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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 13 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 major, Op 40 No 3
composer
registered 11 September 1802; published by Longman, Clementi & Co in September 1802

Allegro  [5'04]

Other recordings available for download
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The last Sonata of Op 40, in D major, may be the most impressive of the lot. This piece, too, begins with a slow introduction, in D minor, again a grim one, with grandiloquent double-dotted rhythms above a resolute tonic pedal point. But this bleak mood is quite dissipated by the cheerful first theme of the Allegro that follows. Casually polyphonic, and set initially over a tonic pedal point, this theme moves gracefully toward the subdominant, and then—sounding for all the world like Mendelssohn—gestures toward the relative minor before safe resolution in the main key. As in the other sonatas of Op 40, Clementi is generous here with his musical ideas. We get three quite distinct and stable themes in the dominant area, and yet another new one in the development section. But the movement seems to cohere nonetheless, thanks mainly to its carefully unified harmonic scheme that involves the sort of third relations we associate with Schubert.

The Adagio con molto espressione in D minor that follows is something of a compromise between a proper slow movement and (recalling the B minor sonata of this set) an extended slow introduction to the finale. Its opening theme, one of several distinct kinds of material Clementi offers us, imitates the elegant shape and rhythmic ambiguity of the opening theme of his earlier sonata in A major, Op 33 No 1. Then comes the finale, a bright, cheerful rondo whose central episode in D minor is mainly a canon (one of Clementi’s best) based on that opening theme.

from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2010


Other albums featuring this work
'Clementi: Piano Sonatas' (CDA66808)
Clementi: Piano Sonatas

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