Colorado Power Piano

Power Piano as performed by
Howard Pancoast at the piano

Howard Pancoast
Karen Pancoast at the piano

Karen Pancoast

Domenico Scarlatti


Domenico Scarlatti, painted by Domingo Antonio Velasco in 1738

Scarlatti was the first great composer of short pieces for the harpsichord.  Today, we play them on the piano and they are just as good.  Scarlatti himself did not name most of the pieces, but simply called them “exercises.”  Evidently, some 19th century music publisher decided that exercises wouldn’t sell well, so he renamed all 545 of the pieces “sonatas.”  We still call them sonatas today, but they are not sonatas in the classical style of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. 

There is a large variety for the pianist in these pieces, even though none of them is a classical sonata.  This group of pieces includes dances, songs without words, etudes, toccatas, capriccios, fugues, and literally all manner of short pieces.  They are written in all keys, and include all modern keyboard techniques such as fast scales and arpeggios, large leaps, octaves, crossing of hands, and large dissonant chords.  They are listed on programs simply by their number, but we are including a short description of the style of each.