Hyperion Records

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

'Clementi: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4' (CDA67738)
Clementi: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4
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Movement 1: Allegro ma con grazia
Track 10 on CDA67738 CD2 [6'36] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 2: Adagio molto e con anima
Track 11 on CDA67738 CD2 [4'59] 2CDs for the price of 1
Movement 3: Allegro molto vivace
Track 12 on CDA67738 CD2 [5'40] 2CDs for the price of 1

Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op 41
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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