52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832)
Preludio alla Haydn in C major
Sonata in F minor (c. 1778)
Capriccio in B flat major (1787)
Sonata in G minor (1795)
Preludio alla Mozart in A major
Sonata in F major (1794)
Fantasy with Variations on ‘Au Clair de la Lune’
Andreas Saier, fortepiano
Recorded February 1999, Studio Deutschland Radio, Köln
WARNER ELATUS 256460676-2 [67.25]


Muzio Clementi has much in common with Antonio Salieri, a composer of piano music who was and has been overshadowed by Mozart and Beethoven, whereas Salieri was a composer of operas who has been overshadowed by Mozart. What this enterprising recital tells us is that Clementi remains well worth hearing today.

This is a full and imaginatively planned recital, covering the range of Clementi’s style and offering the listener a satisfying experience, whether taken in whole or in part. For this credit should also be given to the Warner Classics recording team, the producer Uwe Walter and the engineer Tobias Lehmann. For the tricky business of creating an appropriate acoustic and balance to give a pleasing sound to a fortepiano has been handled with the utmost assurance. This has contributed significantly to the success of the venture.

None of this is to detract from the stylish and skilful playing of Andreas Staier. Like Clementi, he seems most at ease when bright, clear textures and fast tempi are the order of the day. Accordingly the allegros fare well, particularly in the fiery G minor Sonata, where some of the playing and piano writing is particularly exciting.

Clementi seems less convincing when it comes to sustaining the tensions across a longer span in slow music. Clearly this puts extra strain on both the player and the instrument, and while some of the ideas themselves sound distinctive, even compelling, the longer-term considerations of tension and line do come into question.

That point made – and it is made only as a relative comment – this disc is well worth acquiring by anyone interested in exploring interesting byways of the repertory. It also tells us much about the nature of piano music during the Classical Period. Clementi in his time was a major international celebrity, and hearing these performances makes it easy to understand why.

Terry Barfoot


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.