Leo Garcia plays Sonata in A Minor, K.175 by Scarlatti


Ever since hearing Eliot Fisk’s recording of this sonata, I’ve wanted to learn it. I tried Eliot’s brilliant transcription years ago but my smaller hands couldn’t even play it poorly. Then a good friend showed me French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau’s version and it rekindled the desire to learn it. This edition was transcribed by the Spanish guitarist Marcos Díaz, which is a bit more tame of a transcription but nonetheless it retains a good amount of substance on the guitar. I’ve changed some minor things that work better for my hands and for my ear. The manic quality of this sonata is another glimpse into Domenico Scarlatti’s fertile musical mind. It conjures images of chaos, bliss, seriousness, dementia, and lots of emotions that I cannot pinpoint. A bit trippy. : )

Leo Garcia plays Sonata in E Major, K.380 by Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) wrote over 500 sonatas for harpsichord. Fortunately, many have been arranged and transcribed for guitar and many await transcription. During 2020 and 2021 I found myself in the Scarlatti rabbit hole. I listened to hundreds of them, read through ones that I thought might work that to my knowledge had not been transcribed, transcribed many for solo and duo guitar, learned too many to keep track of, and am still learning. They captivate my imagination and they teach me a lot about myself and my playing.

Sonata in E Major, K.380 is, perhaps, one of Scarlatti’s most famous sonatas. With its march-like rhythm to the emerging beautiful lyrical lines, Scarlatti’s boundless imagination sparkles. I used a combination of editions (but primarily Manuel Barrueco’s) and the original score to find a version that works for my hands. Hope you enjoy it.

And as a bonus, while researching some of the sonatas, I came across this hilarious article ranking the Sonatas. : )

Artist Spotlight: Yuri Liberzon

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Russian born and Israeli raised classical guitarist, Yuri Liberzon, is certainly carving out a name for himself in the rising generation of gifted classical guitarists. Watching Yuri play elicits incredulity at his extreme level of control. And once you get past the impressiveness of it all, you realize that what holds your attention is both the beauty, subtlety, and intensity of his musical interpretations.

A graduate of the most elite conservatories in the world, Yuri’s time with acclaimed guitarist, Manuel Barrueco, is most noticeable in his playing and in his repertoire. In a recent concert, he played through Scarlatti, Bach, Piazzolla, and Brouwer with an abundance of elegance and refinement. Active as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist, he also spends time teaching and publishing very detailed editions of his repertoire.

Stay tuned for one of Yuri’s favorite warm-up exercises and an interview!