Muzio Clementi was born four years before Mozart and outlived Beethoven by five. Thus the Italian pianist and composer helped fashion the entire Classical era in music. Following our first volume of selected piano sonatas from 1768-85, advanced pianists can become acquainted in this second volume with the unique features of eight later, harder-to-play sonatas from the second half of the composer’s creative period (1790-1805). Worthy of particular mention is the concluding Sonata in A major from Clementi’s last, crowning sonata collection, the opus 50. Dedicated to the congenial Luigi Cherubini, it combines poetry, deep earnestness, compositional artistry, and pianistic brilliance.
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The sonatas in the present volume come from the second half of Muzio Clementi’s creative life. Most of them – perhaps all of them – were composed within the fifteen years between 1790 and 1805. It is likely that the first four sonatas had been written only shortly before they were published in London. Opus 25 appeared in 1790, Opus 34 in 1795, and Opus 37 in 1798. In … more
About the composer
A composer, pianist, keyboard-instrument manufacturer, and music publisher from Italy. His volumes of piano music, foremost among them the exercises from Gradus ad Parnassum, op. 44, continue to occupy a prominent position in piano pedagogy. As a manufacturer of keyboard instruments he contributed to the further development of the pianoforte. His efforts as a publisher included helping to establish the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach throughout the world, and fostered the rediscovery of other Baroque composers. He mainly composed works for keyboard instruments, as well as orchestral and chamber music.
|1752||Born in Rome on January 23. First musical instruction from Antonio Boroni and others.|
|from 1766||He is appointed organist at the church of San Lorenzo in Damaso for eight months. Thereafter he enters the musical service of the aristocrat Peter Beckford at his manorial home at Steepleton Iwerne in southern England.|
|from 1775||through active concertgiving in London he establishes himself as a piano virtuoso.|
|from 1780||A longer concert tour leads him, among other places, to Paris and Vienna, where he is introduced at court.|
|1781||On December 24, he enters a virtuoso competition against Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart initiated by Emperor Joseph II.|
|from 1785||He is principal composer for the Hanover Square Grand Professional Concerts in London.|
|from 1802||An eight-year business trip as publisher and keyboard manufacturer takes him through Europe. During this time his pupils, including John Field, present his keyboard instruments.|
|1813–24||He is director of the Royal Philharmonic Society in London.|
|1814||On December 7 he becomes a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.|
|1832||Dies in Evesham (Worcestershire) on March 10.|