Jean-Jacques Dünki – piano, fortepiano, clavichord
All compositions by Jean-Jacques Dünki
Les cinq sens; Hommages à L.C. I-; autour du 6ème sens/le 6ème sens;
Trois fragments du “retour de Cythère”; Kinderstücke;
Kammerstück III auf den Namen Robert Schumann; Landscape; Cinq études pour le clavier;
Cinq études pour le clavicorde
Steinway – Hamburg 2017
Fortepiano John Broadwood – London 1802
Clavichord Thomas F. Steiner – Basel 2006 (after Friederici – Gera 1773)
For decades the composer and pianist Jean-Jacques Dunki (*1948) has established himself as an important voice among contemporary musicians in Switzerland. He enjoys an international reputation as a soloist, chamber musician, piano teacher and researcher. The album "pour le clavier" presents a retrospective overview of his compositions for keyboard instruments. Jean-Jacques Dünki recorded his music for PIANOVERSAL on three different instruments: the modern grand piano (Steinway D, Hamburg 2017), a historical fortepiano (Broadwood, London 1802) and clavichord (Thomas F Steiner, Basel 2006; after Friederici, Gera 1773). "Pour le clavier" gives an insight into Jean-Jacques Dunkki's creativity and diversity as a composer and performer and into his lifelong involvement with the piano and its historical predecessors.
Jean-Jacques Dünki - „POUR LE CLAVIER“
Playing on different keyboards is an excellent means to engage the imagination of performers and composers alike. Even the expression of a given work is affected by a change of instrument. Therefore I opted for choosing three quite different types of keyboard instruments for my recording: the archaic clavichord, whose origins are in the 15th century and its heyday in the late 18th century; the fortepiano, invented in the early 18th century and universally used in the first half of the 19th century, and, at last, the modern grand piano, the standard keyboard instrument nowadays. Each of the three instruments has a specific touch (and toucher), offering us therefore a different sound landscape. Even as a performer, I cannot help but being transformed myself. My keyboard compositions stretch about over more than half a century. Some of them appear in two variant recordings. Such is the case for Études I – V, Kammerstück III and Andere Kinderstücke. The motivation was, rather than didactical concern, the joy of sound metamorphosis. Even the titles of these pieces, most often in French or German, reflect this inclination of mine.
Les cinq sens (1980-83)
For a long time, this cycle existed solely as a sketch, prompting improvisations. Only in 1980 I had the courage to write it all down, but I gather that you will still perceive the initial improvisatory mood.
autour du 6ème sens / le 6ème sens (1994)
During the 1980s, I often used to play my cycle of the five senses in concert. More and more I felt like rounding off the work with a last piece, to some extent a quintessence of the whole. Some years were needed, however, to finish this double-faced concluding piece, which I dedicated to Alfred Zimmerlin.
Hommages à L.C. I - IV (1981-1986)
I owe the inspiration for this sequence of pieces to the profound French clavecinist Louis Couperin (1616-1661). Particularly his „préludes non mesurés“, his „Sarabandes“ and frolicking „Gigues“ fascinate me to the present day. I interpret the title „Hommages“ humbly as a my personal connection with this revered musician.
Kammerstück III auf den Namen Robert Schumann (1986-89)
Originally, a short „lamento“. I later added the letters of Robert Schumann’s name to it during the compositional process. I struggled throughout three years with this composition. Besides being an hommage to Schumann, it is part of my constant involvement with the music of the 19th century, still full of unresolved questions.
Composed within a few summer days, these pieces are meant for „rather grown-ups“ (in the words of Schumann) or better yet, the „child in the man“. Proof of this is in the titles of the single pieces and also the use of the so-called „E-bow“, a magnet which keeps the piano strings in constant vibration.
Trois fragments du „retour de Cythère“ (2007/8)
This very concise mini-cycle is a compilation of three solo passages out of my ensemble work “un retour de Cythère”, composed in 2007 for a festival in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
A graphical score (or drawing), notated on a journey across the Scottish Highlands.
Cinq études pour le clavier (1990-2012)
A yet unfinished cycle of “Études”, in the works for thirty years, meant as a school of taste and interpretation, rather than designed for technical purposes.
Étude I (1990-93)
The germinal idea of this composition occurred to me in a small hotel room in southern France, on my travelling clavichord. Subsequent work over the years since focused on refining the original idea in three versions: for clavichord, fortepiano and modern piano.
Étude II (2012)
A quiet piece, occasioned by my mother’s death. A little later I transcribed the work, integrating it into my first string quartet.
Étude III (1990-93)
A wanton Scherzo with an abrupt and offensive ending. To be executed mostly with the right hand alone.
Étude IV (2002)
A large-scale landscape study, composed in Soglio (Val Bregaglia) during a winter month, written down in the manner of Louis Couperin’s “préludes non mesurés”.
Étude V (2007)
In a revolting and torn-up attitude, sounding like broken columns, this composition is about one of the most depressing poems by Baudelaire, called “réversibilité”. I integrated this piece shortly after into my ensemble work “un retour de Cythère”.
Andere Kinderstücke (1960-2002, resp. 1982-2003)
Loosely gathered under this title are about ten short miniature pieces, mostly birthday offerings for (newly-born) children or playful studies which generally sound better on historical instruments than on modern ones.
Zwei Studien (2004)
On the outset pure clavichord music, a very contrastful pair, later on transformed and integrated into the ensemble work “un retour de Cythère”: n° 1 transcribed for string quartet, n° 2 for percussion duo and double bass.
©Jean-Jacques Dünki, with thanks to Elliott Gimble
Here you can download the entire e-booklet for free: pv102_Dunki__e_booklet.pdf