Academic journal article Notes

Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Academic journal article Notes

Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Article excerpt

Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Chamber Music at Schonbrunn. Red Cedar Chamber Music. Fleur de Son Classics FDS 57983, 2007.

Hummel is not exactly an obscure figure in late classical and early romantic music, but in recent years his work has not received quite the level of attention it deserves, especially from ensembles devoted to performing on period instruments. This may be, in part, because period-instrument groups lend to focus on music that benefits most clearly from the use of ancient instruments, and thus spend most of their time and energy on the baroque and Renaissance periods. But in recent years that musical community has shown a greater interest in music from the early romantic period, and this very fine recording by Red Cedar Chamber Music is one example of that shift. The program includes two of Hummel's Grandes Serenades (both for fortepiano, guitar, violin. Mute, and cello), his Trio op. 78 for flute, cello and fortepiano, and his Potpourri op. 53 for fortepiano and guitar. Playing music of this period on gut-strung instruments and period keyboards (such as the Dulken fortepiano copy used on this recording) brings a unique flavor to the proceedings that derives in part from what is, to modern ears, an unusual tonal quality, and in part from the sense that the instruments are being used to the full extent of their expressive capacities, and that sense is particularly strong with the chamber music of Hummel. …

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