Clementi’s Sonata in B flat major Op 46 was published in 1820, over two decades later than his previous sonatas. But there is ample testimony that during the intervening years Clementi composed a good deal of music that he published later or not at all. This sonata for the most part sounds much more like a work of the 1790s than of 1820. It is dedicated to his ‘friend F Kalkbrenner, as a mark of esteem for his eminent talents’. Kalkbrenner, the famous German-born piano virtuoso, had settled in London in 1815; perhaps Clementi resurrected an older sonata to honour his younger colleague. Both of the fast movements of this sonata have diatonic, thin-textured opening materials that suggest an earlier time of composition. The middle slow movement is a leisurely Adagio cantabile, encrusted with lavish ornament; but below we often hear bits of the polyphonic motion that is a hallmark of this composer.
from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2010