Franz Xaver Dussek: 4 Symphonies / Helsinki Baroque Orchestra

Audio Samples

>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in G major (Altner G4)
>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in B flat major (Altner Bb2)
>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in A major (Altner A3)
>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in B flat major (Altner Bb3)

Album Summary

>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in G major (Altner G4)
>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in B flat major (Altner Bb2)
>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in A major (Altner A3)
>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in B flat major (Altner Bb3)
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Mozart's friend Franz Xaver Dussek (in whose summer villa he completed Don Giovanni) was a pianist, celebrated teacher and the leading composer of instrumental music in Prague. Like his compatriot Wanhal, Dussek completed his musical training in Vienna and, unsurprisingly, his works reflect the strong influence of composers such as Hofmann, Haydn and Dittersdorf. Dussek's symphonies, most of which appear to have been composed in the 1760s and 1770s, are works of great charm and vivacity, cleverly orchestrated and full of striking melodic ideas as this recording amply demonstrates. In 1998 Aapo Häkkinen won second prize at the Bruges Harpsichord Competition. He was also awarded the NDR special prize for his interpretations of Italian music. Since then, he has appeared as soloist and conductor in most European countries, in Israel, in the United States and in Mexico.

American Record Guide, November/December 2012
These four symphonies - all in major keys - were probably composed in the 1760s and 1770s. They remind me of Johann Stamitz's symphonies, but with a little more predictability. Certain moments stand out: for example, the poignant slow introduction to the A-major one and the slow movement of a four-movement symphony in B-flat (the rest have only three). The performances are fine though sometimes a little raw-sounding, and the continuo player (who performs on the fortepiano) is inventive and delightful to hear. Informative liner notes.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012
HSkkinen directs from a fortepiano, appropriately so. He uses it to decoarte lines and enhance tonal colour, eschewing the infuriating anachronism of emphasising harmonic rhythm...[in the Andante of Bb3, HSkkinen] inspires his musicians into a softly atmospheric evocation of pastoral spaciousness interspersed with shadows of gentle agitation. Excellent.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sello Concert Hall, Espoo, Finland (10/01/2010-10/03/2010).



Reviews

Dussek symphonies
Frantisek Xaver Dusek, known in Vienna as Franz Xaver Dussek, was one of several eighteenth-century Bohemian composers who excelled in the composition of symphonies. Many Bohemian composers, especially Johann Stamitz and Johann Baptist Wanhal, sought employment outside Bohemia, but Dussek, who was also a highly respected pianist and teacher, spent the latter part of his career in Prague. Thanks to the patronage of Count Johann Spork, Dussek attended the Jesuit Gymnasium at Hradec Kralove. He subsequently studied in Prague with Habermann and then in Vienna with Georg Christoph Wagenseil, an eminent harpsichord virtuoso and court composer whose pupils included Leopold Hofmann and Joseph Anton Steffan.
Dussek probably had a close professional association with the orchestras of Counts Pachta and Clam Gallas. Through Dussek's wife Josepha, a celebrated soprano, who had family connections with Salzburg, the Dusseks became very friendly with Mozart. Mozart probably envied Dussek's obvious success as a freelance virtuoso, composer, and teacher working in both Prague and Vienna.
Dussek wrote most of his symphonies during the 1760s and 1770s, but precise dating seems to be mostly impossible; they were composed before the fully-fledged classical style emerged in the 1780s, but they exhibit several progressive stylistic tendencies. Some comprise three-movements; others, with an added minuet and trio, comprise four. The omission of a minuet and trio in no way implies that a work is early or primitive since both three- and four-movement symphonies continued to be written until comparatively late in the century.
The symphonies on this CD are expertly crafted, with abundant melody and variety, and it is hard to understand their neglect until now. The performances by the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra under Aapo Hakkinen are delightfully crisp and the recorded sound is excellent.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 09/01/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in G major (Altner G4)
  • Conductor: Aapo Häkkinen
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Baroque Orchestra
  • Notes: Sello Concert Hall, Espoo, Finland (10/01/2010-10/03/2010)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral

>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in B flat major (Altner Bb2)
  • Conductor: Aapo Häkkinen
  • Notes: Sello Concert Hall, Espoo, Finland (10/01/2010-10/03/2010)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in A major (Altner A3)
  • Conductor: Aapo Häkkinen
  • Notes: Sello Concert Hall, Espoo, Finland (10/01/2010-10/03/2010)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral

>Dussek, Frantisek Xaver : Sinfonia in B flat major (Altner Bb3)
  • Conductor: Aapo Häkkinen
  • Notes: Sello Concert Hall, Espoo, Finland (10/01/2010-10/03/2010)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral