Keyboard Sonata

Domenico Scarlatti

Keyboard Sonata in G major

K. 169, Kk 169

About this work

G major was Scarlatti's second favorite key in his series of 555 keyboard sonatas: the composer chose it for 69 of them, favoring only D major slightly more often, with 76 sharing that key. This Sonata in G major probably dates to around 1750, since its initial appearance was in the first Venice volume, dating to 1752. It is a light work in which Scarlatti employs stylistic elements from his adopted country of Spain, particularly that of a typical Spanish tango rhythm.

Marked Allegro con spirito, the work opens up fully in character with its marking, the music bouncy and brimming with energy in its festive gaiety and bright colors. The main theme, while quite native to the keyboard, might take well in an arrangement for guitar(s), with its jaunty rhythms and accented and often repeated notes. As usual, in the latter half of the work, Scarlatti develops his material quite imaginatively, here veering along slightly more serious lines, the music turning almost reflective in places and taking on a greater sense of elegance. In the end, though, the mood of the piece remains predominantly playful and celebratory throughout. This Sonata typically lasts about five minutes.