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Hyperion Records

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Roman Capriccio by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67814
Recording details: October 2009
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Annabel Connellan
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: May 2010
Total duration: 18 minutes 31 seconds

'Volume 5 of Howard Shelley's exemplary survey brings us sonatas from the late 1790s … several of the works in Vol 4 had a Haydnesque feel but here there seems to be a more personal style on show, busy with up-to-date, complex keyboard figuration yet also displaying natural shapeliness, as well as some moments of memorable individuality … clearly played, intelligently detailed and perfectly recorded' (Gramophone)

'Shelley's playing is exemplary, with a gloriously fluent technique and a most perceptive interpretational approach … the Six Sonatinas here prove particularly nostalgic, core repertoire from many a pianist's childhood and perfect miniature paradigms of classical sonata form … Shelley is creating a benchmark for Clementi's solo piano music which I doubt will be moved in the foreseeable future and this volume's two-discs-for-the-price-of-one is an irresistible offering' (BBC Music Magazine)

'You won't often hear [the Op 36 Sonatinas] played as skilfully as here … along with his best-known works, the 12 on this set include some of Clementi's best, the two sonatas of his Op 34, pieces that attracted the attention of pianists of the calibre of Horowitz and Gilels before the clear and disciplined Shelley. Prepare to be surprised by the strength of musical argument' (The Irish Times)

Piano Sonata in C major, Op 34 No 1

Finale: Allegro  [4'16]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
According to later testimony of Clementi’s student Ludwig Berger, the C major Sonata Op 34 No 1 was originally a concerto (and Op 34 No 2 a symphony). The former, the Sonata in C major, has wide-ranging keyboard figurations, some for the left hand, that would be quite at home in a piano concerto; but the big cadential patterns marking off the exchanges of solo and orchestra are missing. If this was once a concerto, Clementi took pains to conceal these origins. The second movement of the sonata, in F major, is particularly memorable: its atmospheric first section anticipates the manner of Clementi’s student John Field—and ultimately Chopin—to which the high drama of the contrasting middle section in the parallel minor offers an effective foil.

from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2010

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