Keyboard Sonata

Domenico Scarlatti

Keyboard Sonata in D minor

K. 213, Kk 213 • “The Lover”

About this work

Scarlatti wrote most of his keyboard sonatas in major keys, with 76 in D major, his most frequent choice, and 69 in G major. D minor, with a relatively paltry 32 sonatas, was the most popular minor key in his series of 555 sonatas. This Sonata in D minor exhibits a general mastery throughout, placing it among his better efforts. It is a deep work, its mood dark and probing, its thematic material slowly evolving and taking on greater character as the work proceeds. The sonata opens with four rising notes from which grow the ensuing themes. While the work is marked Andante and has an unhurried manner, it is always busy, thematic figures weaving in and out of the complex fabric. There is a sense of agitation about the music, a sense of discontent. After two complete statements of the main thematic elements, Scarlatti lightens the mood a bit in developing some of the material. Still, the darker mood of the piece is not dispelled. At around five minutes, this Sonata in D minor is a powerful, compelling work that offers many listening rewards to keyboard enthusiasts.