--To call concert-grand performances of Scarlatti "historically unfounded" is, alas, accurate. The modern concert grand simply didn't exist in Scarlatti's time, nor was there any reason to assume such an instrument, capable of such a range of sounds and dynamics, would necessarily be developed.
What certainly is true is that, over a couple of centuries, a long tradition of playing Scarlatti on the concert grand has developed -- and, as has been noted, many fine artists played these pieces on the concert grand. But that hardly contradicts the statement that such performances are "historically unfounded."
--I don't find Mr. Van Veen's comments "hostile" at all. He didn't like the performances on these several discs -- Mr. Lester did. Perhaps Mr. Van Veen could have given an example or two of what wasn't done so well to illustrate his opinions -- but I know from my own attempts to do so that this can make a review unwieldy!
But it is the critic's function to offer an opinion, couched in clear enough terms that each individual reader can determine whether s/he might agree or disagree. And Mr. Van Veen does that clearly enough -- I agree, better that than a "fudge."
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