Hyperion monthly sampler – August 2014
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Movement 1: Allegro brillante ma non troppo
Movement 2: Adagio ma non troppo lento
Movement 3: Rondo: Allegretto moderatissimo
The first movement has some novel structural features. Breaking with the typical concerto recapitulation scheme, where all the tutti and solo thematic material is obligatorily restated, Dussek substantially abridges and alters the recapitulation in the first movement, perhaps because he sensed that the movement would otherwise be too long. We reach a final trill for the soloist, preparing the way for the final confirmation of the tonic key, but Dussek resolves this unexpectedly onto the flattened submediant (C flat major), further extending this closing passage before the delayed confirmation of E flat major at the arrival of the closing (third) ritornello. Digressions are a salient feature of many of Dussek’s concertos, but this harmonic detour is entirely new to the recapitulation—it did not occur in the exposition.
The lovely second movement in B flat major is cast in a typically lyrical, ternary design. The movement is replete with concertante exchanges between the piano, winds and strings, revealing Dussek’s excellence in the subtleties of orchestration (and perhaps causing us to lament that he did not compose other large-scale orchestral works). Dussek once again incorporates a side-stepping harmonic resolution, away from the expected sonority of F major, down a major third to D flat major, before returning home to B flat major.
Op 70 concludes with a jovial rondo in E flat major, with Dussek again brandishing a colourful orchestral palette. The middle section of the rondo, typically a developmental area, passes through several distant keys, including the enharmonic Neapolitan (E major), a colourful, even shocking harmonic juxtaposition at this point. Again, wonderful concertante exchanges abound.
from notes by Stephan D Lindeman © 2014