Clementi: Sonatina No. 1

This is an iconic “student piece”. It’s in every method book I’ve seen. But it’s really a pretty good composition and rather fun to play. Clementi is a Classical composer, meaning that he lived around the time of Mozart. There are three movements. I changed the ornaments in both sections in the slow movement, making them simpler the 1st time, more complicated the 2nd time.

The last movement is not the one we usually see. It is a later edition by Clementi himself, with various improvements.

The First Clementi Sonatina is one of the most famous pieces of music ever written for students, and I think it is a very solid composition that illustrates the form for sonatas and particularly for the “sonata allegro form”. What the composer mapped out was used countless times by other composers in the Classical and Romantic periods.

The movements follow the idea of fast, slow, fast.

The first movement is in four and is fast. The second movement is in three and is what we call a slow movement. The last movement has about the same tempo as the slow movement, but because there are twice as many notes in each measure, it sounds twice as fast and so has a very brisk feeling. The whole thing takes about 5 minutes.

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