Domenico Scarlatti

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Domenico Scarlatti (born Naples, Italy, 26 October 1685, died Madrid, 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer. Though he wrote many other compositions, his fame rests on his 555 keyboard sonatas. Called Essercizi when composed—as harpsichord exercises for Portuguese Princess Maria Magdalena Bárbara, whom he followed to Madrid when she became Queen of Spain—they have also become a staple of the piano repertoire, Vladimir Horowitz being a renowned performer. There are famous harpsichord recordings by Wanda Landowska and Ralph Kirkpatrick, and synthesiser ones by Wendy Carlos. It was Kirkpatrick who catalogued and numbered the sonatas chronologically (though the old L, or Longo, numbers are still occasionally used).