Jan Dussek. Andantino. Sonata in C minor.
Janice Ortega, harp. Music Faculty of California State University East Bay.
Jan Dussek, a Czech composer and pianist (1760 – 1812), traveled widely throughout Europe as a piano virtuoso. He performed at courts and concert venues throughout Europe and Russia and was celebrated for his technical prowess in music.
He was a highly regarded pianist prior to Beethoven's rise to prominence. He wrote prolifically for the piano and was an important composer for the harp. His music for the harp avoids dangerous chromatic passages and is very playable. His music is considered standard repertoire for all harpists, particularly his Six Sonatas/Sonatinas and especially the Sonata in C minor.
Dussek was an important predecessor of the Romantic composers for piano, especially Chopin, Schumann, and Mendelssohn. Many of his works sound strikingly "modern," especially when compared with the late Classical style of other composers of the time. Stylistically Dussek has much more in common with the Romantic era than the Classical era, even though most of his work preceded the commonly accepted beginning of the Romantic era by at least two decades.