Jan Ladislav Dussek (baptized Jan Václav Dusík, –20 March 1812) was a Czech composer and pianist. He was an important representative of Czech music abroad in the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Some of his more forward-looking piano works have traits often associated with Romanticism.with surname also written as Duschek or Düssek; 12 February 1760
The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants; its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.
Romantic music is a period of Western classical music that began in the late 18th or early 19th century. It is related to Romanticism, the Western artistic and literary movement that arose in the second half of the 18th century, and Romantic music in particular dominated the Romantic movement in Germany.
Dussek was one of the first piano virtuosos to travel widely throughout Europe. He performed at courts and concert venues from London to Saint Petersburg to Milan, and was celebrated for his technical prowess. During a nearly ten-year stay in London, he was instrumental in extending the size of the pianoforte, and was the recipient of one of John Broadwood's first 6-octave pianos, CC-c4. Harold Schonberg wrote that he was the first pianist to sit at the piano with his profile to the audience, earning him the appellation "le beau visage." All subsequent pianists have sat on stage in this manner. He was one of the best-regarded pianists in Europe before Beethoven's rise to prominence.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.
His music is marked by lyricism interrupted by sudden dynamic contrasts. Not only did he write prolifically for the piano, he was an important composer for the harp. His music for that instrument contains a great variety of figuration within a largely diatonic harmony, avoids dangerous chromatic passages and is eminently playable. His concerto writing is exciting. His music is considered standard repertoire for all harpists, particularly his Six Sonatas/Sonatinas and especially the Sonata in C minor. Less well known to the general public than that of his more renowned Classical period contemporaries, his piano music is highly valued by many teachers and not infrequently programmed.[ citation needed ] Franz Liszt has been called an indirect successor of Dussek in the composition and performance of virtuoso piano music.[ citation needed ] His music remained popular to some degree in 19th-century Great Britain and the USA, and some of it is still in print, with much more becoming available in period editions found online.
Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger and organist of the Romantic era. He was also a writer, a philanthropist, a Hungarian nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.
The Dussek family has an extraordinarily long history as professional musicians, starting at least as early as Jan Ladislav's grandfather Jan Josef Dusík (b. 1712), and lasting in the Moravian branch of the family at least into the 1970s. Jan Ladislav's mother, Veronika Dusíková (née Štěbetová), played the harp, an instrument, along with the piano, for which her son went on to write much music.His father, Jan Josef, was also a well-known organist and composer. His sister, Katerina Veronika Anna Dusíkova, was also a musician and composer.
Moravia is a historical region in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medieval and early modern Margraviate of Moravia was a crown land of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire, later a crown land of the Austrian Empire and briefly also one of 17 former crown lands of the Cisleithanian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918. During the early 20th century, Moravia was one of the five lands of Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1928; it was then merged with Czech Silesia, and eventually dissolved by abolition of the land system in 1949.
The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard; the strings are plucked with the fingers. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia, Africa and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC. The instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide range of variants with new technologies, and was disseminated to Europe's colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. Although some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa, and other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been utilized by musicians in the modern era.
Katerina Veronika Anna Dusíková was a Bohemian singer, harpist, pianist and composer. She was also known as Veronika Rosalia Dusik (Dussek), Veronika Elisabeta Dusíková and Veronica Cianchettini. She was born in Čáslav, Bohemia, and began her studies in music with her organist father Jan Josef Dusik. She later moved to London to stay with her brother, composer Jan Ladislav Dusik, and married music publisher Francesco Cianchettini. She died in London in 1833.
Jan Ladislav, the oldest of three children, was born on 12 February 1760 in the Bohemian town of Čáslav, where his father taught and played the organ.His first musical instruction came from his father, who began teaching him piano at 5, and organ at age 9. His voice was also found to be good, so he also sang in the church choir.
The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, also ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria.
Čáslav is a town in eastern part of Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.
He studied music at the Jesuit gymnasium in Jihlava, where he studied with Ladislav Špinar, its choir director; his grades were reported to be poor. From 1774 to 1776 he studied at the Jesuit gymnasium in Kutná Hora, where he also served as organist in the Santa Barbara Jesuit church.In 1776 he went to the New City Gymnasium in Prague, where he was again reported to be a lazy student. In 1777 he enrolled in the University of Prague, where he lasted one semester.
A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern, and south Europe.
Jihlava is a city in the Czech Republic. Jihlava is the capital of the Vysočina Region, situated on the Jihlava river on the historical border between Moravia and Bohemia, and is the oldest mining town in the Czech Republic, approximately 50 years older than Kutná Hora.
Kutná Hora is a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.
After these early studies in Bohemia he entered the services of one Captain Männer, an Austrian military man, in 1778.Dussek traveled with the Captain to what has since become Belgium in 1779, where he became the organist at the St. Rumbold's cathedral in Mechelen. In Mechelen he gave his first public recital, playing his own compositions. He then travelled to the Dutch Republic, where a well-received concert in Amsterdam brought him to the royalty's attention. He was invited to The Hague, where he gave lessons to the three children of Stadtholder William V. While at the Hague he gave a performance before Kaiser Joseph II of Austria, who acknowledged Dussek's prowess.
By 1782, after leaving Männer's service, he was in Hamburg, where he gave a concert on the "new English fortepiano".While in Hamburg, he may have studied with C. P. E. Bach. He also published his first works, three piano concertos and 3 violin sonatas (C 2–7), all of which were assigned Opus 1.
From Hamburg he moved to St. Petersburg, where he was a favorite of Catherine the Great. While there he was introduced to a technician named Hessel, who had developed a keyboard version of the glass harmonica, an instrument Dussek went on to master.Dussek was forced to leave Russia quite abruptly, just ahead of Catherine's secret police, amid suspicions of his involvement in a plot to assassinate Catherine. In a possibly apocryphal tale surrounding his departure, he was en route to play for Catherine when he found a ring, which he put on. Catherine recognized the ring as belonging to a known conspirator, raising her suspicions about Dussek.
After Dussek left St. Petersburg, he took a position as music director for Prince Antoni Radziwiłł in Lithuania, where he stayed about a year. His departure from Lithuania may have been prompted by an affair he was rumored to have with the Prince's wife, the Princess of Thurn und Taxis.He toured Germany for the next few years as a virtuoso performer on the piano and on the glass harmonica, eventually arriving in Paris in 1786. The German tour was a significant success for him. One review of a Berlin concert said, "He obtained great distinction as a pianist, and was little less admired for his playing on the [glass] harmonica ... some critics pretend to trace to his skill upon this instrument many of his specialities of style both as a pianist and composer". Another reviewer wrote, of a concert in Kassel, "He entranced all listeners with a slow, harmonic, and studiously modulated prelude and chorale." He may also have been in Ludwigslust in 1786, where he would have performed his Extract from an Easter Canata (C 26) for the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
In Paris Dussek became a favorite of Marie Antoinette, who tried to dissuade him from going on a performing tour to Milan in 1788.However, she was unsuccessful, as Dussek wanted to visit his brother Franz in Milan. Dussek's trip to Milan was quite successful; his performances "produce[d] quite a sensation". He returned to Paris, where he stayed until shortly before the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789. During his time in Paris he may have met and played with a violinist by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. He also published a series of violin sonatas (C 27–29) dedicated to Eugénie de Beaumarchais, daughter of writer Pierre Beaumarchais.
Dussek left France for England in May or June 1789, where he settled in London.It is sometimes alleged that he took with him the harpist wife of the composer Jean-Baptiste Krumpholtz, who drowned himself into the Seine as a consequence; however, this is likely untrue, as Anne-Marie Krumpholtz went to London in 1788. It is also uncertain whether he left Paris because of the looming crisis in France, or if it was merely coincidental. Early biographers have generally claimed that he left because of the impending revolution. He is reported to have had a concert engagement in London in early June 1789; this would have required his departure from Paris before some of the critical steps early in the Revolution.
Dussek made London his home until 1799. By 1790 he was well established as a performer and teacher. He was in such demand that Davison, in an 1860 biographic sketch, noted that "he became one of the most fashionable professors of the day, and his lessons were both sought with avidity and remunerated at a rate of payment which knew no precedent except in the instance of John Cramer."He had also established a relationship with pianomaker John Broadwood, taking delivery of one of the very first 5 ½ octave pianos (FF-c4): Broadwood noted in his business journal for 13th. November 1793: "We have made some 5 ½ octave grands these three years past, the first to please Dussek, which being liked, Cramer junior had one". His collaboration with Broadwood would continue to bear fruit when, in 1794, he also received the first 6-octave (CC-c4) piano
Joseph Haydn, in a letter to Dussek's father, February 26, 1792
In the spring of 1791, Dussek appeared in a series of concerts, a number of which featured Sophia, the young daughter of music publisher Domenico Corri. In a concert on 15 June that year, the pair played a piano duet together; they were married in September 1792.Sophia Corri was a singer, pianist, and harpist who became known in her own right. They had a daughter, Olivia, but the marriage was not happy, involving liaisons by both parties.
Some of the concerts in 1791 and 1792 featured both Dussek and Joseph Haydn; the older Haydn wrote quite favorably of Dussek in a letter to the latter's father following one of the 1792 concerts. The other highlights of 1792 (above and beyond his marriage to Sophia) included the beginning of a music publishing venture with Sophia's father Domenico. This business, while successful at first, fared poorly in later years, and the circumstances of its failure spurred Dussek to leave London in 1799, leaving Corri in debtors' prison.
Dussek's business acumen apparently had little impact on his performing and composing while in London. Every year, he performed in a series of concerts, at least some of which also featured Sophia, and which frequently featured new works. Some works were so successful they were repeated at later concerts in the series. Of one work, a reviewer wrote in 1798, "Dussek's Military Concerto was repeated. We think it very deserving of encomium." The concerto (C 153), which the reviewer reported as having been a repeat performance, was played again the following week.
In 1796, Dussek and his wife began having serious marital troubles. In an account of uncertain veracity, it was reported that Sophia, who had fallen in love with another man, asked Dussek for money to repair her harp. She then used the money to leave the house, removing her belongings in her harp case, and claiming to have left for dinner with a female friend. A suspicious Dussek went with his father-in-law to the man's house, where Sophia locked herself in. She and Dussek argued, and she cursed him, claiming to be pregnant by the other man. Dussek, relenting, promised her freedom to do what she wanted; this led to a reconciliation of sorts. It seems unlikely that Dussek ever saw Sophia and his daughter Olivia after he left London in 1799; Sophia had to wait until she knew Dussek had died before she could remarry, which she did in 1812.
Some of Dussek's compositions included arrangements of operatic and theatrical overtures for piano. He decided to try his hand at opera in 1798; the result was The Captive of Spilberg, with a libretto by Prince Hoare. The opera opened at Drury Lane on 14 November 1798, and the music was well received, 's critic writing, "the music, by Mr. Dussek, was such as to intitle him to rank with the first composers of the time."with the European Magazine
In 1799, the business venture with Corri, which had never been very successful, ran into financial difficulties. Dussek and Corri managed to convince the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte to lend them money to cover their debts. The failure to repay this debt put Corri into Newgate Prison and caused Dussek to flee. Da Ponte believed that Dussek fled to Paris; in fact he returned to Hamburg. The affair ended up bankrupting both Corri and Da Ponte.
Dussek then toured Germany, where he became one of the first "glamour" pianists, preceding Franz Liszt.According to Louis Spohr, Dussek was the first to turn the piano sideways on the stage "so that the ladies could admire his handsome profile." Before long he took up a position with Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, who treated him more as a friend and colleague than as an employee. Together, they sometimes enjoyed what were called "musical orgies." When Prince Louis Ferdinand was killed in the Battle of Saalfeld, Dussek wrote the moving Sonata in F sharp minor, Elégie harmonique, Op. 61 (C 211).
In 1807, despite his earlier affiliation with Marie Antoinette, Dussek returned to Paris in the employ of Talleyrand, the powerful French foreign minister.Having no doubt made the acquaintance of Sébastien Érard in London, he became closely associated with the Érard brothers' piano-making activities, signing an Érard grand piano of 1808 still to be seen at Talleyrand's château at Valençay, and giving the first public performance on their new stirrup-action grand in 1810. He wrote a powerful sonata (Sonata in A flat major, Op. 64, C 221) called Le Retour à Paris (The Return to Paris). This imposing sonata also received the nickname Plus Ultra in heated response to a piano sonata by Joseph Woelfl, said to be the last word in pianistic difficulties, entitled Non Plus Ultra. The remainder of his life he spent performing, teaching and composing in Prussia and France. His personal beauty had faded and he became grossly fat. He also developed a fondness for strong drink which probably hastened his death. Dussek died of gout on 20 March 1812, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Dussek was a predecessor of the Romantic composers for piano, especially Chopin, Schumann and Mendelssohn.Many of his works are strikingly at odds with the prevailing late Classical style of other composers of the time. However, despite his departure from the mainstream idiom of contemporaries like Haydn and Mozart, Dussek's stylistic influence over later composers was limited since his works remained highly obscure and largely unknown outside England. The evolution of style found in Dussek's piano writing suggests he pursued an independent line of development, one that anticipated but did not influence early Romanticism.
His more notable works include several large-scale solo piano pieces, piano sonatas, many piano concertos, sonatas for violin and piano, a musical drama, and various works of chamber music, including a Trio for piano, horn and violin, and the highly unusual sonata for piano, violin, cello and percussion entitled The Naval Battle and Total Defeat of the Dutch by Admiral Duncan (1797, C 152), which is an extremely rare example of pre-20th-century chamber music that includes percussion.
Dussek was one of a number of foreign-born composers, including Muzio Clementi and John Field, who contributed significantly to the development of a distinct "London" school of pianoforte composition. In part, this was due to the particular nature of piano manufacture in England. Joseph Haydn, for instance, composed his famous E-flat sonata after playing a piano of greater range lent to him by Dussek.Much of Dussek's piano writing drew upon the more modulable and powerful tonal qualities and greater keyboard range of English-manufactured pianofortes. The enhanced possibilities offered by the instrument help explain some of his stylistic innovations.
Dussek wrote numerous solo piano works, including 34 Piano Sonatas as well as a number of programmatic compositions. His The Sufferings of the Queen of France (composed in 1793, C 98), for example, is an episodic account of Marie Antoinette with interpolated texts relating to the Queen's misfortunes, including her sorrow at being separated from her children and her final moments on the scaffold before the guillotine.
Along with Clementi, Dussek may have been a source of stylistic inspiration and influence for Beethoven, whose expansion upon the idiomatic innovations of the London school led to their rapid penumbration with the appearance of Beethoven's own keyboard works.Stylistic, melodic, dynamic and even structural similarities have been observed, for instance, between Beethoven's Sonata Opus 10, No. 3 and Dussek's Sonatas Opus 31, No. 2 and Opus 35, No. 2. Similarly, the opening of Beethoven's Sonata Opus 10, No. 1 quotes directly Dussek's Sonata Opus 39, No. 3 (see image).
It is also possible that Dussek's influence can be seen in Beethoven's famous Sonata Opus 81a, les Adieux: "both the program and the realization owed a great deal to Dussek's The Farewell, Opus 44."
Dussek composed a number of piano concertos between 1779 and 1810, eighteen of which survive. Dussek introduced one noteworthy stylistic innovation to the piano concerto form. In variance with the prevailing classical concerto style, exemplified by Mozart's piano concertos, Dussek eliminated the soloist cadenza in the opening movement in all of his concertos written after 1792.Other individual characteristics are also noteworthy. His Concerto in C major, Op. 29, published in 1795, starts with an introductory Larghetto in 3/8 time, a solemn thematic declamation that is unique to the classical concerto. His last surviving work in the genre, Opus 70 in E-flat major, was one of the first to lengthen substantially the opening movement: at 570 measures long, it is roughly a third longer than his previous contributions, and foreshadows the practice of a dominant opening movement in concerto writing, found, for example, in the concertos of Chopin and the two minor concerti Opus 85 and Opus 89 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel as well as Beethoven's fifth.
Apart from his own music, Dussek is important in the history of music because of his friendship with John Broadwood, the developer of the "English Action" piano. Because his own music demanded strength and range not available in the then current pianos,he pushed Broadwood into several extensions of the range and sonority of the instrument. It was a Broadwood instrument with Dussek's improvements that was sent to Beethoven.
Dussek was also the first composer to write indications for using piano pedals.
The vast majority of Dussek's music involves the piano or harp in some way. He wrote 35 sonatas for piano and 11 for piano duet, as well as numerous other works for both configurations. His chamber music output includes 65 violin sonatas, 24 piano (or harp) trios, and a variety of works for harp, harp or piano, or harp and piano. Some sonatas had trio parts added by J. B. Cramer. Orchestral works were limited to concertos, including 16 for piano (one of them had lost and two of them are remained dubious attribution), six for harp (three of them lost), and one for two pianos. He wrote a modest number of vocal works, include 12 songs, a cantata, a mass, and one opera, The Captive of Spilberg. His compositions also included arrangements of other works, especially opera overtures, for piano.
Cataloging Dussek's compositions has a history of its own. Dussek's oeuvre has historically been difficult to organize, due in part to the number of publishers who originally published his work, and to the fact that some of his works were published by more than one publisher. Some works published by multiple publishers were assigned different opus numbers; sometimes different works were given then same opus number by different publishers.Dussek further complicated this by arranging works for different instrument combinations.
The Artaria Company published a thematic catalog of his works that is incomplete,prompting Howard Craw to develop a new thematic catalog in 1964. Works are numbered in the order they were written prefixed by "C" or "Craw"; works of dubious origin are listed in a separately numbered section prefixed by "Craw D".
Carl Czerny was an Austrian composer, teacher, and pianist of Czech origin whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works. His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.
This is a list of music-related events in 1804.
This is a list of music-related events in 1812.
This is a list of music-related events in 1800.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.
JohannBaptist Cramer was an English pianist and composer of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Joseph Johann Baptist WoelflJoseph Wölfl was an Austrian pianist and composer.
Daniel Gottlieb Steibelt was a German born pianist and composer who died in Saint Petersburg, Russia. His main works were composed in Paris and in London.
Jean-Baptiste Krumpholz was a Czech composer and harpist.
Sophia Giustina Dussek (née Corri, later Moralt was a Scottish singer, pianist, harpist, and composer of Italian descent.
Rudolf Firkušný was a Czech-born, Czech-American classical pianist.
Leopold Koželuch was a Czech composer and music teacher.
Domenico Corri was an Italian composer, impresario, music publisher, and voice teacher.
Anne-Marie Krumpholtz was a French harpist and composer.
Olivia Francisca Buckley née Dussek (1799–1847) was an English harpist, organist and composer. She was born in London, the daughter of Czech composer Jan Ladislav Dussek and Scottish composer Sophia Corri. Dussek left his wife, and Olivia was taught harp and piano by her mother, making her debut at the age of eight at the Argyle Rooms. She married Richard William Buckley and had ten children.
Dusík or its variant Dussek is a Czech surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Michael Dussek is an English pianist specialising in chamber music and song accompaniment.