Johann Ladislaus Dussek: Grand Sonata; Piano Quartet; Piano Quintet Jul25

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Album at a Glance

Tonal and ConsonantChamber Music
Camerata Tokyo Record Label - Camerata Tokyo: "Camerata Tokyo is a company dealing with both concert management and record production to promote their artists through these two media."
Release date: 2013-07-09


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Johann Ladislaus Dussek: Grand Sonata; Piano Quartet; Piano Quintet


Sometimes it's a long process for me to decide whether or not I'll recommend a particular title on Expedition Audio, and other times only a couple passes through the recording is enough. On very rare occasions, after hearing only the opening measures, I feel pretty confident that I'd like to share the discovery of a recording with others (providing, of course, the rest of the CD lives up to those opening seconds). This Camerata release of chamber music by Jan Ladislav Dussek titled 'Grand Sonata' is one of those; the extraordinarily high level of the musicianship is apparent, practically with the first notes heard.

Czech composer Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) was a gifted concert pianist and an extraordinary composer, admired not only as a musician, but for his personal character as well. He was held in the highest esteem by the most famous of his contemporaries, and his music remained enormously poplar well after his death. Solo piano music and chamber music that includes the piano make up most of his output, and the later is what we have on this program of a piano quartet and quintet, and his Grand Sonata for flute, cello and piano in F major, Op. 65. Dussek was writing in that space of time between the Classical and Romantic periods. While the influences of Mozart and especially Haydn are present, so too is a foreshadowing of the music of Schubert and Schumann. From our current perspective, it may be difficult to discern, but it's surprising how ahead of his time this composer was. In a few words, the music is elegant and graceful, especially in these finely detailed performances.

I began this recommendation praising the extraordinarily musical performances. There's no need to say much more about the performers than to mention some credentials. Flute player Walter Auer is principal flute of the Vienna Philharmonic and double bassist Jerzy Dybal is also a member of the VPO. Violinist Albena Danallova is the very first Concert Mistress of the Vienna State Opera and cellist Bernhard Naoki Hedenborg is a member of that same orchestra. All of the musicians perform on modern instruments. Pianist Yoko Fog-Urata plays a Bösendorfer; she employs a touch that evokes the lighter sound of a fortepiano, but with the rich sonority of a modern grand. This recording is a winner in the three big categories of repertoire, performance and engineering and should not be missed by any interested listener. The final movement of the Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 56 is provided with this recommendation for you to listen to.