Dussek: Complete Piano Sonatas

Album cover art for upc 5028421955995
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Catalog: BRI95599
Format: CD

BART VAN OORT

This release is the first volume of an extensive recording project using the combined resources of eight world-leading fortepianists. This will amount to the first comprehensive recording of Dussek's piano sonatas on period instruments. It will catalogue the brilliant, harmonically beautiful and expressive music of one of the most fascinating composers at the threshold of early Romanticism, one of Beethoven’s most gifted and original contemporaries. In fact the parallels between Dussek and Beethoven are uncanny on this album, featuring three Op.10 sonatas and then Op.31 No.2 (though the ‘Pastorale’ subtitle corresponds with Beethoven’s Op.28). The instrument used on this album is a 1798 fortepiano from the firm of Longman-Clementi. It dates from a decade after the Op.10 sonatas and only a few years after Op.31 No.2 from 1795. Accordingly the touch and sound corresponds more closely than any other piano previously used on recordings of this repertoire. Dussek lived in London during the 1790s, and worked closely with the manufacturer John Broadwood to extend the range of keyboard instruments. The English fortepiano lent itself naturally to the harmonic fullness of Dussek's preferred textures, and in reverse, the instrument's characteristic sound and touch inspired and shaped the development of Dussek's compositional style. Even more important than the instrument is the musician, naturally, and in Bart van Oort these sonatas find an interpreter with years of experience in performing music of this time and place. His complete survey of Mozart’s keyboard music was praised in Gramophone for ‘attractive intimacy’ and ‘sensitive, singing accounts’; his survey of early-Romantic nocturnes is distinguished by ‘strong, authoritative artistry’.

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