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Hyperion Records

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Landscape with Roman Ruins by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67738
Recording details: February 2009
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Annabel Connellan
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: October 2009
Total duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

'Shelley, who 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)

'Beautifully flexible playing … 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 … could not be better. Unreservedly recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'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)

Piano Sonata in A major, Op 33 No 1

Allegro  [5'44]
Presto  [3'14]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The first sonata of Op 33, in A major—often a good key for Clementi—is a compact, lucid piece with a modest harmonic vocabulary and a transparent texture reminiscent, once again, of Haydn. The opening theme of the first movement begins with elegant Haydnesque rhythmic ambiguity as a three-beat anacrusis floats weightlessly downward to the start of bar 2—where an unstable harmony puts off a real downbeat until we finally get it in bar 3. (Clementi attempts something similar, perhaps with less success, in the finale of the following sonata in F.) Then comes a rondo, whimsical in the extreme, full of surprising harmonic digressions and abrupt changes of texture. The sonata ends with a flash of wit: an unceremonious, chromatic, sidling approach to the final tonic chord.

from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2009

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