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Burney: Sonatas for Four Hands / Clemente, Piolanti

Release Date: 08/18/2017 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 95447  
Composer:  Charles Burney
Performer:  Anna ClementeSusanna Piolanti
Number of Discs: 2 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here's a release of rare repertoire sure to intrigue and delight anyone with more than a passing interest in 18th-century musical culture. The English scholar, musician and inveterate traveller, observer and collector Charles Burney is known for many things - fine taste, a ready wit and a capacious address book principal among them - but his own compositions have so far received almost no attention. Burney's encyclopedic knowledge and breadth of sympathy are evident in the two volumes of the Four Sonatas or duets for two performers on one Pianoforte or Harpsichord, which he published at his own expense in London in 1777. In fact the novelty of the sonatas was a commercially astute decision, for although they are in essence conceived for Read more solo piano, there was at the time no other published music for the increasingly popular form of duet music at a single keyboard. Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonatas (4) for Piano 4 Hands, Book 1 by Charles Burney
Performer:  Anna Clemente (Piano), Susanna Piolanti (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
Sonatas (4) for Piano 4 Hands, Book 2 by Charles Burney
Performer:  Anna Clemente (Piano), Susanna Piolanti (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Fine music-making October 9, 2017 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "Charles Burney is best remembered today as a music journalist and musicologist. He wrote in great detail of his European tours. Those volumes provide invaluable documentation about late 18th-Century performance practices. Burney also seemed to visit just about every major and minor composer on the continent. His writing provides insightful impressions of their personalities and their music. What's not remembered is that Burney was also a prolific composer himself. In fact, recordings of his music are practically non-existent. In 1777 Burney self-financed the publication of four sonatas for piano four hands. He might not have been the first composer to write for this combination, but he made it popular. Before Burney's publication, music for two keyboard players meant two instruments. After Burney, other composers, such as J.C. Bach, Clementi, and Mozart wrote for piano four hands. The eight sonatas on this release are played on an English square piano. This early pianoforte is the instrument Burney had in mind, but it's a far cry from a modern piano. The action is noisy, and the attacks can be harsh-sounding. And yet, as I listened, I eventually became used to the sound and could appreciate it for its own merits. Burney wrote with the capabilities of the square piano in mind. Thus, the instrument's well-suited for the music. Anna Clemente and Susanna Piolanti perform with a lightness of touch I didn't think possible on a square piano. They bring out all the dynamics and expressive shading of the works. And they use the rough sound of the square piano to good advantage. Dissonances sound almost contemporary with their edginess and loud passage ring with authority. If authentic instruments aren't for you, then you might want to give this a pass. But if you'd like to enjoy some fine music-making from the early Classical era, give this release a listen. I found it enlightening." Report Abuse
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