Early Muzio Clementi keyboard sonatas have their appeal

This release is part of Naxos’ leisurely traversal through Muzio Clementi’s keyboard sonatas. This installment features sonatas from the early part of his career.

The Op. 2 sonatas were published in 1779, the Op. 1784. This was the time when Antonio Salieri was still a major composer. Mozart was up to 15 piano concertos; Haydn up to 72 symphonies.

The sonatas are all fairly short, many with just two movements. I was reminded of Haydn’s piano sonatas — if Haydn was more of a show-off. Quick runs up and down the keyboard abound, along with intricately fingered motifs and long, lingering trills.

This is the recording debut of prize-winning Sun-A Park. She performs these works with a deft, light touch, which is exactly what they need.

Some of the faster movements — as in the Sonata in B-flat major, Op. 12, No. 1 —  she takes at breakneck speeds. Her technique is more than up to the challenge. No matter how rapid the tempo, runs are clearly articulated and nicely phrased.

All in all, a strong debut for Sun-A Park, and some pleasant listening courtesy of Mssr. Clementi.

Muzio Clementi – Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 2, Op. 7, Op. 9, Op. 12
Sun-A Park, piano
Naxos 8.573940

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