Domenico Scarlatti Viola d’Amore Sonatas, a New Musicological Discovery – Recording of a CD

Project location: ITALY
Project start date: January 2011 - Project end date: September 2011
Project number: 2010-84
Beneficiary: Associazione Culturale Musicale Musicangelica




The Scarlatti project consists in the recording and discography releasing of some sonatas for Viola d'Amore written by Domenico Scarlatti, a great Italian composer of eighteenth century.

Right from the beginning, this project was divided into two distinct temporal phases: the first for the recording, the second for the editing, mixing and postproduction.

On September 2011 the second phase of the recording of Domenico Scarlatti's Viola d'Amore sonatas was completed.
This second part of the project was devoted to all operations of editing, mixing and mastering of the recorded material; all these operations are called the "postproduction" phase, and will create the CD in its final draft, as will be published by the recording label.
The first step of this postproduction phase was the play back of all the sound material (around thirty hours of music) by Valerio Losito. This operation took about two months, and was carried out with particular care in order to select the best parts that assembled together during the editing would constitute the final version of the CD. Among these thirty hours of recorded material was selected around an hour of music that is the actual duration of the Cd.
The second step was the editing phase. This operation, through the use of computers, allowed to assemble these selected parts, technically called "takes" , as a worker assembles bricks to build a wall.At the end of the editing operation one can hear the musical pieces in a fluid and consistent performance, even if it consists of some "bricks" that were played, during the recording session, not in that same chronological order. This technique is always the same in the postproduction phase of every Cd (except for recordings of live performances), and allows to have an excellent product, because it's free from errors or inaccuracies. High musical quality of the recorded material of Scarlatti sonatas provided a wide range, allowing to choose from precious musical nuances or details.
After the editing phase, the CD was subjected to a treatment of mixing. This technique allows to set in a recording the sound balance between the different instruments or voices, making one of them prevails over the other. The final goal of the mixing was to create a sound balance very close to a "natural" sound; particular attention was used to "recreate" as much as possible the sound of the Viola d'Amore Gagliano as it should be heard live, in all his shining resonance details.
The two last phases of editing and mixing required by the sound engineer a commitment of sixty-nine hours total, nineteen hours more than the budgeted fifty at the beginning of the project. This little increase has led to a excellent result into all technical aspects and contributed to the final excellent quality of the Cd.
After these three steps (play back, editing, mixing) the Cd can be considered finished, and a prototype, called "master", was done. Even this very final version underwent a final check, to verify that it was free from any technical error.
The resulting final prototype was delivered in mid June 2011 to the record label Brilliant Classics, which provided the printing of all copies and the creation of the booklet.
The CD, in its final version, was released in late September 2011 under the title "Domenico Scarlatti Sonatas for Viola d'Amore and Harpsichord", with serial number 94242.
Over the next few months the spread of the Cd will be monitored in order to collect reviews in newspapers and specialized magazines, on radio and on Internet.

Musicangelica also will work to organize activities to publicize this record, in spreading this Cd through reviews and radio interviews.
In summary, the strengths of the first phase of the Scarlatti project were:
- An absolute novelty in musicological terms;

- World premiere recording of the sonatas with the Viola d'Amore;

- Absolute excellence of the musical instruments used for the performance;

- Excellent acoustics and resulting excellent recorded sound;

- Recording phase fully documented, audio, photos and video;

In the second part of the project one may add:
- Full achievement of the artistic objectives;

-Excellent worldwide distribution of the disc by the label Brilliant Classics

-Thanks to Brilliant publicity the Scarlatti project is becoming renewed around the world (approximately 3.800 hits on google on mid-october, just after a month of publication)

This recording, for its quality, is an excellent opportunity to give visibility to the study and rediscovery of the Viola d'Amore, and gives visibility to the Foundation Viola d'Amore Ferdinando Gagliano in particular.

Radio3 and Radio Vaticana has yet talked about Scarlatti Cd on 17th of october 2011 ("Qui comincia" by Paolo Terni) and 23th of october 2011 ("Curiosità discografiche" by Andrea Fasano).

The Cd will also be sent to music festivals and concert organizations, in order to organize also live performances in Italy and abroad.
Is it possible to conclude that also this second phase of the Scarlatti project was completed reaching all targets and expectations;

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