A monferrina is an uptempo Italian folk dance in 6/8 time. Two collections of them are featured in this collection of Clementi piano music.
Clementi’s monferrinas are lively little diversions, each less than two minutes long. Nevertheless, within the confines of the form, Clementi manages a great deal of variety. That’s good since this album has eighteen of them.
In addition to the monferrinas and several other short works, the album includes Clementi’s unpublished 1765 keyboard sonata in A flat. The sonata owes much to the Galant style of Johann Christian Bach, though it hints at the more substantial sonatas to come. There’s a lot going on in this work — pretty impressive output for a thirteen-year-old boy.
Domenic Cheli is a young pianist who performs these works with an easy assurance. These are not major works, but Cheli gives them the attention they deserve. His light touch at times seems light-hearted as well.
You don’t have to be a Clementi completist to enjoy this release. It’s simply a pleasant listening experience for anyone who enjoys piano music.
Muzio Clementi: Monferinnas
Harpsichord Sonata in A flat major, WoO 13, Allegro and Finale in E flat major, WoO 22-23; Rondo in B flat major, WoO 8; Canon ad diapason in C major, WoO11; Tarantella in A minor, WoO 21; Six Monferrinas, WoO 15-20; Twelve Monferrinas, Op. 49; Fourteen Melodies of Different Nations, WoO 9: No. 5, Air russe
Dominic Cheli, piano