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Record Box

A different fellow

Clementi in musical flight,
by BASIL RAMSEY


Naxos    8.555808

Clementi: Early Piano Sonatas © 2002 HNH International Ltd

Generations of youngsters, enthusiastic or rebellious, have trodden the path of keyboard acclimatization (to use another word for a change). A goodly proportion have doubtless stumbled through pages of Czerny and Clementi [listen -- track 4, 0:00-1:01] with varying degrees of success. The tortuous endurance of many must give them nightmares of keyboards and disembodied voices barking instructions.

On the other hand, there are those little angels who comply and make steady progress. Perhaps they could be rewarded by this CD chockful of Clementi in composing mode. The music is certainly not immune from figuration that assists finger dexterity, but it is polished less for fingers and more for ears. Even then, Clementi performs no miracles. The result is pleasant rather than a box of technical tricks for pumping technique.

Susan Alexander-Max plays a fortepiano very expressively [listen -- track 6, 2:27-3:21], which proves that Clementi with shading is almost a different fellow.

Copyright © 25 January 2003 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

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Clementi: Early Piano Sonatas

8.555808 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 71'08" 2002 HNH International Ltd

Susan Alexander-Max, fortepiano (reproduction piano after Michael Rosenberger, c1798, made by Derek Adlam)

Sonata in G WO14; Sonata in A Op 2 No 4; Sonata in G minor Op 8 No 1; Sonata in B flat Op 8 No 3; Sonata in F minor Op 13 No 6

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MUZIO CLEMENTI

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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews