Hyperion Records

Musical Characteristics, Op 19
composer

Recordings
'Clementi: Capriccios & Variations' (CDA67850)
Clementi: Capriccios & Variations
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67850  2CDs for the price of 1  
Details
No 01: Prelude I alla Haydn
Track 20 on CDA67850 CD2 [2'05] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 02: Prelude II alla Haydn
Track 21 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'25] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 03: Prelude I alla Kozeluch
Track 22 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'44] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 04: Prelude II alla Kozeluch
Track 23 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'44] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 05: Prelude I alla Mozart
Track 24 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'41] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 06: Prelude II alla Mozart
Track 25 on CDA67850 CD2 [2'00] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 07: Prelude I alla Sterkel
Track 26 on CDA67850 CD2 [2'04] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 08: Prelude II alla Sterkel
Track 27 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'24] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 09: Prelude I alla Vanhal
Track 28 on CDA67850 CD2 [2'07] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 10: Prelude II alla Vanhal
Track 29 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'05] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 11: Prelude I alla Clementi
Track 30 on CDA67850 CD2 [1'30] 2CDs for the price of 1
No 12: Prelude II alla Clementi
Track 31 on CDA67850 CD2 [2'20] 2CDs for the price of 1

Musical Characteristics, Op 19
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Musical Characteristics is a whimsical collection of ‘preludes and cadences’, as the original title has it, in the styles of six different composers, including Clementi himself. Preludes—bits of preparatory playing before a performance—were also expected to sound improvisatory. (When reporting to his father on the celebrated piano contest with Clementi in 1781, Mozart mentioned that both pianists ‘praeludierte’ before playing their prepared selections.) These brief Preludes are capricious things, laden with passagework, and interrupted with constant changes in texture and tempo.

It is not entirely clear what Clementi had in mind here: are these fragments meant as serious imitations, perhaps as a handy crib for amateur pianists who had trouble improvising their own preludes and cadenzas? Or are they to be taken as parodies? Both interpretations may have something to be said for them. The Haydn imitations sound at points rather like Haydn (the second one seems to refer to Haydn’s recent C major Sonata, Hob XVI:20), and the Mozart ones, too, seem to be respectful imitations. But the Preludes ‘alla Sterkel’ surely reveal a parodic intent. The music of the German pianist Franz Xaver Sterkel (1750–1817), sometimes described as a bit saccharine, is lampooned with a plethora of performance directions such as calando and con espressione; one four-bar phrase is even marked allegretto dolce e con molta espressione. But Clementi seems at his best when imitating himself. The second Prelude ‘alla Clementi’ is a sparkling little virtuoso fantasy with the brilliant broken octaves and passages in thirds that were seen as his trademarks.

from notes by Leon Plantinga © 2011

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67850 disc 2 track 27
Prelude II alla Sterkel
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-11-85037
Duration
1'24
Recording date
28 October 2010
Recording venue
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Annabel Connellan
Recording engineer
Ben Connellan
Hyperion usage
  1. Clementi: Capriccios & Variations (CDA67850)
    Disc 2 Track 27
    Release date: September 2011
    2CDs for the price of 1
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