M. Clementi :: Fugue in C Major (Gradus Ad Parnassum), op.44

If you are not familiar with the Gradus Ad Parnassum of Clementi, you should definitely check it out. It is, as with the Gradus of Czerny, a wonderful collection of 'exercises', both technically and in polyphony. As with Czerny, Clementi restricts his compass for the fugues he writes to 5 octaves and applies a technique that, contrary to his technical etudes, goes very well with an 18th c. keyboard as the clavichord. The level of expression he demands makes the clavichord even a perfect companion de route!
To put this in an historical context, we must place the Gradus by Czerny after this of Clementi, I mean chronologically. Clementi collects his Gradus in 1817 as an opus 44, but much of the fugues, and related works in these bundles are composed much earlier. For this particular fugue, Clementi himself indicates that he wrote the piece back in 1780 in Paris. Czerny's gradus is composed much later than that, which makes it interesting, because, where Clementi restricts himself to the 18th c compass he had to live with back in 1780, Czerny would do the same, on the moment where 6 octaves and even 6 1/2 octave pianofortes would become a standard, maybe not in the households of the average middle class family, but in the higher cultural midsts and certainly the circles where money was not a problem.

 

I hope that you like this work of art and a through reflection of the craftsmanship Clementi demonstrates. Thumbs up for this video if you would like me to play more out of this bundle, I'd do it with pleasure, as there are still many preludes & fugues on the waiting list for Czerny.
By the way, I'm playing here from a first print -I only have the first volume, but twice- as I was lucky also to buy, way back, the two volumes of the original prints of Czerny's Gradus.
Thanks!

Take care,
Wim

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