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#461785 - 12/17/07 10:31 PM Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
Mike090280 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Texas
I was reading some past threads and found a link to the sheet music, but it did not work.

Does anyone know where I can find this sheet music or does anyone have it and would like to share?

Also what does the title mean?



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#461786 - 12/17/07 10:42 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23208
Loc: Oakland
I think it means "Work for Keyboard Instrument."
Semipro Tech

#461787 - 12/18/07 05:33 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
xtraheat Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 625
Loc: WV
I thought (am not sure) that clavice w/e is 1000 German. I dunno tho
Currently working on
Prokofiev Piano Concerto 3
Beethoven Sonata Op.109
Chopin Op.10 No.1
Bach WTC II no. 15


#461788 - 12/18/07 05:37 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Oh, I thought it meant "balistic keyboard."

#461789 - 12/19/07 12:09 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
Kevin109 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/07
Posts: 10
Loc: London
I believe you can get it from an outfit called the Sorabji Archive. They have a web site.

It's run by a guy called Alistair Hinton who is a quite regular poster (especially on things Sorabji-related) on the forums at www.pianostreet.com so it might also be worth doing a search on there.

#461790 - 12/20/07 12:10 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
notturno Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
The Sorbji Archive is at:


A. Hinton will sell you a copy if you really want it. A Balisticum is an early form of the Trebuchet, or catapult. So the title could mean "piano throwing catapult." It doesn't mean that, but I prefer that to its true meaning, which apparently only Sorabji himself knew. See this:

#461791 - 12/20/07 12:14 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23208
Loc: Oakland
"Clavicembalo" is a keyboard instrument in Italian. I think this is a back formation from Italian into Latin.

I think the real meaning of the title is "I have way too much time on my hands!"
Semipro Tech

#461792 - 12/20/07 12:29 PM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
C H O P I N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 310
Loc: England
Probably just a title given to make the piece sounds like some epic, unforgetable piece of music. Clavicembalisticum..... It sounds grander than the "Hammerklavier" for example...Clavicembalisticum just sounds like a ridiculously long name for something that could have be labled so simply...

I don't understand sorabji, and I don't understand his music.

If I didn't know better I would have guessed that "Clavicembalisticum" was a long winded way of saying "noise".
"I Think Therefore I Am." - Rene Descartes

#461793 - 12/21/07 02:06 AM Re: Opus Clavicembalisticum.......
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9143
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Gentle folk, let us not be too quick to trash Sorabji, okay?

I don't currently have the stamina to get through the organ symphonies, let alone OC. But perhaps the problem lies with us, not the composer? How long ago was it that the Mahler symphonies were considered impenetrable? Now they're almost easy listening, though not quite.

Check out Carlo Grante (of Joyce Hatto fame) on Altarus 9098. His recording of the Pastiche on the Habañera from Carmen will make you rethink (a) Sorobji's music and (b) the possibilities inherent in the original. This is amazing stuff!

And as a bonus, we also get three of the greatest operatic fantasies: Busoni's Kammer-Fantasie (on Carmen) and Liszt's RĂ©miniscences of Norma and Don Giovanni.

No one with any interest in this genre should be without this CD.

This is the stuff of legend, and the equivalent was not attempted until Ronald Stevenson had a go on Britten's Peter Grimes, the only post-Turandot opera to enter the general repertory.


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