Michael Dussek – Romantic Revolution (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:04:12 minutes | 872 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © SOMM Recordings
SOMM RECORDINGS is pleased to announce the return of pianist Michael Dussek to explore the music of his ancestor Jan Ladislav Dussek and its relationship to one of the piano repertoire’s most illustrious champions, Fryderyk Chopin.
This fascinating recital reveals Dussek – a colourful character and favourite of Marie Antoinette whose talents took him throughout Europe and Russia – as “revolutionary in his approach to both composition and pianism” and makes a persuasive argument for Dussek’s influence on Chopin.
In his informative booklet notes, Michael Dussek makes the case for his namesake’s music being the product of a composer “very much ahead of his time in the development of a Romantic piano style” (Grove Music). The disc’s centrepiece is the Op.35 Piano Sonatas (Nos.11-13), the B-flat major Sonata a crucible of ideas accommodating the rustic lyricism of his native Bohemia, a contrapuntal sophistication that would find full flowering in his later Messe Solennelle, and an anticipation of what would become a Chopin signature.
The G major Sonata boasts melodic expressiveness, virtuoso passagework, a harmonic boldness that Schubert would later more fully exploit and a Rondo finale that out-Haydns Haydn. The Sonata in C minor strikingly blends Beethoven, Chopin and a joyful village dance to conclude a “gloriously innovative triptych”.
Completing the disc are two pinnacles of the piano repertoire: Chopin’s exquisite Nocturne, Op.15 No.2, and the lyrical, rapturously intense Ballade No.1 in G minor.
Michael Dussek’s previous SOMM recordings include volumes of chamber music by Frank Bridge (SOMMCD 087) and Jacques Ibert (SOMMCD 0122) with the Bridge Quartet. MusicWeb International hailed the earlier recording as “vivacious, subtle and faithful to [Bridge’s] mercurial muse”, adding: “Michael Dussek is a doyen among the pianists who have made themselves familiar with this repertoire”. BBC Music Magazine described the Ibert as “suave Gallic chamber music beautifully played”.
1. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 35 No. 1, C. 149: I. Allegro moderato e maestoso (10:03)
2. Piano Sonata No. 11 in B-Flat Major, Op. 35 No. 1, C. 149: II. Finale. Allegro non troppo ma con spirito (09:01)
3. Piano Sonata No. 12 in G Major, Op. 35 No. 2, C. 150: I. Allegro (08:06)
4. Piano Sonata No. 12 in G Major, Op. 35 No. 2, C. 150: II. Rondo. Molto allegro, con espressione (06:48)
5. Piano Sonata No. 13 in C Minor, Op. 35 No. 3, C. 151: I. Allegro agitato assai (06:45)
6. Piano Sonata No. 13 in C Minor, Op. 35 No. 3, C. 151: II. Adagio patetico et espressivo (06:15)
7. Piano Sonata No. 13 in C Minor, Op. 35 No. 3, C. 151: III. Intermezzo. Presto – IV. Finale. Allegro molto (04:41)
8. Nocturne in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15 No. 2, B. 55 (03:21)
9. Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23, B. 66 (09:08)