Keyboard Sonata

Domenico Scarlatti

Keyboard Sonata in G major

K. 13, Kk 13

About this work

Scarlatti's early keyboard sonatas since they often display less contrast from work to work than in his later efforts. This Sonata in G major is one of the so-named Essercizi (30) per gravicembalo, first published in 1738. Like its siblings surrounding it, the G minor (K. 12) and G major (K. 14), it is marked Presto. The Sonata in E minor (K. 15) that follows this group is an Allegro, but the next three are also marked Presto. While the writing, at first glance, looks more difficult than it really is, Scarlatti put challenging technical problems in these works. This Sonata in G major (K. 13), for example, has numerous hand-crossings, many of which, however, are quite unnecessary. The work opens with a vigorous, somewhat muscular, rhythmic theme that turns from jaunty to nervous, then to playful and dainty. The writing is colorful throughout, deftly contrapuntal, maintaining an incredible level of energy. While his development of the material is not extensive, the themes sound stale, and the music always retains its rhythmic and melodic freshness. This charming work typically lasts four minutes.