Over the past years I have composed sixteen dances to Scarlatti Sonatas. All of the dances are distinct. This part of my work can be considered innovative. To my knowledge, the Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti have not been used before in this way. I approached the music differently from other forms of Spanish material as the writing in the Sonatas matched the dance patterns in a manner making authenticity possible.
Over time, I discarded some of the pieces and retained about twelve in my repertoire. The first showing included four of the Sonatas performed in 1970 at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. A wonderful harpsichordist, Bess Karp, accompanied me in the selected dances. She had been a faculty member at UCLA. A number of years later in 1987, I collaborated in a Faculty concert at California State University at Los Angeles. On this occasion the harpsichordist was Patrick Lindley, a superb keyboardist and composer with whom I have had the pleasure of working with in more recent performances. On that program, I introduced seven dances from the collection of works.
Not until 2001 did I resume performing and was contracted to appear under the auspices of the Southern California Baroque Association for their Harpsichord Center. They have had an Artist’s Series for many years.
I did two concerts with Patrick Lindley again this time and danced eight of the Sonatas. We returned again in 2005 for two more concerts with some newer pieces I added plus two traditional flamenco dances accompanied by guitar. In the interim in 2004, I was also invited to be guest artist in a concert at the Community College in Las Vegas. A former student of mine, Coral Citron, who was based in Vegas had formed her own company titled Fiesta Flamenca. I performed two of my Scarlatti pieces accompanied by Cynthia Harris, a gifted harpsichordist and pianist and the program also included some flamenco material and two selections from the Escuela Bolera. This was a strange return engagement to Las Vegas under totally different circumstances from my early experience back in 1942! Since the last appearances in 2005 I have put the Scarlatti dances aside as they seem an anomaly in today’s world of Flamenco. Continue reading “Scarlatti”