Recorded on 12/24/2011, uploaded on 12/24/2011
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Legend has it that Scarlatti’s cat was responsible for the awkward sounding theme of the “Cat’s Fugue.” The mischievous pet was prone to walking across the composer’s keyboard and on one particular occasion Scarlatti wrote down the notes he heard. While this certainly is an entertaining anecdote for the origins of this piece, its nickname was actually a product of the active imagination of Muzio Clementi and was frequently used in both publications and concert programs throughout the 19th century.
The Sonata in G minor, as the “Cat’s Fugue” is officially known, is among Scarlatti’s more serious works for the keyboard and one of the few to invoke the contrapuntal style more typical of J. S. Bach. However, the work is in no way imitative. The angular subject is worked out skillfully, displaying Scarlatti’s capable handling of the idiom combined with his unique sense of development.
George Frideric Handel, known for quoting the material of other composers in his works, references Scarlatti’s unusual subject in the second movement of the third concerto of Handel’s opus 6. In the 19th century, both Franz Liszt and Ignaz Moscheles included the work, under the tile “Cat’s Fugue,” on their concerts. Joseph DuBose
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