Clementi visited Vienna in December 1781, playing the B flat Sonata from Op 24 before an audience that included Joseph II and Mozart. He ‘plays well, so far as execution with the right hand goes’, Mozart reported to his father (12 January 1782). ‘His greatest strength lies in his passages in thirds. Apart from this, he has not a pennyworth of taste or feeling—in short he is simply a mechanicus.’ (Clementi was more generous to his famous rival, publicly acknowledging his ‘singing touch and exquisite taste’.) Comprising a terse sonata Allegro (launched by an idea Mozart was to recollect/steal years later for his Magic Flute
Overture), an expressive slow movement in the dominant, and a brilliantly ‘running’ Rondo finale, the B flat Sonata was first published by Storace of Howland Street, Rathbone Place, London, as part of a ‘Collection of Original Harpsichord Music’ (entered Stationers’ Hall, 23 July 1788).
from notes by Ates Orga © 1995