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 Post subject: Clementi -- Sonata in F# Minor, Op. 25, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:25 am 
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Hello all,

This is probably one of the best-known Clementi sonatas, frequently played by Horowitz during his years of intermittent concert-stage retirement and return in the 50s and 60s.

The Clementi sonatas IMO are still vastly underrated pieces (though Horowitz did play a significant part in their partial revival). In addition to his wonderfully satisfying melodies and Scarlattiesque rhythmic energy, Clementi was a pioneer of piano technique in the Lisztian sense, employing octaves and double notes for passage playing. Double thirds were his specialty (he uses them to great effect in the third movement of this sonata, for example).

Mozart, after a piano competition with Clementi (deemed by those present as a draw), snidely remarked of Clementi's playing, "His thirds are impressive, but like all Italians he's a charlatan without a farthing's worth of taste." Well, Clementi is assuredly no Mozart, but I suspect that underlying his dismissal, there was a bit of jealousy since Clementi was one of the only pianist-composers of the day who could challenge Mozart at all :wink:

Anyway, hope you enjoy my performance!. Comments welcome.


Joe

Clementi - Sonata in F-sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 5, I: Allegro espressivo
Clementi - Sonata in F-sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 5, II: Lento e patetico
Clementi - Sonata in F-sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 5, III: Presto

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 Post subject: Re: Clementi -- Sonata in F# Minor, Op. 25, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:11 am 
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This is up, Joe. And from what I've read Clementi was not a very nice man. Mozart is more my type of guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Clementi -- Sonata in F# Minor, Op. 25, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:44 pm 
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Joe,

I enjoyed your performance of the Clementi Sonata. I am also glad to see his music, beyond the sonatinas, being presented here. I've been working on a couple of his sonatas (Op. 12 no. 3 and Op. 34 no. 2) that I hope to get recorded soon.

If I remember correctly, Op. 25 was written between 1785 and 1791.

Upon first hearing your Op. 25, I was startled by certain similarities in the first movement with Scarlatti. It appears that Scarlatti was an influence (it said so on the Internet so it must be true.)

Beethoven greatly appreciated Clementi and there is some evidence of an influence in Beethoven's music. Beethoven admired Clementi's music over that of Mozart or Haydn. Op. 34, no. 2 (c. 1795) has similar concepts to Beethoven's "Pathetique" (c. 1799) -- Slow intro that recurs in the middle of the movement as well as thematic material from the introduction used in the main part of the movement.

(An Aside to Monica)

I'm not sure that Clementi was as "un-" nice as he has sometimes been portrayed. The main source for that idea is his alleged mis-treatment of his student, John Field, which seems somewhat apocryphal. In fact, a lot of Clementi's fall from grace may have been due to Mozart's vitriol over his tie with Clementi during the piano duel presented by Emperor Joseph in Vienna. Mozart was a sore non-loser. Clementi admired Mozart's music, and, except for Mozart's theft of the theme from Clementi's Sonata, Op. 24 no. 2 (written in 1781 - about the time of the "duel"), for the overture to the "Magic Flute" (written about 1791) Clementi praised Mozart's music.

Scott

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 Post subject: Re: Clementi -- Sonata in F# Minor, Op. 25, No. 5
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Hi Scott,

Thanks very much for listening and for your intelligent observations about Clementi.

Quote:
I enjoyed your performance of the Clementi Sonata. I am also glad to see his music, beyond the sonatinas, being presented here. I've been working on a couple of his sonatas (Op. 12 no. 3 and Op. 34 no. 2) that I hope to get recorded soon.


Thanks! Nice that a you're working on a couple of the sonatas too. I don't know those particular ones. Actually, that reminds me that I wanted to ask you what edition you use for the Clementi sonatas. I have a Dover version, but that only has about 10 of the sonatas. Is there a comprehensive edition of Clementi with all the sonatas? It's seeming difficult to find.

Quote:
Upon first hearing your Op. 25, I was startled by certain similarities in the first movement with Scarlatti.


Yes, definitely, particularly IMO the chromatic pianissimo passages. Although in some ways, I have to say that the third movement is perhaps my favorite of the three because it seems the most unmistakably Clementi. :)

Quote:
Beethoven admired Clementi's music over that of Mozart or Haydn.


Interesting, I knew that Beethoven liked it though not that he liked it more than Mozart or Haydn. But it makes sense stylistically (the new, more orchestral sonata). The mighty Beethoven probably could have looked at Mozart or Haydn as prissy, salon-style composers :P

Quote:
I'm not sure that Clementi was as "un-" nice as he has sometimes been portrayed.


This jibes with my understanding of it too. I know that after the duel, for example, Clementi had only the sincerest praise for Mozart's playing. Interesting about that theme from the Magic Flute. I definitely want to learn that sonata :) I guess I heard that later Clementi composed some piano transcriptions on the Magic Flute, so he may have gotten over his bitterness about that to some extent as his life progressed.

Thanks again, Scott.

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 Post subject: Re: Clementi -- Sonata in F# Minor, Op. 25, No. 5
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:17 pm 
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Hey Joe,

Sorry to take so long to respond.

As far as the editions that I use, I have a few that I copied from the Peter's Edition from the Library in Indianapolis. The Op. 34 no. 2 I got (first mvt. only) from the Norton Anthology of Western Music by Claude V. Palisca (It went with Donald J. Grout's music history book in the 1980s) and that was a reprint of the 1800 Siebert edition. I finally found the complete sonata (Breitkof I believe) on-line, though for the life of me I can't remember where. It is not on IMSLP.

All the rest that I have are from IMSLP, which has a variety. Some are the ancient Arturia publications, some are Moescheles edition (he studied with Clementi). Note that many of the Arturia have the wrong Opus number, though IMSLP indicates this.

I have seen online that an Italian edition of the complete works are being produced http://www.muzioclementi.com/ but it ain't cheap. Just the Op. 34 (2 sonatas and 2 capricci) is nearly 47 euros (over $50).

Quote:
Quote:
Beethoven admired Clementi's music over that of Mozart or Haydn.


Interesting, I knew that Beethoven liked it though not that he liked it more than Mozart or Haydn. But it makes sense stylistically (the new, more orchestral sonata). The mighty Beethoven probably could have looked at Mozart or Haydn as prissy, salon-style composers


One thing that might be attributed to Clementi's style is that the English pianos were more resonant and fuller sounding with heavier actions. Also, Clementi was instrumental (if you will pardon the pun) in several improvements to the piano -- some supposedly still in use today, though noone says which ones.

Scott

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