Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

»Huldigung bloß dem Ohre«

Fantastik und Tonartenrelation bei Domenico Scarlatti

Oktober 2018, 22. Jahrgang, Heft 88, pp 39-57

»Homage Only to the Ear« – The Fantastic and Key Relations in Domenico Scarlatti’s Works
Proceeding from the rule of the octave and the associated system of standardized changes to the scales directly related to the starting scale, the 18th century saw the gradual and definitive expansion of the concept of key through new key relations that went beyond relationships of diatonic proximity. Against this background, one can view Domenico Scarlatti as an avant-gardist who especially advanced the exploration of the lower fifth, the presentation of maximum distances and the testing of new expressive means in an experimental fashion. Modulation here no longer serves the purely structural manifestation of multiplicity within the unity of the starting key, but rather, as an »autonomous artistic device« (Ludwig Holtmeier), itself becomes an object of compositional creativity and innovation. Characteristic Scarlattian means for shaping the fantastic can also be described in this context: the entrance of (pseudo-)improvisatory elements like the licence for dissonance from Italian recitative accompaniment into composed music, surrounded by drifting, ›wandering‹ harmony and a strategy of sudden expressive intensification unique to Scarlatti.

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