Wolfmusic Publications, Ltd.Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)View and Listen to piano sonatas of Muzio Clementi"The Rediscovered Piano Sonatas" of Muzio Clementi  
Muzio Clementi Biography
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)

The composer of the definitive Classical piano sonata, Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) was the first  to create keyboard works expressly for the capabilities of the pianoforte.  Acclaimed as the father of the pianoforte and modern piano technique, this complex and influential musician was also the first virtuoso on the instrument. Clementi was a celebrated composer and teacher,  orchestral conductor, symphonic composer,  music publisher, and piano manufacturer.

Clementi's influence extended well into the 19th century, with composers using his sonatas as models for their keyboard compositions.  Beethoven, in particular, had the highest regard for Clementi and  not only admired his piano sonatas but placed them above those of Mozart in importance.

The most accurate description of Beethoven's regard for Clementi's music can be found in the testimony of his assistant, Anton Schindler, who wrote "He {Beethoven} had the greatest admiration for these sonatas, considering them the most beautiful, the most pianistic of works, both for their lovely, pleasing, original melodies and for the consistent, easily followed form of each movement.  Beethoven had but little liking for Mozart's piano music, and the musical education of his beloved nephew was confined for many years almost exclusively to the playing of Clementi sonatas." (Beethoven as I Knew Him, ed. Donald M. McArdle, trans. Constance Jolly, Chapel Hill and London, 1966).

Schindler continues with reference to Beethoven's fondness for Clementi's piano sonatas: "For these he had the greatest preference and placed them in the front rank of pieces appropriate to the development of fine piano playing, as much for their lovely, pleasing, fresh melodies as for the well knit, fluent forms of all the movements."

In Moscheles edition of Schindler's biography he quotes Schindler as follows:
"Among all the masters who have written for pianoforte, Beethoven assigned to Clementi the very foremost rank.  He considered his works excellent as studies for practice, for the formation of a pure taste, and as truly beautiful subjects for performance.  Beethoven used to say...'They who thoroughly study Clementi, at the same time make themselves acquainted with Mozart and other composers; but the converse is not the fact.' "

Carl Czerny (1791-1857), a student of Beethoven, also had the highest regard for Clementi's piano sonatas and used them successfully in his teaching of Franz Liszt. Czerny referred to Clementi as "the foremost pianist of his time."

To view and listen to portions of the sonatas from "The Rediscovered Piano Sonatas, Volume I," click on AUDIO above.

The SCORES page contains information about our Clementi piano music edition.

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