|The present edition of Muzio Clementi’s Opera Omnia aims at presenting the complete corpus of works composed by one of the most historically eminent European composers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The eighty years of his life coincided with one of the most intensely innovative period in music history. Clementi was born in Rome in 1752 – four years before Mozart, and eighteen years before Beethoven –, and died in Evesham, Worcestershire, in 1832, when musicians like Chopin, Liszt and Schumann reached the apex of their artistic production. These are the reasons for wanting to provide a scientific edition which will cater to the needs of both performers, who wish to play this music in keeping with period practice, and scholars with a musicological approach.
Clementi’s Opera Omnia will be divided into 60 volumes – comprising treatises, chamber, vocal and keyboard music –, 10 of which will de dedicated to works with no opus number, one to the method for pianoforte, op. 42, which will also include the Appendix to the method, op. 43, and another to the concerto for piano and orchestra (orchestrated by J. Schenk, 1797). Besides two volumes which will contain Clementi’s Sinfonie, op. 18, there will be other 6 volumes dedicated to partially incomplete orchestral works. In order to avoid presenting a truncated musical text, and with a view to promoting the performance of said works, it has been decided to reconstruct the missing sections, albeit indicating editorial intervention clearly in the preface. In an Appendix, some volumes will include alternative versions of pieces – which were found in several sources of particular interest – with a view to a better understanding of both the context in which these works were composed, and their correct performance.
After an accurate survey of all extant sources, and having ascertained that – in the case of most works – editions were made under the composer’s direct supervision, we have chosen to publish the Urtext edition of the text present in that which was judged as the most reliable source. In cases where several authoritative sources, both printed and manuscript, were used, the results of a comparative analysis are indicated only in cases of editorial intervention.
Insofar as it was possible, we have attempted to avoid making changes in the original text, and have retained most of its characteristics. We have corrected evident harmonic and rhythmic mistakes; repeats have been re-written fully; we have indicated changes in clefs which were missing in the source. In the case of keyboard music, the original layout of the music between two staves has been retained. All editorial intervention is listed in the critical commentary. Original dynamic and agogic signs have been retained, and none have been added in cases where they were missing. In cases where it was found necessary, passing accidentals have been modified in accordance with modern usage.