“Mozart’s six grand symphonies arranged for the pianoforte with an accompaniment for the flute, violin and violoncello by Clementi”: this is how the title appears on the title page of the print edition of Clementi’s transcription of Mozart’s last six Symphonies, housed in the British Library. Two of these works, Symphony no. 40 KV. 550 and Symphony no. 41 (KV. 551 “Jupiter”) are now available for the first time on this recording. The danger that lurks in all transcriptions, and is often a considerable one – is that of altering something in the original writing. However, Cabassi’s words on this are reassure us that Clementi makes no significant changes in as far as the dynamics and the agogica are concerned. Instead, it should be noted that the counterpoint in the last tempo of the “Jupiter” is enhanced, firstly by the tonal voice of the piano and then too by the fact that there are only four parts. These transcriptions are a confirmation of an idea my Maestra Rosalyn Tureck had: true music, like that of Bach and Mozart, rises above its tonal realization because it is true music. Muzio Clementi’s transcriptions are splendidly performed by 2005 Van Cliburn Piano Competition finalist Davide Cabassi and Five Lines piano quintet.
Artwork: Gianluca Corona, Nuova Primavera, 2010, oil on wood