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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Clementi, Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 33, Nos, 2 and 3, etc., Stefan Chaplikov

Just a couple of days ago we mentioned Clementi's iconic Sonatina in the course of mentioning Satie's delightful pastiche of it in Joana Gama's worthy Satie.150 (see last month's listings). Today we happily encounter him again.  This time with a volume of his Keyboard Sonatas, including Op. 33, Nos. 2 and 3; Op. 46; Op. 25, Nos. 1 and 3 (Naxos 8.573712). It features pianist Stefan Chaplikov, who sparkles and bubbles his way through the five works, giving us a plein air refreshment that may be just what we need after a heavy dose of gloomy Romanticism or giddy sojourns through the outer space of High Modernism.

I was one of those students assigned the iconic Sonatina so many years ago, and I must say I came away with an appreciation of Clementi's sense of form and melodics. I've since never passed on an opportunity to hear more of his music. In the late '70s-early '80s I discovered his symphonies, and I knew then that he was more or less as accomplished as any of his era. (Who topped Mozart and Haydn though? Well they were supermen I suppose!) So fast forward some many years and I now hold in my hand this nice little volume of good cheer as it plays underneath my writing this morning.

If you listen closely to these works you might find as I did that we should probably included these examples among the very cream of Classical Era sonatas, along with those of Haydn, Mozart, CPE Bach, early Beethoven and Schubert and perhaps now we may also add Kozeluch and, perhaps Czerny but I must hear more of his.

The main idea is that these sonatas are uniformly well wrought, melodically inventive in the most freshening and refreshing of ways, and accordingly a beautiful listen when you need a change of pace. And who doesn't?

I cannot say to you that all must drop everything and get this volume. It is not that kind of release. However if you enjoy a very pianistic romp through some nicely turned works, you are sure to find this a pleasurable go. Definitely recommended.

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