Magazine article Gramophone

Clementi

Magazine article Gramophone

Clementi

Article excerpt

Clementi

Piano Concerto, Op 33 No 3 (a). Minuetto pastorale, WO36. Symphonies, Op 18--No 1; No 2

(a) Bruno Canino pf Rome Symphony

Orchestra / Francesco La Vecchia

Naxos [B] 8 573273 (58' * DDD)

The single extant piano concerto of Clementi is this C major Concerto, and it survives only in a copy in the hand of Johann Schenk, one of Beethoven's teachers. Clementi converted it into a more saleable solo sonata, his Op 33 No 3 (not No 1 as Naxos's booklet has it), which you can hear on a superb recording by Howard Shelley (Vol 4 of the complete Clementi sonatas--Hyperion, 12/09) which captures not only the ideal piano sound for these works but also and more importantly the spirit of the piece.

The Italian players are placed in the audibly empty Auditorium di Via Conciliazione, Rome, as though for a concert to which no one has turned up. This may have indeed been the case, judging from the performance, Clementi's first-movement Allegro con spirito is more allegro con malvolentieri, which does nothing for a work that lacks the thematic attractions of other C major concertos such as K467 and K503 (composed about a decade earlier) or Beethoven's Op 15. …

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