Sonatina Op. 19/20 n. 4


Dussek, Jan Ladislav (1760 - 1812)

Sonatina in A Maj. Op. 19 / 20 n. 4


  Sonatina in A Maj. Op. 19 / 20 n. 4  
Tullio Forlenza

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JAN LADISLAV DUSSEK - 6 Sonatinas for Piano, Op. 19 / 20 - IMSLP



The Sonatina in La Mag. Op. 19/20 n. 4 is the fourth of a group of six sonatinas, originally written for piano with flute accompaniment, published in London in 1793 by the publisher Longman & Broderip.



The Sonatina in A Maj. Op. 19 / 20 n. 4 consists of two movements:

1st Mov.: Moderato

2nd Mov.: Minuetto. Tempo di ballo

The first movement of this Sonatina is a bit longer than the previous ones and is made up of two parts, both of which are repeated. The first thematic group consists of a melodic element accompanied by pattern of quavers and a second one which is a variation of the first, accompanied this time by a more complex structure in semiquavers.

The first melodic element is then repeated and reutilised as a modulating transition to the second thematic group in the dominant key and begins with a long phrase in quatrains with a more rhythmic and flowing character that transitions directly to the codetta.

The development takes its cue from the second melodic element of the first thematic block, the one with the accompaniment in semiquavers, and through a wide series of modulations we go towards the reprise using the motif from the same codetta that was already placed at the conclusion of the exposition. A short sequence leads to a shortened reprise that briefly summarizes the first melodic element and re-proposes the second thematic block in the tonic key.

AI B1I    AII B1II    CI AIIIacc. B2I    CII AVIacc.B2II

The second movement is a Minuet composed of several almost homogeneous episodes, where each section is accompanied by a refrain, a feature that makes the piece considerably longer in relation to the quantity of elements it is made up of.

A1I A1II    A2I A2II    B1I B1II    B2I B2II    A1III A2III



The first thing that strikes you about this Sonatina is the indication concerning the tempo of the initial movement, a generic "Moderato" that leaves room for different performance possibilities.

It could be an Allegro moderato where the composer has omitted to mention this first term because it’s a foregone conclusion, or a comfortable Andante with a few moments of greater fluidity.

Since it is not possible to establish the exact tempo with certainty, I tended towards an Andante where the word "Moderato" is often used synonymously, which gave me the opportunity to emphasize the phrasing and the expression of the small elements that constitute this music.

In particular, some modulating elements of the first thematic group, take on a very expressive character and introduce some inflections that in Dussek's classicist mood, are closer to a pre-romantic sensitivity.



The Schirmer edition lacks the D{\displaystyle \sharp } in bar 41 of the Minuetto and continues in this way every time the element is reproposed. It is most probably an error since this difference does not appear in any other edition.

 Tullio Forlenza
(Trad.: Sara Rosenman)

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