- A Rondo for the HarpSophia Dussek (1775–1847)
Sophia Dussek (née Corri) was a Scottish-born composer and musician of Italian descent who spent a large portion of her active career in London. Her early music instruction was taken with her father, music publisher and composer Domenico Corri; after moving to London in 1788, she studied with Luigi Marchesi and Giambattista Cimador. Dussek was a highly accomplished performer on harp, pianoforte, and voice from an early age, and she had her London début at the prestigious Salomon concerts in 1791. Her published oeuvre includes an impressive array of concert works for harp, pianoforte sonatas, and a variety of smaller works intended for the domestic market, including A Rondo for the Harp in E-flat major. The rondo was published in Pleyel, Corri, & Dussek’s Musical Journal, no. 3 (1797) and can be performed on either the harp or the pianoforte. Its elegant composition reflects many typical features popular in English writing of the time, including an Alberti-type bass accompaniment, delicate détaché scales as linking passages, and dramatic octaves. The rondo includes a highly affective C-minor passage (from m. 64) reminiscent of Dussek’s Harp Sonata in C minor, op. 2, no. 3 (1794). [End Page 101]
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katelyn clark is a Canadian historical keyboard specialist based out of Montréal, Québec, and a doctoral candidate in historical musicology at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Her work explores late eighteenth-century London pianoforte culture, examining the intersection of musical publication and canon formation, the gender dynamics of keyboard performance and place, and technological developments of the English keyboard. Her research is funded through Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture.