Completeness status of Dussek concertos.
I'm just wondering about something concerning Dussek's Piano Concertos generally, prompted by seeing various pages for them. I notice that most of these concertos are more or less incomplete, although in different ways. Sometimes there is just a solo piano part, or the piano part with orchestral cues, or maybe (not quite the same thing) the whole concerto arranged as a single-piano piece; sometimes some orchestral parts are provided. But nowhere (so far) have I seen a full score for any of the concertos, or even what looks like a complete set of parts - and I'm just wondering if any full scores exist. Were these ever published? - or do they exist in manuscript? Or are they lost for ever?
That would be a tragedy, and I hope the full scores do exist somewhere, and one day can come to light, and maybe even get performed or recorded. Some years ago I went through some of Dussek's piano sonatas on the piano myself, and was astonished: these are rich, complex works that seem very much in the Beethoven tradition, and thus it was quite surprising to see that some of them antedated Beethoven works I would have considered comparable in style. A composer whose time must surely come soon, I would have thought. I hope the concertos are not truly lost in the mists of time. I guess someone could possibly concoct an orchestral version from the material that does exist; but of course that would not really be the same.
If anyone knows anything about this, I would be interested to hear from them. M.J.E. 13:51, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
- At a guess and from things I have read and heard- up to a certain point and before copyright laws were well-established, there was a disincentive to publish more than a little of certain famous pieces, especially orchestral and concertante works, one was associated with, lest one's rivals start taking them up and performing them in competition. So, for instance, the story that Mozart was non-plussed when he heard a starling humming the tune of his G-major piano concerto (K453)- where'd the bird hear it? He was nowhere near to publishing the piece (for that reason). Piano solo parts of concertos might be published but they were not enough to worry their composers, as a rule. Working one's way back to the topic, there is a collection containing, it seems, the solo piano parts of most of Dussek's piano concertos, scanned in by the University of North Carolina and downloadable through archive.org, but the orchestral parts and/or scores are in most cases probably either still in manuscript or published only much more recently in modern editions that we can't upload for copyright reasons :)- all on a case-by-case basis. Having said that- and that's not all from first principles, I seem to recall having looked into the whereabouts of the manuscript of several specific Dussek concertos (so far as I could from my computer- and did find where one of them was, too - ah yes. op. 20/29/Craw 125 (Piano Concerto No.7, Op.29), a google search finds a near- answer... "manuscript copy in Brussels, Conservatoire Royal de Musique". I think that referred to the score or parts- that was from a Google preview of a book on the classical concerto (Lindeman, Stephan, Structural novelty and tradition in the early romantic piano concerto, page 225.) Eric 14:16, 9 June 2011 (UTC) (actually, hrm. Lindeman doesn't say if the man. copy is of the whole work or of the piano solo- itself of course a good thing to have a manuscript copy of too, for authentication purposes , but goes aside from point... hrm. gives a formal analysis of the concerto though... let's see... though for that one we at least have published parts! and I don't deprecate the concern, given how many concertos by good composers have been lost, or lost except for the solo parts, to fires and other things- even published concertos all of whose print run has met bad luck or whose parts were not published- etc. And there's that last Moscheles concerto, too, but never mind.
Okay, thanks for that, Eric and the other poster who didn't leave a name. I'm not expert enough to understand all that detail; but the gist of it seems to be that maybe full scores or complete parts exist for some of the concertos, but they may be either in manuscript in obscure libraries where they will not be accessible to most people, or else maybe recently published in editions too recent to be posted on this site.
Just as a matter of curiosity, which composers are the ones "many" of whose concertos have been lost? Is Moscheles one of them?
I hate to think of what may have been lost (and I squirm at the mental vision of Sibelius supposedly feeding his 8th Symphony to a fire, as I have read is probable) - and it does seem that some composers or publishers were themselves not always very careful at preserving work of their creation or in their possession. M.J.E. 17:24, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
- I was thinking many composers, not composers many of whose concertos- if I recall, the 8th concerto of Moscheles is sort of accounted for (parts in a private collection), and the other 7 are entirely so. There is, I think, a Steibelt concerto that has been almost wholly lost, though. As to Dussek though, several of the piano concertos have been recorded in full piano-orchestral garb several times, so I hope my answer has not misled. (E.g.: Andreas Staier, keyboard, with Concerto Köln ,opp.22 and 49, on Capriccio, back in 1995. This recording has just been reissued this year, I see...) The F major concerto opus 17 used to be available on the now defunct Koch Schwann label (Radioswissclassic.ch will be broadcasting and webstreaming that recording on Thursday of next week at 3p.m. local (9a.m. EDT, 2p.m. British, etc., though, I see :) ). As to the other concertos in score and recording:
in 1993, Jonathan Irving produced as his doctoral (I assume) thesis (this from worldcat.org...) Jan Ladislav Dussek : (1760-1812) : first critical edition and full score of the piano concerto in E-flat, op. 15, with a biographical survey and observations on his style and influences. Alstein of Zurich produced a score of the harp/piano concerto opus 30 in 2001. There hasn't been much activity in the Dussek concerto full-score front recently but there's been some :) (also, I think Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has the parts to a number of published Dussek concertos in early editions, though not scanned in...- judging from the descriptions ("16 St.", "14 St." )of the listings for the several concertos by Dussek that they have. Eric 20:15, 9 June 2011 (UTC)