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Scarlatti, Domenico


Baroque composer and harpsichord virtuoso; b. Naples, Oct. 26, 1685; d. Madrid, July 23, 1757. He studied first with his father, Alessandro scarlatti, and later in Venice with Gasparini; at age 16 he was organist at the royal chapel in Naples. In Rome (1709) he engaged in his famous contest with handel, in which Handel was judged the better organist, and Scarlatti the better harpsichordist. He was maestro di cappella at the Vatican from 1714 to 1719, but resigned to go first to Portugal and then to Spain (1729), where he became tutor to Princess Maria Barbara and maestro de cámara when she became queen. In Spain he composed more than 600 harpsichord "sonatas" and created a Spanish instrumental school. Considered the founder of modern keyboard technique, Scarlatti was the first composer to utilize such typical keyboard devices as the crossing of hands, fast repeated notes, and passages in parallel thirds and sixths. He also wrote much church music, most of which was unpublished. His last work was a Salve Regina for soprano and strings (1756).

Bibliography: Opere complete per clavicembalo, ed. a. longo, 10 v. and suppl. (Milan 1906); Sixty sonatas, ed. r. kirkpatrick, 2 v. (New York 1953). r. kirkpatrick, Domenico Scarlatti (Princeton 1953); Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 11:150618. p. barcaba, "Domenico Scarlatti oder Die Geburtsstunde der klassischen Sonate," Österreichische Musik Zeitschrift 45 (1990), 382390. m. boyd, "Die kirchenmusik von Domenico Scarlatti," Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 72 (1988), 117125. j. v. gonzÁlez valle, "Fondos de música de tecla de Domenico Scarlatti conservados en el Archivo Capitular de Zaragoza," Anuario Musical 45 (1990), 103116. m. s. kastner, "Repensando Domenico Scarlatti," Anuario Musical 44 (1989), 137154. m. marx-weber, "Domenico Scarlattis Stabat Mater, " Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 71 (1987), 1322. Á. pedrero-encabo, "Los 30 essercizi de Domenico Scarlattiy las 30 tocatas de Vicente Rodríguez: Paralelismosy divergencias," Revista de Musicología 20 (1997), 373391. d. sutherland, "Domenico Scarlatti and the Florentine piano," Early Music 22 (1995), 243256. ma. teresa fernÁndez talaya, "Memoria con las últimas voluntades de Domenico Scarlatti, músico de cámara de la reina María Bárbara de Braganza," Revista de Musicología 21 (1998), 155168. a. ruiz tarazona, "Fuente Scarlattiana en un manuscrito olvidado," Revista de Musicología 22 (1999), 261266. j. h. van der meer, "The Keyboard String Instruments at the Disposal of Domenico Scarlatti," The Galpin Journal 50 (1997), 136160.

[w. c. holmes]

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