sonate per Clavicembalo (12 Italian Keyboard Sonatas), edited by Cesare Fertonani. Ricordi, 2016. www.halleonard.com; 68 pp., $19.99. Intermediate.

Written between 1716 and 1774 by Italian-born composers, these sonatas offer a joyful musical experience as well as an intriguing view of the pre-classical sonata and gallant style. Teachers will find performance repertoire preparing their intermediate to early-advanced students for the more difficult Scarlatti sonatas, Bach suites and classical sonatas. Performances of all but the Rutini are on YouTube.

These sonatas are fun to play. The score is visually clean, easy to read; idiomatic scalar and broken-chord patterns produce a full, rich keyboard sound. Slow-moving harmonic progressions and two-part textutes--frequently with sixteenths in one hand, and eighths or quarters in the other--are common. Although fingerings are not given, students with a thorough knowledge of scales and arpeggios will easily devise their own.

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Presentation is alphabetical by composer: Alberti, Durante, Galuppi, Paradies, Pescetti, Platti, Rutini, Sarti, D. Scarlatti and Zipoli. Highlights include:

Alberti's Sonata Op 1, No. 4 is beautiful. Interesting phrase structures complement simple rhythmic and melodic patterns.

The Vivace from Paradies's Sonata VI is a thematically and harmonically developed sonata form. Myra Hess made a brilliant recording of the Allegro.

Pescetti's Sonata No. 11, Allegro, begins with two statements of a five-bar melody and ends with a six-bar phrase.

Platti's Sonata No. 2, a gallant style four-movement work, features an operatic Fantasia and final Allegro in sonata form. The three C minor movements are written with a key signature of two-flats to avoid accidentals for the frequent excursions into the dominant, G minor.

The Risoluto of Rutini's Sonata Op. VIII No. 6 (1774), in sonata form, might be entitled "The Joy of Scales." The Andante is a song, with printed words, in rondo form.

Domenico Scarlatti is clearly the master composer of Italian keyboard sonatas. The three presented here are K. 69, K. 208 and K. 491.

Zipoli's Sonata No. 1 (1716) is a four-movement Baroque suite. The Prelude is an expressive pseudocontrapuntal binary with unexpected harmonic shifts. I can imagine playing it in a church service.--Reviewed by Beverly Smoker, Nazareth College

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Title Annotation:Piano
Author:Smoker, Beverly
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2017
Words:358
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