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Jed Distler, May 2000

"Muzio Clementi's three Op. 40 Sonatas were published in 1802, and in them you can readily hear those qualities that lead directly to Beethoven. For instance, the Italian composer generated great dramatic contrasts through an almost-symphonic grasp of dynamic momentum, and had a knack for effortless asymmetrical phrase shapes and the use of silence to beckon the listener's attention. Clementi's keyboard deployment is more overtly virtuosic and flamboyantly projected than anything his younger rival Mozart concocted... For Clementi, the instrument comes first. Pierto De Maria revels in the music's extroversion and surface virtuosity, and imbues each sonata with refined, humorously pointed fingerwork, exquisite shadings, and elegant phrases timed to a proverbial tee. I hope that this disc will be the forerunner of a complete Clementi cycle from this gifted young pianist, whose brilliant work is gorgeously engineered. A must for piano fans."

Pablo Galonce
Le Monde de la Musique, March 2000

"Publiées en 1802, les Trois Sonates op. 40 ne méritent pas l'oubli actuel dans lequel elles sont tombées. Malgré leurs longueurs, ces oeuves justifient le prestige dont le compositeur jouissait à son époque et l'admiration que lui portait Beethoven. Sans pétulance ni pédanterie, Pietro de Maria possède les moyens nécessaires pour mettre en valeur cette écriture virtuose et rutilante. Il ne s'arrête pourtant pas à la surface et atteint la moelle de ces pages, comme dans le dramatique mouvement central de la Sonate en sol majeur."

"Published in 1802, the Three Sonatas, op. 40, do not deserve the current neglect into which they have fallen. Despite their lengths, these works justify the prestige that [Clementi] enjoyed in his time and the admiration that Beethoven felt for him. Without peevishness or pedantry, Pietro of Maria has the means necessary to convey these virtuosic and glowing works. He however does not stop on the surface but reaches the marrow of these pages, as in the dramatic central movement of the Sonata in G major."

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