M. Clementi :: Sonata opus 2/2 in A Major (1782)
0:12 Allegro assai
When I was in conservatory, back in the previous century, the only context in which I ever heard the name of Clementi was during the piano methodology class, in which we were prepared to become good teachers, an educational part that can not be emphasised enough. Clementi was mentioned there in a list of pieces... for first years pianists. And then only his sonatina's, of which the first one in C major (pam papapampam pam papapampam) is probably one of the best known classical pieces of all.
When I left the conservatory, somewhere late 20th century, with a master's degree both in organ and piano, and eight years of study, I had no idea who Clementi was. With internet in that pre-develloped time still in its infancy, it was not at all obvious to visit imslp, which at that time may even did not exist, or at least not in the size we know that wonderful platform today. And Mister Google was only dreaming at night of the position and functionality it has anno 2015.
But moreover, why would I ever be interested in Clementi? The composer of pam papapampam? And besides, his works (sonata's) were not available in regular print, as far as I know, and they only recently were published (or still are to be published) by a incredible Italian initiative (http://www.muzioclementi.com/).
It didn't change when I could by an old score of Breitkopf & Härtel, the one you see in this video), part I of Clementi's sonata's. Ah? He did write sonata's? Well... In those days (we probably entered the 21st century just), I played the Erard piano a lot, and frankly, I was not impressed. As beautiful as my Erard is (you can listen to the instrument here, an 18th century instrument or copy can add extra colour to that music, and sometimes, you need just that little extra to turn that little knob in your head that enables you to recognize the qualities of unknown music, written in a rather unfamiliar style. It's hard to explain why, but he/she who has experienced this, knows what I'm talking about.
The change towards Clementi came only when I had my clavichord for a while, discovering the music of Beethoven on it, and from an eagerness to go beyond that. Strange, that I then placed Clementi beyond Beehoven, he, being the elder of the second immortal "B" by 18 years!
I must say, playing that first volume was an eye (ear) opener for me. I was literally shaking, the more that the style, tone, and technique of that music (opus 2 = 1782!) was renewing in a way one could hardly believe.
In this music, we hear the later Beethoven already, but really later Beethoven... and we face a technique, scales, thirds, octave playing, that even could refer to the young Franz Liszt.
1782: publish date, a few months after the famous meeting with Mozart... what must the young master have really thought when he faced this Italian man? I'll make a vlog on my idea's (imagination) on that topic, very soon, promised.
As in more sonata's than this one, you sometimes have to wait until the magic happens. Clementi, in my eyes, did not care too much on how long his music would stand in public opinion, he did not polish until every detail was perfectly placed, as Mozart did, and certainly Beethoven would do. Clementi was a genius, spreading his geniality as flowers their pollen, with unique odour and beauty, not caring to much where his sounds will travel to.
To conclude this: The Breitkopf edition from which I play (somewhere mid 19th century I suppose), indicates this sonata as being opus 2/2. Between brackets there is: Oeuvres compl. Cah. III N°5, and through fb, Daniel Bernhardsson let me know that there is also an index for this piece as opus 2/4.
I look it up sometimes, or let you know once I've saved enough money to buy the opera omnia, where it definitely will notated correctly!
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