Tuesday, July 6, 2010

After many weeks working through Clementi's Preludes and Exercises with a young student - a brilliant exploration of the particular intonations of the different keys on the piano, as well as of expressive hand positions, I took another look at Chopin's Preludes.

All that talk of Chopin thinking of Bach when he composed them: I have never understood it. I now believe he was thinking of Clementi.

Clementi is a composer who has been sorely misunderstood by generations of piano teachers after having been sorely resented (apparently) by Mozart who, unfortunately, put his disdain into writing to be smugly quoted ad infinitum. There is no competition between the two, to be sure. But Clementi was an immensely insightful composer whose witty explorations of the new instrument offer a lot to ponder.