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The original recording dates (1953–1954) hint at what to expect; this was an era when playing on any kind of harpsichord rather than piano was considered the height of authenticity, and when early- music sceptics needed to be won over by colour and excitement. George Malcolm, keyboardist, conductor and general Renaissance man of his time, complied using an instrument lavishly registered and armed with a Venetian swell for crescendo and diminuendo effects.

This is an important performance-practice document. Documentation fails to name the instrument used – and the listed Scarlatti Kk 8 in G minor is actually Kk 87 in B minor, while Kk 33, although correctly numbered, is in D major, not B minor. But these are tiny slips in what is an invaluable and exciting reissue.

Michael Round Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2016 - ©Rhinegold Publishing