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*** 1/2 "MURRAY PERAHIA PLAYS HANDEL AND SCARLATTI" (Sony Classical).

May 25, 1997|Daniel Cariaga

Returning to the recording studio after half a decade off, Perahia exposes himself to four demanding Handel works and a half-hour--seven sonatas--of keyboard music composed by Domenico Scarlatti. There are easier comebacks. Perahia imbues three suites and the Chaconne in G of Handel with dignity, authority and speedy passagework, accomplishing it all in handsome style and with a musicality that makes eloquence effortless. One wishes only for more humors, more self-delight. The hot-blooded lightness, songful beauties and deep contrasts in the Scarlatti pieces invite the listener to join the composer in an Iberian sojourn.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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