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Just turn up!

There was a full house in the Royal Academy of Music's piano gallery to hear pianists Jeremy Eskenazi and Daniel-Ben Pienaar explore how Beethoven interpretation was discussed by Czerny, Schindler and Moscheles, and how this compares with Clementi's teachings through Cramer and Hummel, with demonstrations on pianos of the period in the York Gate collection. (Cramer and Clementi were listed in a RAM circular of "eminent professors belonging to the establishment", appended to study scores provided.)

The talk was erudite, sometimes tentative and free flowing; conversation between experts, without the stilted formal interviewing now so common on the media and in pre-concert talks.

Clementi certainly came off with respect enhanced, both by our being reminded how Beethoven admired Clementi and, by illustrations from the Sonata 3 Dido abbandonata, redressing the common assumption that his music was more about brilliance and virtuosity than affective expression; less complicated than Beethoven's layering of allusions, but undeserving of relegation to 'interesting historical figures' who are almost never heard in concert.

A huge privilege that these research events are "Admission free -all welcome". Is this stimulating opportunity available in other UK academies? It should be, to help educate the listening public alongside music students in a way that augments (and sometimes corrects) received opinion from reading.

There is to be a Clementi series at RAM next year.

Watch out for other seminars and public teaching events on www.yorkgate.ram.ac.uk
and http://www.ram.ac.uk/events/academy-autumn-06.pdf
with its encouraging heading "Just turn up!"

Peter Grahame Woolf