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Dussek: Piano Sonata, Op. 70 in A-Flat Major ""Le Retour a Paris""; Piano Sonata, Pp. 77 in F Minor ""L'Invocation""

By Anne de Dadelson

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By Anne de Dadelson. By Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812). Classical. Listening CD. Tudor #TUDOR7509. Published by Tudor (NX.TUDOR7509).

Item Number: NX.TUDOR7509

The virtuoso Czech pianist and composer Jan Ladislav Dussek lived a colorful life. Born in Bohemia, his career took him to Prague, Amsterdam, Den Haag, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Berlin, London, and Paris. He knew Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, was a favorite of Marie-Antoinette and Catherine the Great, and a friend of Muzio Clementi and Joseph Haydn while in London. He then became the teacher and chamber music partner of prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. His last employ was as music master to Talleyrand in Paris. A composer rooted in classicism, his harmonic daring and expressive melodies would gradually anticipate early romanticism. This is particularly evident in these two late sonatas, whose pianistic brilliance was doubtless inspired by the new English Broadwood pianos. "Le Retour a Paris" is a moving homage ot the French metropolis, with pioneering chromatic modulations. In the passionate intensity of "L'Invocation," a masterpiece written in 1811, we sense some of the melancholy that darkened his last years.

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