Clementi: Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 50, Nos. 2 and 3 'Didone abbandonata'; Op. 1, No. 3; Op. 8, No. 2

Clementi: Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 50, Nos. 2 and 3 'Didone abbandonata'; Op. 1, No. 3; Op. 8, No. 2

by Sandro De Palma


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Muzio Clementi, an Italian-born composer and virtuoso who spent most of his career in England, was born before Mozart and died after Beethoven. He wrote 110 keyboard sonatas, and they come from all parts of his career. His early style was influenced by Scarlatti and later Mozart (and in the latter case, the influence was mutual despite Mozart's disparaging comments about his rival). A good example of his development of the Scarlatti style is the two-movement "Keyboard Sonata in B flat major, Op. 1, No. 3," written in 1771 when Clementi was 19. The biggest novelty here is the pair of late works, from Clementi's "Op. 50" of 1821. These are virtuoso works that lead directly to the world of Chopin and Liszt: sample the outer movements of the final "Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 50, No. 2," with their hand-crossing effects. The "Piano Sonata in G minor, Op. 50, No. 3 (Didone Abbandonata)" is a full-scale programmatic work, a little tone poem for the piano based on a famous operatic story. The "Op. 50" works are rarely played, and Italian pianist Sandro De Palma deserves credit for unearthing them. He uses a modern piano, although the stated goal of tracing some of Clementi's contributions to pianism is lost in this medium. Many will find De Palma's touch too heavy in the two earlier sonatas, but his exposure of the two 1821 works is valuable: they are derivative of neither Mozart nor Beethoven, but instead, in Clementi's old age, point forward.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/11/2019
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313388073
catalogNumber: 8573880
Rank: 156810


  1. Piano Sonata in G minor ("Didone abbandonata"), Op. 50/3
  2. Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 50/2
  3. Piano (Harpsichord) Sonata in E flat major, Op. 8/2
  4. Harpsichord or Piano Sonata in B flat major, Op. 1/3

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