Today's disk gives us a picture of the breadth of Clementi's music via a nice selection of his Sonatas for Piano and Violin (Newton Classics 8802110), ably played by Massimo Anfossi at the piano and Mario Vassilev on the violin.
It's no mistake that these works list the piano before the violin in their titles. The piano part is by far the more brilliantly conceived. The violin takes a structurally important role, plays a fundamental part in the thematic unravelling of each movement. But the piano takes on a more virtuoso, elaborated function in these duets.
Once you get used to that there is much lyrical and brio presence to these works and the duo at hand. Clementi was a crown jewel of the classical movement, appreciated by both Mozart and Beethoven and a strong influence on their music.
Listening today you take in all the complexities and fundamental structural brilliance of the music. We perhaps now can appreciate more than ever how important his music was to the development of the centrality of the pianoforte in classical music. Of course perhaps most importantly the music itself is a joy to hear.
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