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Hyperion Records

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The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)
Musée d'Art Thomas Henry, Cherbourg, France / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67819
Recording details: December 2009
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Annabel Connellan
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: October 2010
Total duration: 19 minutes 3 seconds

'This must be one of the most handsome of all recent homages to a lesser-known composer, with nothing about the performances, recording quality or presentation falling short of first-class … Shelley is a perfect advocate for this music, the limpidness of his playing being allied to utter sensitivity of dynamic and phrasing … a heartening achievement on all counts' (Gramophone)

'Each volume has shown remarkable variety from Clementi's fervid imagination … for all the temptation to compare Clementi with his more familiar contemporaries, a clear and distinctive voice appears through this overview of the complete sonatas. Shelley's technical security allows him to project a sense of ease and spontaneity … the complete set proves a benchmark which I doubt will be moved for a very long time' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a most attractive and sparkling account on Clement's final sonatas and brings to a satisfying conclusion Howard Shelley's survey of Clementi … the sound captured on the recording more than lives up to expectations' (International Record Review)

Piano Sonata in D minor, Op 50 No 2
published in 1821, but probably composed twenty or so years earlier; dedicated to Luigi Cherubini

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The second sonata of Op 50, in D minor, is Clementi’s only sonata in that key. It is a consistently strong piece in which several of his oldest compositional habits appear, now convincingly absorbed into his latest style. The blustery first theme of the opening movement, for example, is set entirely over a tonic pedal point—one of Clementi’s oldest habits. The music in the secondary key, F major, has the abundant ornament that is customary in his late ‘lyric’ style, but was anticipated as early as the Sonata in A major Op 2 No 4, published in 1779. The slow movement, Adagio con espressione, is one of Clementi’s atmospheric, highly ornamented and tonally digressive late-period slow movements. There follows a witty Allegro with a brusque, home-spun main theme that we hear a number of times in rondo-fashion; this music undergoes sophisticated transformations that make for a satisfying conclusion to this strong sonata.

from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2010

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