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CLEMENTI: Piano Sonatas, in g; in C; in g; in G – Ian Hominick, p. – MSR Classics

CLEMENTI: Piano Sonatas, in g, Op. 7/3; in f, Op. 13/6; in C, Op. 33/3; in g, Op. 8/1; in G, Op. 37/2 – Ian Hominick, p. – MSR Classics MS 1475, 76:27 [Distr. by Albany] ***1/2:

The most exposure most people get to the music of Clementi is to his Sonatinas, staples of the beginning piano literature, but there is much more than that to his piano work. I mentioned in a review of Volume Five of Howard Shelly’s complete traversal that one didn’t really need all of the Clementi sonatas to be happy—and Shelly’s six volumes are mostly two-disc sets, so there is a lot—and along comes this disc by Canadian pianist Hominick, now teaching in Mississippi, of a wide selection spanning early to later works, and giving a decent impression of what is there. I can’t say that I prefer this to the Shelly—his readings are generally more spirited, and the sonics are superior—but that’s not to disparage what we have here either. I like Hominick’s way with the music, always considered and gracious in terms of line and emotional curve, even if what I sense is lacking is a complete immersion into some of the storminess of this music. Yes, you heard it here first, Clementi had that side to him, and even Mozart was forced to admit it, though he wasn’t that impressed—or at least he said he wasn’t—with Clementi’s playing. Well we can’t all live up to that sort of criticism can we? But the sunny as well as the passionate is found in this music, and sometimes I am not sure that Mr. Hominick finds it. But when he does latch on to it the results are quite enjoyable, and he knows the music very well.

As I said, one album of this might be enough for most people unless you really develop a need for more Clementi—and he is worthwhile, no mistake—and this could be that album.

—Steven Ritter

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