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Muzio Clementi

January 23, 1752 - March 10, 1832
born in Rome, Italy, composed during the Classical period
Born shortly after Handel wrote his oratorio Jephtha and dead shortly after Berlioz wrote his Symphonie fantastique, Muzio Clementi failed to write anything equal to the originality of those two composers -- or, certainly, equal to the best of his closer contemporaries, Mozart and Haydn. Yet Clementi remains a significant figure for his pioneering work on behalf of the newfangled piano, that percussive, expressive instrument that quickly displaced the harpsichord at the end of the eighteenth century. His full-scale sonatas and small studies exploited the possibilities of the early piano and groomed the technique of early pianists, and led him to be known as "the father of the piano." His influence on Beethoven has likely been underestimated.

Clementi was a child prodigy, with an appointment as an organist at age 9 and an oratorio to his credit by the time he was 12. In 1766 Clementi's father was persuaded to take the boy to study in England, the country that would remain Clementi's base for the rest of his life. In the English countryside the youth undertook a rigid course of studies, emerging in 1773 for a spectacular debut in London as a composer and pianist. Had Clementi matured anywhere else in Europe, he might have limited himself to the organ and harpsichord; but the piano was enormously popular in England, and Clementi furthered his career by capitalizing on the instrument's expanded capabilities. In 1780, he went on tour to the Continental capitals; in Vienna, Emperor Joseph II instigated a friendly musical duel between Clementi and Mozart.

Clementi settled down in London in 1782, dividing his time between teaching (his pupils included Cramer, Meyerbeer, and Field), composing, and performing. In 1799, he co-founded a company that both published music and manufactured pianos. Toward the end of his life he traveled through Europe again and spent more and more time composing; during this time, he wrote several symphonies, but most have been lost. He is mainly remembered for his dozens of piano sonatas, and for his collection of studies, Gradus ad Parnassum (Steps Toward Parnassus), which has been the bane of piano students for two centuries and was parodied by Debussy in the opening movement of his Children's Corner. Clementi was the complete piano man, popularizing the instrument through his own performances, writing exercises to develop young pianists, writing sonatas for mature pianists to play, and manufacturing instruments for their use. ~ James Reel, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Clementi: Complete Orchestral Works

Disc 1
Title: Symphony In B Flat Major, Op. 18/1
Title: Symphony In D Major, Op. 18/2
Title: Minuetto Pastorale For Orchestra In D, WoO 36
Title: Piano Concerto In C Major (orchestrated By Johann Schenk)
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 1 In C Major, Woo 32 (Completed By A. Casella)
Title: Overture For Orchestra In C Major
Title: Symphony No. 3 In G Major ("Great National"), Woo 34
Disc 3
Title: Symphony No. 2 In D Major, Woo 33 (Incomplete)
Title: Overture For Orchestra In D Major
Title: Symphony No. 4 In D Major, Woo 35 (Incomplete)
x

Track List: Clementi: Piano Music

Title: Piano Sonata In G Major, Op. 25/2
Title: Piano Sonata In F Sharp Minor, Op. 25/5
Title: Piano Sonata In D Major, Op. 37/3
Title: Sonatinas (6) For Piano ("Progressive Sonatinas"), Op. 36
Title: Harpsichord (Piano) Sonata In B Flat Major, Op. 24/2
x

Track List: Clementi: Piano Sonatas

Disc 1
Title: Piano Sonata In G Minor ("Didone Abbandonata"), Op. 50/3
Title: Piano Sonata In A Major, Op. 33/1
Title: Piano Sonata In C Major (arranged From Piano Concerto), Op. 33/3
Title: Piano Sonata In F Sharp Minor, Op. 25/5
Disc 2
Title: Piano Sonata In B Minor, Op. 40/2
Title: Piano Sonata In A Major, Op. 25/4
Title: Harpsichord (Piano) Sonata In G Minor, Op. 7/3
Title: Harpsichord (Piano) Sonata In B Flat Major, Op. 24/2
x

Track List: Clementi: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 [United Kingdom]

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 1 In C Major, Woo 32 (Completed By A. Casella)
Title: Symphony No. 2 In D Major, Woo 33 (Incomplete)
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 3 In G Major ("Great National"), Woo 34
Title: Symphony No. 4 In D Major, Woo 35 (Incomplete)

Comments

HAHAHA. The first couple lines are so subjective and pejorative.
hilldrdr
One of the most underrated composers of the classical era.
Wow. Wow. Wow. I'm TOTALLY AWED!!!
Again. & Again. & Again....... . . . . . . . . . . . .
I love this song.
He was rumored to be the father of the piano because he had love affair with the harpsichord.
rpluta
I love his music.
ggiacumbo9 which he won the contest? Clementi?
Mozart was a bit jealous of Clementi's playing. He is said to have won the competition in front of Joseph II.Beethoven praised his work.
In a trend filled world of this "dub-step" I find it quite freeing to listen to beautiful work like this.
toreilly75
i agree that the pandora bio kinda/defini t e l y slights him. art is art. its a 21st century mandate to rank, and it sucks
toreilly75
newfangled
Clementi's special sound-world includes the lighter elements of Beethoven, the sparkle of CPE Bach, along with aspects of Mozart. A nice blend of lightness combined with elegant stately moments. Inspiring pieces that balance and uplift you.
whwbsn
His Pandora biography begins with what he failed to do -- to best the greatest composers of the classical and romanic eras. Why not lead with his fantatic accomplishme n t s ? ?
Quite Lovely, with intervals of intensity so very original & yet so simple.
kevbidgood
Peaceful, gentle and interesting. Great to keep on in the background. What's not to love?
My mom's maiden name is Clementi which makes me a descendent of Muzio Clementi. (Confirmed through genealogical studies.) I would love to find more of my relatives if anyone is out there. I wish I was this talented!
Giorgio Spadaro
I recently began to play Muzio Clementi Sonatinas and must admit I'm a work in progress, but they are extremely useful to a beginning pianist.
The trills in his arrangements are always challenging, but without them it would be bland. Bravo to Clementi - the silent genius.
moltoberraco - - - dont get me wrong, mozart was amazing and his music shows it. however, he was also a spoiled brat. the older, finer tuned Clementi gave him competition. there's no doubt mozart was jealous.
moltoberraco
I wonder why Mozart dissed him?
joan513
He was the mainstay of my early piano years - love it still.
I used to play Clementi. I hated it then but I love it now.
ihixon2
I've just started listening to classical music over the last few months, and today was the first time I've heard of Muzio Clementi and his Harpsichord (Piano) Sonata In B Flat Major is wonderful.
singingkay10
I play many of Clementis Sonatinas
pfweber2141
Clementi me fait penser a Franz Liszt, pour moi il fut le Paganini du Piano, pensees personnel seulement.
Clementi di Muzio fantastico!
arico.gabe
I think this guy is amazing. He shouldn't be compared to Mozart though, comparing anyone to that man, or other giants like Haydn would make anyone look bad by comparison.
ednbobbie
While Mr. Climenti doesn't make my "top five" list of favorite composers, I'm sure he's somewhere among the top ten. His music is dilightful; and I appreci-ate the fact that you play a lot of it. Thanks,
Ed
bridges_kevi n
Clementi is significant for his pioneering work on behalf of the piano. His full-scale sonatas and small studies exploited the possibilitie s of the early piano and groomed the technique of early pianists. He is known as "the father of the piano." His influence on Beethoven has likely been underestimat e d .

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