Joseph Moog: Scarlatti Illuminated

Fri, Apr 5, 2013, 01:00


Scarlatti Illuminated

Domenico Scarlatti, Joseph Moog, Carl Tausig, Ignaz Friedman, Walter Gieseking



“A man who can tolerate Bach and Scarlatti on a modern piano can tolerate anything,” wrote GB Shaw in 1894. Performers of the 19th and early 20th century thought differently. They not only played Scarlatti pure and simple, but also adapted his music to their own tastes, most famously the Liszt pupil Carl Tausig, whose arrangements are still played today. Tausig’s alterations are slight by comparison with the major harmonic elaborations of Ignaz Friedman, which add an overlay of rich, 20th-century pianistic texture. Walter Gieseking’s Chaconne on a theme of Scarlatti leaves the 18th century even further behind. Joseph Moog alternates the arrangements with the clean originals and gives the impression of having far greater sympathy with Scarlatti than with his arrangers.