The variations based on Zerlina’s little aria in Don Giovanni
, ‘Batti batti, o bel Masetto’, WO10, first appeared in a collection of operatic arias transcribed for piano, ‘with an Introductory Movement to Each by the most Eminent authors’, put out by Clementi’s company. His own ‘introductory movement’ anticipates a flood of similar works by the piano virtuosi of the 1830s and 1840s: a florid, rhapsodic fantasy laced with tantalizing hints of the melody to come, which at last is presented in an effective piano transcription that preserves a good bit of the original orchestral accompaniment. This is essentially parlour music, the sort of thing advanced amateur pianists might play for friends at home.
from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2011