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I've seen numerous threads on this forum of people stating that they hate Clementi. I wasn't made clear, or I cannot remember as to why this is so. I personally like his sonatinas, but hey.


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Perhaps it's because so many of us played so many of them in lessons as teens! I haven't read the other threads on this topic, but I know many people find them simplistic compared to Scarlatti or Haydn, for example. I think Clementi is a great starting point for students who are ready for a sonata, and I think more of us would find them charming if we hadn't heard them a million times. I look at them as a stepping stone...

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I love the Clementi sonatinas. They're fantastic teaching material and great fun to play. I'm also a big fan of Kuhlau's as well. One of my favorite editions was edited and recorded by one of our resident concert pianists (Jeffrey Biegel).

It's published by Schirmer, and the recordings are very, very nicely done.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Played the middle movement of one in a recital on monday, great stuff.

I bet the thirds throw some people off.

Matt

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I have a Schirmer also, but I guess mine predates Biegel's. Mine is edited by Klee, Kohler and Ruthardt and the price on the cover is $1.00!! It's been used so much that the pages are yellowed and the binding is almost shot. Perhaps I should invest in Biegel's. Might be interesting to see the differences. I'll check out his recording too.

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I think he may be much, much underrated by many. If you only know the Gradus, and the op. 36 sonatinas, which are very charming, you have not discovered the bulk of his output.

Maybe not only the Gradus, but also Mozart hurt his reputation...he called him "a mere craftsman with no taste nor emotion" (not sure of the translation - "ein blosser Mechanicus") and other nasty things, but it may be partly prompted by a "piano duel" which ended in a draw (hard to take for Mozart who was used to be in the focus of interest). Still, the opening theme from Clementi's B flat major sonata op. 47/2 seems to have appealed to Mozart - he took it for the magic flute Ouverture (albeit in a polyphonic way which was not foreseen in the original).

Besides much profound and beautiful music in his sonatas, Clementi also did some quite progressive experiments, for example in the Capriccio op. 47/2. Look at the 1st page - 5/4 meter and tonal meandering between C major and b minor was not fully en vogue yet at this time... smile

A good way to start looking into Clementi are Horowitz's recordings, of course.

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I'm working on clementi and they are pretty good.

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I'm still not made clear.. I know people think he is 'simplistic', but is that it?


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I love Clememti's sonatinas! THey are wonderful for the early intermediate-intermediate player like myself!! Simple though they are, they are wonderful 'stepping stones', as heidiv put it.


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I'm still not made clear.. I know people think he is 'simplistic', but is that it?


Clementi wrote over 60 sonatas and dozens of other works. I don't think it makes sense to talk about an output of this size and diversity in terms of a single adjective.

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pianovirus, I never intended to personally describe Clementi as 'simplistic'. I am only quoting what heidiv had said earlier. The reason why I made that statement above is because I would like to know why exactly do people think so.


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I personally think it is lack of exposure - people only seem to be exposed to his smaller works and as such he may be viewed as a composer who only wrote small, simplistic works for beginners. But he wrote a lot more than that, and much of it is quite good, in my humble opinion. Check out his Sonata quasi Concerto (Horowitz has a good recording of that one), good stuff...


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I learned all the sonatinas when I was in my teens. At that time in my life they seemed pretty dry. Now in my dotage, I've learned to appreciate how pretty they are and I thorougly enjoy reading through them. I've also fooled around with some of the sonatas. IMO they're not as gorgeous as the Mozart sonatas, but worth a look.


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Originally Posted by Kreisler
I love the Clementi sonatinas. They're fantastic teaching material and great fun to play. I'm also a big fan of Kuhlau's as well.


I agree on all of these points (although I don't teach). I love playing the Clementi sonatinas, even though they are quite easy technically. I didn't know the Kuhlau sonatinas until my daughter's teacher assigned a couple to her a few years back. Those are very nice pieces, and are generally a step up technically from the Clementi.

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Clementi's Piano Concerto (later arranged as the Sonata quasi Concerto that 8ude mentioned) is quite a good piece. Too bad it isn't in the standard repertoire.

Oh, and since Kuhlau has been mentioned, I will say now that one really doesn't know him until one explores his flute works. Some of his sonatas for flute and piano really make it clear why he was known as "the Beethoven of the flute."


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I have a recording of Michelangeli playing a Clementi Sonata ( I can't remember which off hand ), and I just adore it - both composition and recording! It's a very charming piece


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I agree with Mozart. I think we can trust his judgment.

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I like Clementi's sonatas and I've had the honor of playing them on a piano built by his company.

Clementi, like Czerny, and many other composers become infamous, or famous depending upon how you view them, for a small amount of their original output.

John


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Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

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"I agree with Mozart. I think we can trust his judgment."

Or we could take Beethoven's viewpoint; he thought otherwise.

Well, each to his own. Still, all these 200 years later, he's still in the game.


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His prelude in D minor is a favorite of mine.

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