SCARLATTI Domenico, Six Sonatas arranged for wind quintet by Dinu Lipatti

Allegro marciale in G minor (K.450) 
Andante in C minor (originally Allegro, C sharp minor; K.247) 
Allegro ma non tanto in C major (K.515) 
Allegretto in G major (K.538) 
Allegro moderato in B minor (K.377) 
Allegro molto in G major (K.427) 
 

The Scarlatti sonatas recorded by the great pianist Dinu Lipatti in the late 1940s, during the last few years of his short life, are among the most famous (and admired) of all Scarlatti records. What is much less well known is that in 1938–9, Lipatti also made arrangements of Scarlatti for wind quintet. Lipatti was primarily a pianist, but he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and Paul Dukas and these extremely ingenious transcriptions are in the spirit of neoclassical works like Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, though much less interventionist.  

Even though Lipatti is generally faithful to his original sources, transcribing such idiomatic keyboard music for wind instruments required imagination and skill – and the finished results sound as much of the sound of the early twentieth century as they do the early eighteenth. These transcriptions were first performed during a radio broadcast on Romanian Radio in April 1940 (apparently the only time Lipatti appeared as a conductor). They were played in public in Paris later in the same year by the Quintette à vent de Paris, the ensemble for which Lipatti started to compose his own wind quintet in 1938 which was destined to remain unfinished.  

 

© Nigel Simeone

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