Tag Archives: Muzio Clementi

The ‘father of the pianoforte’

In April 1784 Muzio Clementi set out for Lyon to see a woman Marie Victoire Imbert-Colomés, with whom he had fallen in love, but after a stay in Bern, he returned to London before the end of the year. What happened between them I don’t know, but whatever it was, it may have inspired him to write the “Piano Sonata Op. 13 No. 6”, a piece of piano brilliance, with so much emotion and temperament, that show the direction of piano music to come in a near future, especially with Beethoven.

Clementi (1752-1832) is not very well known today, you could say it was his bad luck that he lived and performed at the same time as Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and Mozart (1756-1791).
But he was very influential, Anton Schindler, Beethoven’s assistant wrote : “He {Beethoven} had the greatest admiration for these sonatas, considering them the most beautiful, the most pianistic of works” And “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.”

Clementi is first and foremost known for his piano sonates, and the fact that he was a pioneer in promoting the piano, a new instrument at the time. (he was also an instrument maker). He wrote a lot of different music, 6 symphonies, 2 overtures, 1 piano concerto, several chamber works, and much more.
His symphonie no 4, did not gain the popularity enjoyed by his piano works, and was not published at the time. In recent years his symphonies, have begun to receive a more favorable reputation.