Scarlatti ’The Cat’ Sonata K30 for Clarinet Quartet

By: D Scarlatti
For: Quartet of Clarinets in Bb
page one of Scarlatti ’The Cat’ Sonata K30 for Clarinet Quartet

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Scarlatti ’The Cat’ Sonata K30 for Clarinet Quartet


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D Scarlatti
Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Classical music
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K30, ’The Cat Fugue’, is one of the most famous of the 500 or so sonatas that Domenico Scarlatti wrote for harpsichord. He was apparently inspired by his cat walking down the keyboard! The unusual intervals thus generated are typical of the way that Scarlatti pushed the musical boundaries of the time.

This wonderful sonata is now available for Clarinet Quartet in a new edition, arranged by David McKeown. It is scored for three Bbs and one Bb Bass clarinet, with an alternative 3rd part for Eb Alto Clarinet. Being a fugue, there is plenty of interest in all four parts. This is not an easy piece to perform; players will need several years experience to tackle it, but it will make a unique and exciting addition to any concert program, amateur or professional.

Scarlatti often conceived of his sonatas in pairs, slow and fast, and the perfect partner for this one is K208, also available for Clarinet Quartet on my pages.

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