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Unfortunately I really can't help with the tonality. I will lean towards it being listed as a Major key sonata but don't hold me to that. You know how even in his major key sonatas there could be whole portions in a minor key. However, I am leaning towards it being in a major key then going to this part.
It is not a slow sonata.
The passage in question is even more dissonant and goes on for much longer than the one you posted. But hopefully this extra bit of info can help!
Last edited by didyougethathing; 07/01/1411:15 PM.
Nice!! And y'know, that's one that I was vaguely trying to think of, and I think there's a fair chance it's what our guy is looking for.
That was the Scarlatti piece in the Norton Anthology book that we had to use for Music History class. Great use of tone clusters, though Scarlatti did that just to increase the volume of the harpsichord (i.e., the more notes you play at the same time, the louder it got).
I've only taught that piece twice, but both students loved it.
I do have an excel list of the tempo markings of the sonatas, if that helps...at least then you could eliminate the slow ones...
I actually made a "Scarlatti Catalogue Converter" in Excel myself! It converts between K and L numbers and gives you the tempo and key. It was a fun little project.
Everything concerning Scarlatti is fun!
My list originally was to keep track on which scores I had in different books and which ones I've played (as it is my goal to try them all before I drop dead). I'm really bad in remembering the K numbers, even the ones I have been studying. Someone (you maybe?) was kind enough to give me the additional key and tempo information and I just added that and got a nice resource
Thanks for following up and giving the answer. I don't know the piece and I think I've never heard it before. If I did know it, I probably would have thought of it for what you described, although I myself wouldn't think of the piece mostly in terms of dissonance but what is sometimes called "ostinato," i.e. continuous insistent repetition. Scarlatti does a fair amount of it, but I'm not aware of any other piece of his that has it as continuously and insistently as this. BTW an unusual aspect that adds to the ostinato feeling is that the first half of the piece doesn't come to a clear end; it merges right into both the repetition of the first half and the start of the second part, without breaks. (The very end of the piece does come to an end, and IMO this is a reason not to take the repeat of the second part, because that way the entire piece is an unbroken ostinato.) edit: Changed my mind. That's a reason, but not a good reason.
About the above post.... Poly is tough sometimes.
Poly, I would say he described what he was looking for pretty well. As for the length of the dissonance, first of all it's pretty normal for people to be imprecise about exactly how many seconds something like this is. He admittedly wasn't remembering exactly what this was, and was just giving an impression. What I took from it was just that it's an unusually extended series of dissonances -- and this is. And actually, I would say that the notably dissonant section starts a bit sooner than what he says, and that it's actually 2 or 3 sections in succession which add up to just about 15 seconds anyway, actually a little more. Yeah, the central part of it is less -- but I'd say he did a darn good job describing it.
Yeah, I admit I was pretty far off - but the main idea of it was that yes, this lasts a very long time in the grand scheme of things. You think it should end after a certain point but doesn't; that was my most defining memory of it.
But glad I could find it and glad we can discuss Scarlatti! Also happy that you've never heard this one before. Scarlatti is the gift that keeps on giving!