Dussek, Johann Ladislaus (1760 - 1812)
Magatagan, Mike (1960 - )
|Copyright :||Public Domain|
Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760 – 1812) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was an important representative of Czech music abroad in the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Some of his more forward-looking piano works have traits often associated with Romanticism.<br> <br> Dussek was one of the first piano virtuosos to travel widely throughout Europe. He performed at courts and concert venues from London to Saint Petersburg to Milan, and was celebrated for his technical prowess. During a nearly ten-year stay in London, he was instrumental in extending the size of the pianoforte, and was the recipient of one of John Broadwood's first 6-octave pianos, CC-c4. Harold Schonberg wrote that he was the first pianist to sit at the piano with his profile to the audience, earning him the appellation "le beau visage." All subsequent pianists have sat on stage in this manner. He was one of the best-regarded pianists in Europe before Beethoven's rise to prominence.<br> <br> His music is marked by lyricism interrupted by sudden dynamic contrasts. As well as his many compositions for the piano, he also composed for the harp: his music for that instrument contains a great variety of figuration within a largely diatonic harmony, avoids dangerous chromatic passages and is eminently playable. His concerto writing is exciting. His music is considered standard repertoire for all harpists, particularly his Six Sonatas/Sonatinas and especially the Sonata in C minor. Less well known to the general public than that of his more renowned Classical period contemporaries, his piano music is highly valued by many teachers and not infrequently programmed. Franz Liszt has been called an indirect successor of Dussek in the composition and performance of virtuoso piano music. His music remained popular to some degree in 19th-century Great Britain and the USA, some still in print, with more available in period editions online. <br> <br> The Dussek family had a long history as professional musicians, starting at least as early as Jan Ladislav's grandfather Jan Josef Dusík (b. 1712), and lasting in the Moravian branch of the family at least into the 1970s. Jan Ladislav's mother, Veronika Dusíková (née Štěbetová), played the harp, an instrument, along with the piano, for which her son went on to write much music. His father, Jan Josef, was also a well-known organist and composer. His sister, Katerina Veronika Anna Dusíkova, was also a musician and composer.<br> <br> Jan Ladislav, the oldest of three children, was born on 12 February 1760 in the Bohemian town of Čáslav, where his father taught and played the organ. His first musical instruction came from his father, who began teaching him piano at 5, and organ at age 9. His voice was also found to be good, so he also sang in the church choir.<br> St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen.<br> <br> He studied music at the Jesuit gymnasium in Jihlava, where he studied with Ladislav Špinar, its choir director; his grades were reported to be poor. From 1774 to 1776 he studied at the Jesuit gymnasium in Kutná Hora, where he also served as organist in the Santa Barbara Jesuit church. In 1776 he went to the New City Gymnasium in Prague, where he was again reported to be a lazy student. In 1777 he enrolled in the University of Prague, where he lasted one semester. <br> <br> The vast majority of Dussek's music involves the piano or harp in some way. He wrote 35 sonatas for piano and 11 for piano duet, as well as numerous other works for both configurations. His chamber music output includes 65 violin sonatas, 24 piano (or harp) trios, and a variety of works for harp, harp or piano, or harp and piano. Some sonatas had trio parts added by J. B. Cramer. Orchestral works were limited to concertos, including 16 for piano (one of them had lost and two of them are remained dubious attribution), six for harp (three of them lost), and one for two pianos. He wrote a modest number of vocal works, include 12 songs, a cantata, a mass, and one opera, The Captive of Spilberg. His compositions also included arrangements of other works, especially opera overtures, for piano.<br> <br> Cataloging Dussek's compositions has a history of its own. Dussek's oeuvre has historically been difficult to organize, due in part to the number of publishers who originally published his work, and to the fact that some of his works were published by more than one publisher. Some works published by multiple publishers were assigned different opus numbers; sometimes different works were given then same opus number by different publishers. Dussek further complicated this by arranging works for different instrument combinations. . <br> <br> Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Ladislav_Dussek)<br> <br> Although originally written for Piano, I created this Interpretation of the Allegro from the Sonata in C Major for Violin & Classical Guitar.
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