Muzio Clementi  
Muzio Clementi
Muzio Clementi (24 January 1752 – 10 March 1832) was an Italian composer, pianist, pedagogue, conductor, music publisher, editor, and piano manufacturer. Born in Rome, he spent most of his life in England.
Encouraged to study music by his father, he was sponsored as a young composer by Sir Peter Beckford who took him to England to advance his studies. Later, he toured Europe numerous times from his long-time base in London. It was on one of these occasions in 1781 that he engaged in a piano competition with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Influenced by Domenico Scarlatti's harpsichord school and Haydn's classical school and by the stile galante of Johann Christian Bach and Ignazio Cirri, Clementi developed a fluent and technical legato style, which he passed on to a generation of pianists, including John Field, Johann Baptist Cramer, Ignaz Moscheles, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Carl Czerny. He was a notable influence on Ludwig van Beethoven.
Clementi also produced and promoted his own brand of pianos and was a notable music publisher. Because of this activity, many compositions by Clementi's contemporaries and earlier artists have stayed in the repertoire. Though the European reputation of Muzio Clementi was second only to Joseph Haydn in his day, his reputation languished for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Muzio Filippo Vincenzo Francesco Saverio Clementi (baptized Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius), was born in Rome, Italy, on 24 January 1752, and was baptized the following day at S. Lorenzo in Damaso. He was the eldest of the seven children of Nicolò Clementi (1720–1789), a noted silversmith, and Madalena, née Caisar (Magdalena Kaiser), who was Swiss. Nicolo soon recognized Muzio’s musical talent and arranged for private musical instruction with a relative, Antonio Baroni, the maestro di cappella at St. Peter’s Basilica.


At the age of seven Clementi began studies in figured bass with the organist Cordicelli, followed by voice lessons from Giuseppe Santarelli. A few years later, probably when he was 11 or 12, he was given counterpoint lessons by Gaetano Carpani. By age 13 Clementi had already composed an oratorio, Martirio de’ gloriosi santi Giuliano e Celso, and a mass. When he was 14, in January of 1766, he became organist of the parish San Lorenzo in Dámaso.

Move to England

In 1766, Sir Peter Beckford (1740–1811), a wealthy Englishman and cousin of the novelist William Thomas Beckford, twice Lord Mayor of London, visited Rome. He was impressed by the young Clementi's musical talent and negotiated with his father to take him to his estate, Steepleton Iwerne, north of Blandford Forum in Dorset, England. Beckford agreed to provide quarterly payments to sponsor the boy's musical education until he reached age 21. In return, he was expected to provide musical entertainment. For the next seven years Clementi lived, performed, and studied at the estate in Dorset. During this period, it appears, Clementi spent eight hours a day at the harpsichord, practicing the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, George Frideric Handel, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti and Bernardo Pasquini. His only compositions dated to this period are the Sonatas WO 13 and 14 and the Sei Sonate per clavicembalo o pianoforte, Op. 1.
In 1770 Clementi made his first public performance as an organist. The audience was reported to be impressed with his playing, thus beginning one of the outstandingly successful concert pianist careers of the period.
In 1774, Clementi was freed from his obligations to Peter Beckford. During the winter of 1774–1775 he moved to London, making his first appearance as a harpsichordist in a benefit concert on April 3, 1775. He made several public appearances in London as a solo harpsichordist at benefit concerts for two local musicians, a singer and a harpist, and served as conductor (from the keyboard) at the King's Theatre (Her Majesty's Theatre), Haymarket, for at least part of this time.


Clementi started a three year European tour in 1780, travelling to Paris, France, where he performed for Queen Marie Antoinette; Munich, Germany; and Salzburg, Austria. In Vienna, he agreed to enter a musical contest with Mozart for the entertainment of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and his guests on 24 December 1781, at the Viennese court. The composers were called upon to improvise and to perform selections from their own compositions. The Emperor diplomatically declared a tie.
January 12, 1782, Mozart reported to his father: "Clementi plays well, as far as execution with the right hand goes. His greatest strength lies in his passages in 3rds. Apart from that, he has not a kreuzer’s worth of taste or feeling - in short he is a mere mechanicus." In a subsequent letter, he wrote: "Clementi is a charlatan, like all Italians. He marks a piece presto but plays only allegro."
Clementi's impressions of Mozart, by contrast, were enthusiastic. Much later, the pianist Ludwig Berger recalled him saying of Mozart: "Until then I had never heard anyone play with such spirit and grace. I was particularly overwhelmed by an adagio and by several of his extempore variations for which the Emperor had chosen the theme, and which we were to devise alternately."
Despite later attempts to portray the two as rivals, there is no evidence that their meeting was not cordial. At the time Clementi was exploring a more virtuosic and flamboyant style, and this might explain Mozart's disparaging attitude. One of the pieces he performed was his Op.11 toccata, a display piece full of parallel thirds. It would appear that later on Mozart's opinion might have undergone some modification. As noted by Hermann Abert in his "W. A. Mozart", the set of variations K.500 of 1786 "includes a handful of novel pianistic effects that are foreign to Mozart's earlier style and that clearly reflect the influence of Clementi".
Mozart used the opening motif of Clementi's B-flat major sonata (Op. 24, No. 2) in his overture for The Magic Flute. It was not unusual for composers to borrow from one another, and this might be considered a compliment. Though Clementi noted in subsequent publications of his sonata that it had been written ten years before Mozart's opera—presumably to make clear who was borrowing from whom—Clementi retained an admiration for Mozart, as reflected in the large number of transcriptions he made of Mozart's music, among which is a piano solo version of the Zauberflöte overture.


From 1783, and for the next twenty years, Clementi stayed in England, playing the piano, conducting, and teaching. Several of his students include: Johann Baptist Cramer, Ignaz Moscheles, Therese Jansen Bartolozzi, Ludwig Berger (who went on to teach Felix Mendelssohn), and John Field (who, in his turn, would become a major influence on Frédéric Chopin).

Publishing and piano manufacturing

In 1790, Clementi made the decision to give up his performing career, possibly in order to bolster his reputation as a composer. In 1798 he took over the firm Longman and Broderip at 26 Cheapside (then the most prestigious shopping street in London), initially with James Longman, who left in 1801. Clementi also had offices at 195 Tottenham Court Road from 1806. The publication line, "Clementi & Co, & Clementi, Cheapside" appears on a lithograph, "Music" by W Sharp after J Wood, circa 1830s.
Clementi also began manufacturing pianos, but on 20 March 1807 a fire destroyed the warehouses occupied by his new firm in Tottenham Court Road, resulting in a loss of about ₤40,000. That same year, Clementi struck a deal with Ludwig van Beethoven, one of his greatest admirers], which gave him full publishing rights to all of Beethoven's music in England. He edited and interpreted Beethoven's music but has received criticism for editorial work such as making harmonic "corrections" to some of Beethoven's scores.
That Beethoven, in his later life, started to compose chamber music specifically for the British market may relate to the fact that his publisher lived in London.
In 1810, Clementi stopped concertizing in order to devote his time to composition and to piano making. On 24 January 1813, together with a group of prominent professional musicians in England, he founded the "Philharmonic Society of London", which became the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1912. In 1813 Clementi was appointed a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music.
Meanwhile, his pianoforte business had flourished, affording him an increasingly elegant lifestyle. As an inventor and skilled mechanic he made important improvements in the construction of the piano, some of which have become standard in instruments to this day.

Final years

At the end of 1816 Clementi made another trip to the continent to present his new works, particularly at the Concerts Spirituels in Paris. He returned to London in June 1818, after stopping off in Frankfurt. In 1821 he once again returned to Paris, conducting his symphonies in Munich and Leipzig. In London in 1824 his symphonies were featured in five of the six programs at the 'Concerts of Ancient and Modern Music' at the King's Theatre.
In 1826 Clementi completed his collection of keyboard studies, Gradus ad Parnassum, and set off for Paris with the intention of publishing the third volume of the work simultaneously in Paris, London and Leipzig. After staying in Baden and most likely making another visit to Italy, he returned to London in the autumn of 1827.
On 17 December 1827, a large banquet was organised by Johann Baptist Cramer and Ignaz Moscheles in his honor at the Hotel Albion. Moscheles, in his diary, says that on that occasion Clementi improvised at the piano on a theme by George Frideric Handel. In 1828 he made his last public appearance at the opening concert of the Philharmonic Society. In 1830 he retired from the Society.
Clementi moved to the outskirts of Lichfield, Staffordshire, in 1830, and spent his final years in Evesham, Worcestershire, where, on 10 March 1832, after a short illness, he died. He was eighty years old. On 29 March 1832, he was buried at Westminster Abbey. Accompanying his body were three of his students: Johann Baptist Cramer, John Field and Ignaz Moscheles. He had been married three times and had five children, a son Carl by his second wife Caroline Lehmann, the rest, Vincent, Caecilia, Caroline and John Muzio by his third and final wife, Emma Gisborne.


As a composer of Classical piano sonatas, Clementi was among the first to create keyboard works expressly for the capabilities of the pianoforte. He has been called "Father of the Pianoforte".
Of Clementi's playing in his youth, Moscheles wrote that it was "marked by a most beautiful legato, a supple touch in lively passages, and a most unfailing technique." Domenico Scarlatti may be said to have closed the old and Clementi to have founded the newer school of technique on the piano.
Debussy's piece "Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum" (the first movement of his suite Children's Corner) makes playful allusion to Clementi's collection of Etudes Gradus ad Parnassum.
Clementi composed almost 110 piano sonatas. Some of the earlier and easier ones were later classified as sonatinas after the success of his Sonatinas Op. 36. Erik Satie, a contemporary of Debussy, would later parody these sonatinas (specifically the Sonatina Op. 36, No. 1) in his Sonatine bureaucratique. However, most of Clementi's sonatas are more difficult to play than those of Mozart, who wrote in a letter to his sister that he would prefer her not to play Clementi's sonatas due to their jumped runs, and wide stretches and chords, which he thought might ruin the natural lightness of her hand.
In addition to the piano solo repertoire, Clementi wrote a great deal of other music, including several recently pieced together, long worked on but slightly unfinished symphonies. A likely reason that these later works were not published in Clementi's lifetime is that he kept revising them.
Clementi's influence extended well into the 19th century, with composers using his sonatas as models for their keyboard compositions. Ludwig van Beethoven, in particular, had the highest regard for Clementi. Beethoven often played Clementi sonatas and often a volume of them was on his music stand. Beethoven recommended these works to many people including his nephew Karl. A 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. 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." Moscheles' edition of Schindler's biography quotes the latter 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 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."
Vladimir Horowitz developed a special fondness for Clementi's work after his wife, Wanda Toscanini, bought him Clementi's complete works. He recorded five of Clementi's Sonatas along with shorter pieces.
With ministerial decree dated 20 March 2008, the Opera Omnia of the composer Muzio Clementi were promoted to the status of Italian National Edition. The steering committee of the National Edition consisting of the scholars Andrea Coen (Rome), Roberto De Caro (Bologna), Roberto Illiano (Lucca — President), Leon B. Plantinga (New Haven, CT), David Rowland (Milton Keynes, UK), Luca Sala (Paris/Poitiers, Secretary and Treasurer), Massimiliano Sala (Pistoia, Vice-President), Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald (Cambridge, UK) and Valeria Tarsetti (Bologna).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Clementi was the eldest son of a Roman silversmith who was also a keen amateur musician. By the age of seven he was receiving organ lessons, and in open competition with adults was appointed the local church organist. At the age of 14 he went to study in England, after the Englishman Peter Beckford heard him play and was impressed enough to become his patron. Clementi made his first London appearance in 1775. In 1779 he published his six Piano sonatas Opus 2; these established the piano sonata as distinct from the harpsichord sonata and made Clementi's reputation.

In 1781 he visited Europe and was astonished in France by the excitement his work generated. He engaged in public competition with other pianists, including the famous "piano duel" with Mozart, in which each player improvised upon his own compositions. Neither was declared outright winner: Mozart considered Clementi "a Charlatan - like all Italians", while Clementi was more gracious about Mozart's gifts.

Clementi continued his travels in Europe and wrote more sonatas (his final tally was over 100). 13y adding a third movement to the two that were typical of the Italian style, Clementi brought the sonata to a new level of development. He settled in

London in spring 1785 and remained there for the next 20 years, re-establishing old links with the Hanover Concert series and enjoying rising status as a soloist and conductor. He turned his attentions to composing symphonies, but his works suffered from comparison with those of the hugely revered Haydn, who visited London in 1791 and probably contributed to Clementi's lack of success. None of his own efforts was published during his lifetime.

In 1802, by now a partner in a successful piano manufacturing business, Cleincnti took his ex-pupil John Field on a tour of Europe to promote pianos. Field remained in St Petersburg while Clementi continued travelling. In 1810 he returned to London, continuing to prove himself a shrewd businessman. Approaching 60, he married Emma Gisborne, with whom he had four children. He continued to compose and in 1813 joined the board of the Philharmonic Society. He made visits abroad in pursuit of a wider audience for his symphonies, but by now the Continent was enraptured by Beethoven — some of whose works Clementi published.

In 1817 Clementi began Gradus ad Parnassum, a volume of studies and five-finger exercises still in use today as a piano tutor and responsible for dementi's influence on generations of pianists (although Debussy parodied him m his piano piece Dr Gradus ad Parnassum). He retired to Evesham m Worcestershire and died after a short illness at the age of 80.

Muzio Clementi: The Six Sonatinas Op. 36 for Piano
The Six Sonatinas Op. 36 for Piano

Sonatina No. 1 in C Major
00:08 I. Allegro
01:32 II. Andante
03:03 III. Vivace

Sonatina No. 2 in G Major
00:04 I. Allegretto
06:29 II. Allegretto
07:54 III. Allegro

Sonatina No. 3 in C Major
09:25 I. Spiritoso
13:07 II. Un poco adagio
14:33 III. Allegro

Sonatina No. 4 in F Major
15:53 I. Con spirito
19:04 II. Andante con espressione
20:53 III. Allegro vivace

Sonatina No. 5 In G Major
22:31 I. Presto
26:37 II. Allegro moderato
28:16 III. Allegro di molto

Sonatina No. 6 in D Major
30:45 I. Allegro con spirito
36:03 II. Allegro spiritoso

Muzio Clementi - Sonatina op. 36 n. 1 in do maggiore
Degre plays on piano (YAMAHA DGX - 620) one of the most famous Muzio Clementi's sonatinas.
Muzio Clementi Sonatas for Flute and Piano,Laura Pontecorvo & Andrea Coen
Muzio Clementi - Symphony No.1 in C-major, WoO 32
Mov.I: Larghetto - Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Andante con moto 08:12
Mov.III: Minuetto: Allegretto - Trio 13:56
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro vivace 18:44

Orchestra: The Philharmonia

Conductor: Francesco d'Avalos

Muzio Clementi - Symphony No.2 in D-major, WoO 33
Mov.I: Adagio - Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Larghetto cantabile 08:39
Mov.III: Menuetto: Allegretto & Trio 14:12
Mov.IV: Finale: Presto 18:22

Orchestra: The Philharmonia

Conductor: Francesco d'Avalos

Muzio Clementi - Symphony No.3 in G-major "The Great national", WoO 34
Mov.I: Andante sostenuto - Allegro con brio 00:00
Mov.II: Andante un poco mosso 11:12
Mov.III: Minuetto: Allegretto - Trio 19:44
Mov.IV: Finale: Vivace 24:23

Orchestra: The Philharmonia

Conductor: Francesco d'Avalos

Muzio Clementi - Symphony No.4 in D-major, WoO 35
Mov.I: Andante sostenuto - Allegro vivace 00:00
Mov.II: Andante cantabile 10:07
Mov.III: Menuetto: Allegretto moderato & Trio 16:47
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro vivace 21:53

Orchestra: The Philharmonia

Conductor: Francesco d'Avalos

Muzio Clementi Piano Works, Andreas Staier on Broadwood 1802
Maria Tipo plays Clementi "Didone abbandonata"
Clementi Piano Sonata Op.50 No.3 ("Didone abbandonata")
(composed ~ 1800 - published 1821)
1) Largo patetico e sostenuto - Allegro ma con espressione
2) Adagio dolente 11:45
3) Allegro agitato, e con disperazione 16:29

Maria Tipo

Clementi - Piano sonata op.34 n°2 - Horowitz
Piano sonata op.34 n°2

I. Largo. Allegro con fuoco 0:00
II. Poco adagio 9:25
III. Allegro molto 15:22

Vladimir Horowitz
Studio recording, 16 & 21.X.1954

Clementi - Piano sonata op.14 n°3 - Horowitz
Piano sonata op.14 n°3

I. Allegro agitato 0:00
II. Largo e sostenuto 4:15
III. Presto 9:17

Vladimir Horowitz
Studio recording, 16 & 21.X.1954

Clementi - Piano Concerto in C major - Felicja Blumental
Felicja Blumental (1908-1991)
Prague New Chamber Orchestra / Alberto Zedda
Rec. 1969

00:00 1. Allegro con spirito
09:44 2. Adagio cantabile con grande espressione
16:28 3. Presto

Muzio Clementi - Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 12 No. 1
Piano Sonata Op. 12 No. 1
in B-flat Major / B-Dur / en si bémol majeur

1. Presto
2. Larghetto con espressione
3. Lindor with variations : Allegretto

Pietro Spada, Piano

Muzio Clementi - Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, op. 8 no. 3
Piano Sonata op. 8 no. 3
in B-flat Major / B-Dur / en Si b majeur

1. Presto
2. Minuetto: Allegretto
3. Rondeau: Allegretto grazioso

Pietro Spada, piano

Pietro Spada plays Clementi Sonata in G minor Op. 50 No. 3
1. Largo patetico e sostenuto. Allegro ma con espressione
2. Adagio dolente (12:27)
3. Allegro agitato e con disperazione (18:11)
Muzio Clementi - Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, op. 7 no. 1
Piano Sonata op. 7 no. 1
in E-flat Major / Es-Dur / en Mi b majeur

1. Allegro
2. Mesto
3. Allegretto spiritoso

Pietro Spada, piano

Muzio Clementi - Piano Sonata in G minor, op. 8 no. 1
Piano Sonata op. 8 no. 3
in B-flat Major / B-Dur / en Si b majeur

1. Allegro
2. Andante cantabile
3. Presto

Pietro Spada, piano

Muzio Clementi - Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 20
Piano Sonata, Op. 20
in C Major / C-Dur / en ut majeur

Pietro Spada, Piano

Muzio Clementi - Piano Sonata in F sharp minor Op.26 n.2, Finale (Roberto Giordano)
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