Clementi Piano Sonatas
In his recent release of Clementi piano sonatas, Peter Katin has made a convincing case for playing this music on the fortepiano for the valuable musical insights which can be revealed by that instrument's specific tonal qualities. In the present instance, Maria Tipo makes an equally compelling case for the modern piano in a programme which shows both Clementi's broad talent for invention and expressive variety, and the extent of his output as a composer over some 40 years.
The relatively early G minor Sonata Op. 8 No. 1, like the F minor Sonata Op. 13 No. 6, is given here in Tipo's own edition. The recorded piano sound is immensely satisfying and, in the case of the F minor Sonata, the greater dynamic range of the modern instrument increases the music's dramatic impact over Katin's or Immerseel's authentic instrument versions, despite the structural contribution of the fortepiano's tonal variety in different registers. The F sharp minor Sonata, Op. 25 No. 5 provides an especially telling example of the differences between the two instruments. The lyrical expressiveness and richness of Clementi's harmonic language are particularly well suited to the modern piano's greater ability to sustain sound, but the double thirds, which are a feature of this piece's finale, have a more appealing lightness in the fortepiano versions.
The D major Sonata, Op. 40 No. 3 and the transcription of Mozart's aria, ''Batti, batti'' sound engagingly idiomatic from Tipo, and confirm her choice of the modern piano as wholly appropriate.'