Album: Alexandre Tharaud, Alexandre Tharaud Plays Scarlatti (Virgin Classics)

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Alexandre Tharaud's follow-up to last year's Journal Intime of Chopin pieces finds him tackling the earlier, more decorative sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti, one of Chopin's guilty pleasures.

Scarlatti wrote close to 600 sonatas for harpsichord while in his virtually lifelong position at the Spanish court of Ferdinand VI and Barbara Maria, of which Tharaud has chosen 18 to present on piano here. The range is extraordinary, from the almost casual, plaintive charm of the K132, with its elegant trills and thoughtful progressions, to the dashing Iberian brilliance of the K420, and the more virtuosic manner of the K72 – three wildly differing explorations of the key of C major, handled with a deft, easy grace and an appropriate dash of wit.

DOWNLOAD THIS K72; K132; K420; K29; K8