Clementi has suffered more than his fair share of detractors down the years, including Mozart who claimed: “[Clementi] has not the slightest expression or taste, still less feeling.”. Be that as it may, Beethoven’s early sonatinas and Op.49 sonatas show clearly the influence of Clementi (and Dussek). This seems to be Peter Katin’s starting point. Far from being inhibited by his 1823 Clementi original, he exhilarates in the instrument’s expressive potential. Rarely have I heard an early piano played with such sensitivity to atmosphere and with such magical tonal variety. So exquisite is Katin’s phrasal intuitiveness, so inevitable and supple his rubato that one might be forgiven for thinking he had discovered some early Chopin (of whose music he is, of course, an exponent of the greatest distinction).
While remaining close to [the] music’s Classical roots, Katin ensures that its gentle, pre-Romantic musings gently ripple the music’s surface. He also makes a glorious sound, underpinned by a seamless cantabile that glows throughout like an iridescent pearl.