Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Baby Steps, Big Steps: Clementi's Gradus ad Parnassum, op.44

Gradus ad Parnassum, op.44

By Andrew Sorensen, Flickr
Composer and London piano teacher Muzio Clementi published his famous piano exercises 200 years ago. He called them "Gradus ad Parnassum".  This is quite an appropriate title.  It means "steps to Parnassus" - a high mountain range in Greece.  In ancient times, the mountain was said to be the home of Apollo and the Muses, so the piano pupil was taking steps to mastering his art. 

It felt like time we got the latest edition for our Whittaker Library.  And we found it, in three volumes edited by scholars Andrea Coen and Costantino Mastroprimiano, and published in Italy by UT Orpheus.  Watch this space - we'll tell you when the three volumes arrive.

Not that we don't have Clementi's op.44 already - we do have some published by Augener, but not the whole opus, and not in a modern edition!  (How remiss!)

You can also access a whole range of older scores of Gradus ad Parnassum on IMSLP - and transcriptions of various sorts, too.

So, Muzio, you can celebrate the bicentenary of your famous piano exercises, still going strong after all these years, and republished in a brand new edition in the 21st century.  Not bad!

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