Saturday, September 1, 2007
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837)
You can put in all the difficulties, jumps, runs, and any other devilish complexities you like, except octave spans and similar features which do not suit the formation of hands.
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The reputation of Hummel has been clouded by time. Born in Pressburg (the modern Bratislava) in 1778, he was a pupil of Mozart and enjoyed a successful career as a pianist and composer. He was employed by the Esterhazy family at Eisenstadt as Konzertmeister, while Haydn, now in retirement in Vienna, continued as nominal Kapellmeister. He later served as Kapellmeister at Stuttgart and from 1818 at Weimar. Recent recordings and performances have revived some interest in two of Hummel's half dozen or so piano concertos, Op. 85 and Op. 89. His Trumpet Concerto is a useful part of current repertoire. Hummel's Op. 87 Piano Quintet has particular interest in that it is scored for the same instruments as the famous Trout Quintet of Schubert; both quintets are scored for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass. He wrote other chamber music: Sonatas, Trios, 1 Piano Quartet, 2 Septets, etc. [Adapted from Karadar]