Dussek: Complete Piano Sonatas Op.39 & Op.25 No.2, Vol. 2

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Composer: Johann Ladislaus Dussek
Artists: Piet Kuijken (fortepiano)

These sonatas date from a high-point in the career of the Czech-born Jan Ladislaus Dussek (1760-1812), at a time when he was established in London as a sought-after performer and fashionable piano teacher. His partnership with the instrument-maker John Broadwood resulted in significant technical developments to the fortepiano which would be imitated abroad and capitalised upon in Vienna by Beethoven, notably the extra power and larger range.

The Sonata Op.25 No.2 in D has become famous under the name ‘La Matinée’: a subtitle which conveys the lively spirit of the sonata and its irresistible sense of good cheer even in the lyric simplicity of the third-movement Larghetto. The three Op.39sonatas are more elaborate in conception and design without forsaking the earlier work’s transparency and grace. The first movements of Op.39 abound in brilliant figuration which evidently played to the composer’s strengths as a performer, but they are strongly rooted in a sonata-form structure which contrasts a pressing and vivacious first theme with the more tripping, light-hearted character of the second. The concluding Rondos tend to be the highlight, alternating some surprisingly passionate and even stormy episodes with the kind of unpretentious folk-like theme that Schubert would go on to perfect.

Tracklist:

Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 25 C.127:
00:00:00 I. Adagio maestoso – Presto
00:06:04 II. Larghetto
00:08:44 III. Rondo. Allegremente

Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 39 C.166:
00:12:14 I. Allegro
00:19:46 II. Andantino ma moderato e con espressione –Allegro ma non troppo

Sonata No. 2 in C Major, Op. 39 C.167:
00:25:40 I. Allegro moderato
00:33:20 II. Andantino quasi larghetto
00:37:14 III. Rondo. Allegretto

Sonata No. 3 in B-Flat Major, Op. 39 C.168:
00:44:51 I. Allegro con spirit
00:47:19 II. Rondo. Andante sostenuto cantabile

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