Critique: Clementi on a Clementi

"Marina Rodríguez Brià takes us along with Clementi from a torrential frenzy to the most refined subtleness. A true delight."

Clementi on a Clementi

Nature manifests itself, among other aspects, through sounds like the singing of birds or the rustling of leaves stirred by the wind. With sounds, we humans have created languages to communicate through words, but also the music, which, along the centuries, has been shaping an essential heritage to explain human nature. From the limits of what we are, music gets us to take part in absolute beauty, which is greater than our personal existence.The initiatives that help us to go further into the understanding of works and composers that have strongly influenced the development of music need to be welcomed with joy. When a virtuoso makes a flawless performance of an historical composition, the music, beyond the notes transcribed in a sheet music, exists again to the fullest and we feel immersed in the magic of reliving the aesthetical and spiritual emotions shared with those who listened to it before.Among the new album releases this year there is one that draws attention: a brilliant recording by Marina Rodríguez Brià with works of Muzio Clementi (Rome, 1752–Evesham, 1832) performed on one of the pianos from his own factory. Marina Rodríguez had already made in 1999 a first recording of Clementi with an 1831 Miguel Slocker square piano that is part of the instrument collection of the Music Museum of Barcelona. But the fact that Clementi was a piano manufacturer, in addition to being a composer and a pianist, made Marina Rodríguez Brià conceal this project that could now be made in an exquisite and convenient way thanks to the involvement of Anna Cuatrecasas, owner of a Clementi & Co square piano that experts have dated to 1824 and has been linked to her family since 1948.Between 1798 and 1830, Clementi manufactured some excellent and highly valued pianos in England and was in fact known as the father of the pianoforte, as it is stated in his graveyard in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey. Contemporary to Mozart and Beethoven, Clementi was considered a child prodigy organist and when he was fourteen he moved to England by the hand of the landowner, hunter and writer Peter Beckford, who became his patron.Marina Rodríguez Brià has chosen for this production three sonatas and six monferrina dances inspired by music from Montferrat, in Piedmont, that became popular, under the name monfrina, in the England of 1800 as ballroom dances and compositions with lively rhythm for piano. Marina Rodríguez Brià wanted to introduce each sonata and the group of monferrinas with four preludes, conceived as brief improvisations, that originate from Clementi’s work The Art of Playing on the Piano Forte. With a solid music education and a prestigious professional career, which has brought her to perform on important European and American stages, Marina Rodríguez Brià takes us along with Clementi from a torrential frenzy to the most refined subtleness. A true delight.

Carles Duarte i Montserrat



(Translation: Paula Oliva)