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Mozart, Clementi – Piano Sonatas & Fantasy – Aldo Ciccolini (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Mozart, Clementi – Piano Sonatas & Fantasy – Aldo Ciccolini (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 01:10:57 minutes | 1,1 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © La Dolce Volta
Recorded: Paris from 7 to 9 December 2011 (Église Réformée de l’Annonciation)

Clementi is now known mainly for his pedagogical works, but he is a major figure in the history of music for the piano, and was greatly admired by Beethoven for example.

Though Ciccolini has always held his Sonata Op.34 No. 2 close to his heart, he had never recorded it before. He has now – and how sumptuously! – grouping it with works by Mozart.

After a first and highly-praised recording devoted to Mozart (La Dolce Volta LDV 03), he has now tackled his Sonata KV 332 and the celebrated diptych comprising Fantasy in C Minor KV 475 and Sonata in C Minor KV 457. Through their expressive depths and their pre-romantic accents, these Mozart works fit nicely with Clementi’s amazing Sonata Op.34 No.2.

“One shouldn’t be impatient in life, certain things demand a gestation period. I’m not impatient to play something, I need the time to find myself”, says Aldo Ciccolini.

Mozart and Clementi may have been serious rivals, yet Aldo Ciccolini lavishes equal amounts of loving care and seriousness of purpose on their respective sonatas. Compared alongside his early 1990s Mozart cycle interpretations on the Koch Discovery label (long out of print, unfortunately), Ciccolini’s K. 332 and K. 475/457 Fantasy and Sonata have grown slower, starker, more dynamically contrasted without sounding extreme or contrived, and more refined in detail. The C minor sonata first movement’s trills and roulades boast impressive finesse, as do the recapitulation’s broken chords, while the central slow movement’s exquisitely shaded right-hand legato line is supported by a subtly contoured left-hand Alberti bass that assiduously points up harmonic felicities.

At 87, Ciccolini still can toss off K. 332’s virtuosic finale with sparkle and sheen, although the 88-year-old Earl Wild’s recording is a bit crisper and lighter in texture. However, Ciccolini’s lyrical, songful shaping of the Clementi G minor sonata’s surface bravura liberates the music from the square-cut barlines: listen to the finale’s gorgeously aligned repeated-note phrases, for example. The pianist also hammers out the first-movement introduction with an almost crude defiance that makes you sit up and take notice. The engineering is full-bodied and alive, but loud passages sound more metallic and monochrome than what you usually hear from this pianist in person. In any event, Ciccolini’s remarkable artistic Indian Summer shows no signs of waning. –Jed Distler, ClassicsToday

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
1 Fantasy No.4 in C Minor K.475 12’13
Piano Sonata No.14 in C Minor K.457
2 Molto allegro 6’40
3 Adagio 7’18
3 Allegro assai 5’45
Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)
Piano Sonata in G Minor, Op.34 No.2
5 Largo e sostenuto. Allegro con fuoco 8’56
6 Un poco adagio 6’39
7 Molto allegro 6’32
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Piano Sonata No.12 in F Major K.332
8 Allegro 7’16
9 Adagio 4’39
10 Allegro assai 4’59

Aldo Ciccolini, piano


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