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Clementi - Complete Piano Sonatas Volume 4
Sonata in C Major, Op. 25 No. 1
Sonata in G Major, Op. 25 No. 2
Sonata in B flat Major, Op. 25 No. 3
Sonata in A Major, Op. 25 No. 4
Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 5 (aka Op. 26 No. 2)
Sonata in D Major, Op. 25 No. 6
Sonata in F major, Op. 26
Sonata in A Major, Op. 33 No. 1
Sonata in F major, Op. 33 No. 2
Sonata in C Major, Op. 33 No. 3
Sonata in E flat major Op. 41
2CDs for price of 1
Howard Shelley’s splendid series of Clementi’s complete piano sonatas continues with a fourth volume containing some of the composer’s most important works. The ten sonatas of Opp 25, 26, and 33 that Shelley performs in this recording are all products of a period in Clementi’s life when he was the darling of the London music scene, acclaimed by contemporaries in the most effusive language: ‘But the performance beyond all others to astonish, was Clementi’s concerto on the Piano Forte: what brilliancy of finger, and wonderful execution! The powers of the instrument were never called forth with superior skill, perhaps not equal’.
As well as the elements of virtuosity described above, the works recorded here—particularly the fourth and fifth of the Opp 25 sonatas—contain a high degree of compositional originality and forward-looking piano writing. The A major sonata (No 4) has a curiously nineteenth-century sound. The first movement, Maestoso e cantabile, displays a profusion of melodic ornament reminiscent of Chopin. The fifth, perhaps Clementi’s greatest sonata, was much championed by Horowitz, among others.
“…Shelley… adds to unfailing textural clarity, sensitivity of phrasing and fine touch a willingness to seek out what is meaningful in this music and realise it to a degree that might have surprised even its composer.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2009
“Shelley is a first-rate advocate, with passage-work of crystalline clarity, light-footed pedalling, and communicating a sense of deep commitment to this unjustly under-rated repertoire. The sound, within the two-dimensional limits of stereo, could not be better. Unreservedly recommended.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2009
“There is huge variety and pianistic invention … Shelley brings energy, vitality and clarity to the sparse textures of a work [Op 25 no 5] which owes much to Scarlatti … Stunning recording quality, exemplary
programme notes by the leading authority on Clementi, two discs for the price of one and generous playing time on each, and piano playing of the first order from Howard Shelley” International Record Review
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Clementi - Piano Sonatas
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Sonate, Duetti & Capricci - Vol. 13
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