I was all ready to present a post on Domenico Scarlatti sonatas this morning…and then realized it was his father Alessandro’s birthday today (May 2, 1660-October 22, 1725).
Well, I hate to slight old Alessandro, and since I didn’t even send him a card, the least I could do was write a post about him. So I guess Domenico will have to wait.
Alessandro Scarlatti was best known for his vocal works, in particular, his operas. When I listen to some of his arias, it is hard to believe they were written in the 1600s, they sound much more modern. For example, listen to the incomparable José Carreras as he sings the aria O cessate di piagarmi
Let us not neglect his keyboard works. Here you can find a collection of his toccatas.
Alessandro also wrote a number of religious works, and here is a sample, Exultate Deo.
Want to know more? Research into the music of Alessandro Scarlatti can be found at the Scarlatti Project website. Or you can curl up with Alessandro Scarlatti: His Life and Works by Edward Joseph Dent, available as a free ebook.
Image attribution: Autograph score of Dixit Dominus by Alessandro Scarlatti. Archivio Storico Ricordi, copyright 2013 Ricordi & C. S.r.l., Milan. Use authorized for non-commercial educational purposes. www.archivioricordi.com, http://www.ricordicompany.com/en/page/64