Sonata in B minor, K. 27 - Domenico Scarlatti

The Sonata in B minor, K. 27, by Domenico Scarlatti, is a masterpiece that exemplifies the nuanced keyboard technique and innovative musical ideas of the composer. Composed during Scarlatti's tenure at the Spanish court, this piece is one of 555 sonatas that showcase Scarlatti's profound influence on the solo keyboard repertoire. Its brisk tempo, intricate melodies, and emotional depth offer a glimpse into the Baroque era's evolving musical tastes. The sonata's enduring appeal can be attributed to its blend of technical challenge and expressive potential, making it a staple in the repertoire of pianists worldwide.

Origins and Publication

Domenico Scarlatti, born in 1685, spent much of his career in the service of the Spanish royal family. The Sonata in B minor, K. 27, like many of his sonatas, was likely composed as part of his duties at court. Scarlatti's sonatas were initially intended for the harpsichord but have gained popularity among pianists for their expressive qualities and technical demands.

The first publication of Scarlatti's sonatas, including K. 27, did not occur until the mid-18th century. Long after their composition, the sonatas were collected and catalogued by the Italian musicologist Alessandro Longo, who assigned them their K. numbers. This particular sonata was part of the "Essercizi per Gravicembalo", published in 1738, which brought together thirty of Scarlatti's sonatas.

Despite its initial obscurity, the Sonata in B minor, K. 27 has emerged as an essential piece in the piano literature, admired for its emotional depth and technical innovation.

Analytical Insights into the Sonata

The sonata is structured in a binary form, common to many of Scarlatti's works, divided into two sections, each repeated. Its tempo marking, Allegro, sets the stage for a vibrant and technically challenging performance. Throughout the piece, Scarlatti employs the B minor key to explore a range of emotions, from melancholy to exuberance.

Harmonically, the piece is notable for its daring modulations and use of chromaticism, which were revolutionary for the time. Scarlatti's intricate melodic lines and syncopated rhythms add to the sonata's complexity and allure, demanding dexterity and precision from the performer.

The Sonata in B minor, K. 27 makes extensive use of Scarlatti's signature crossing-hand technique, which adds a visual element to performances and challenges pianists to master intricate fingerings and coordination.

The Sonata's Enduring Popularity

The Sonata in B minor, K. 27's popularity among pianists and audiences alike can be attributed to its blend of emotional depth and technical virtuosity. Its brisk tempo and dynamic contrasts make it a captivating piece to both play and listen to.

Moreover, the piece's historical significance as part of Scarlatti's efforts to push the boundaries of keyboard music has cemented its place in the standard repertoire. Its popularity is also reflected in its frequent inclusion in concert programs and recordings by renowned pianists, further attesting to its lasting appeal.


The Sonata in B minor, K. 27 by Domenico Scarlatti stands as a testament to the composer's genius and the Baroque era's rich musical heritage. Its combination of technical innovation, emotional expression, and musical complexity continues to inspire and challenge pianists centuries after its composition. As such, it remains an indispensable part of the solo piano repertoire, beloved by musicians and audiences around the world.

Publication date: 23. 03. 2024