Dittersdorf 'Ovid' sonatas, for fortepiano four-hands

Recording Date: 
September 2014
Recording Venue: 
School of Music, the University of Auckland, New Zealand
August 2017

In 1781 Cal Ditters von Dittersdorf conceived a ground-breaking, multi-media project to compose and have published a series of fifteen symphonies based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
Each symphony was to be graced by newly commissioned engravings and synopses. In the event, only six symphonies were published and these are the only works from the set to survive in orchestral form.
The works heard here are four-hand arrangements of three of the lost symphonies. These fascinating works juxtapose conventional structures with fluid, unconventional music transforming Ovid’s ‘tableaux’
into dramatic structures teeming with incident and wit. In the absence of the orchestral 'originals' they represent a unique view of the stories of Ajax, Hercules and Jason, as depicted by Dittersdorf in his keyboard transcriptions.

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