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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: 17 minutes 15 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 E flat major, Op 41
probably composed circa 1782; much material reused in Clementi's Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op 23 No 1; significantly reworked around 1804

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Sonata Op 41 in E flat major has a somewhat convoluted history. When Clementi arrived in Vienna in the spring of 1804, he learned that a leading music publisher in the city, Artaria & Co., had just put out this sonata (together with assorted other pieces of his) without permission. This was embarrassing on more than one score: this composition was from a much earlier time in the composer’s life (he had likely left it behind after his last visit to Vienna in 1782), and, moreover, he had already borrowed some of its music for another sonata in E flat (Op 23 No 1). Clementi quickly arranged for a different Viennese publisher to print the corrective edition we hear in this recording, much revised, with the offending passage removed and a slow movement added. That slow movement is a fine one. The opening melody—with its distinctively long anacrusis figure, subjected to a series of ever-changing ornamental restatements—accounts for all the thematic material of the movement, and represents the more mature Clementi at his best. The first movement of this sonata, like the Sonata Op 23 No 1 for which it was cannibalized, once more looks like a revised concerto movement.

from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2009

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