Encounter

A performance of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata K430 in D Major by Angela Hewitt


Encounter is based on repeated figures in the right hand and left hand that trade off and on in the first section of Sonata K430. It weaves in the colors of a painting of the same name by Johannes Itten, a member of Bauhaus who had a unique theory about color and the relationship between music and color.

Several members of Bauhaus, including Wassily Kandinsky, had theories of the significance of particular colors. Kandinsky is well-known for saying –

The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with bass notes, or dark lake with the treble.
– Wassily Kandinsky

I can officially declare, however, that he is wrong. The text “Male and Female” connects this painting to Kandinsky’s belief that color was also a mark of gender, and it is meant to convey a way of looking at the independence of the left and right hand figures.