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Hyperion Records

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Alexander the Great before the tomb of Achilles by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)
Musée Lambinet, Versailles / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67729
Recording details: October 2008
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Annabel Connellan
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: April 2009
Total duration: 11 minutes 51 seconds

'The third volume of Howard Shelley's invaluable survey of Clementi piano sonatas confirms every expectation. Once more you are left to marvel at his unfailing brilliance and musicianship, qualities that can lift and enliven even the most predictable and mechanical gestures … every finger-twisting challenge is met with effortless ease, energy and grace, and Hyperion's sound is, as usual, of demonstration quality' (Gramophone)

'Shelley's third volume makes abundantly clear that Clementi at best was an outstanding composer … he tempers the virtuoso finger-dexterity of the 'mechanicus' with sensitive expressiveness, including moments of wonderfully luminous half-pedalling, and meticulous balance to expose inner motifs. He's well served by lively and immediate recording' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There are several gems in this collection, especially the Sonata in F minor Op 13 … the other sonatas here are also works of real quality and certainly worthy of comparison with the galant keyboard sonatas of Mozart and Haydn … Clementi's sonatas have been neglected for too long: these are not mere virtuoso showcases but works with a real sense of structure and motivic development, with an astonishing inventiveness of keyboard figurations and ideas, and with a melodic fecundity that never ceases to amaze. Shelley's articulation is impeccable and the technical intricacies pose no challenges … with performances of this commitment, with two discs for the price of one, immaculate sound from Hyperion and booklet notes by Leon Plantinga, this comes with the strongest recommendation' (International Record Review)

'Shelley is a stunning advocate for the inventive, progressive and fully mature piano works by this underated composer … the best to date … Clementi is a keyboard master of the highest order. The Adagio of the Second Sonata is a brilliant example of Shelley's finely chiselled tone, and dare I say that nobody can equal him in the last Presto movements of the Opus 13 sonatas. This is what the record industry should be: a library of discoveries, where you stumble on unknown works played to perfection by a master pianist. What more could one wish for?' (Pianist)

Piano Sonata in B flat major, Op 13 No 4
composer

Adagio  [4'14]
Allegro assai  [2'10]

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