Scarlatti's own mastery of the harpsichord had been learned in his youth at an Italian harpsichord. In middle life he played mostly on instruments of Italian or Spanish construction, although the Spanish court did possess one or two Northern-style keyboards. Scarlatti's whole sound-world is inspired by the Italian harpsichord, with it's bright colours, quick speech and penetrating, singing tone. Every note in his mainly two-part lines must tell intsantly, giving pitch and suggesting non-existent harmony; repetitions at the octave must evoke a different actor; the many exquisite (and neglected) slow movements must sing like prima donnas. All this an Italian harpsichord does effortlessly; on a French or Flemish instrument Scarlatti's music sounds splendid, but it is language spoken by a foreigner. - Colin Tilney ©1987.