Author Topic: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel  (Read 25204 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #140 on: December 16, 2015, 02:16:54 PM »
Well, no activity in the Hummel thread for over 1 1/2 years - just returned to my collection today and decided to replace an old 2-CD set that had the trumpet & mandolin concertos and some flute chamber works w/ the two discs below - coming from the Amazon MP.

Any other new releases of this composer's works that others have acquired?  Dave :)

 

ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #141 on: December 16, 2015, 02:39:24 PM »
I don't listen to Hummel as much as I ought.  And not merely because he is as inventive as he is entertaining.  He brings back fond memories of listening to Karl Haas and his daily Adventures in Good Music radio show.  Haas seemed to play and discuss Hummel every chance he got.  So much so, there was a time when I thought, jokingly, of changing my name to Nepomuk.  Fun to say and always got a chuckle outta my wife.  (My apologies for this bit of inanity, which I hope to atone for by earnestly recommending this) :



Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #142 on: December 16, 2015, 04:55:23 PM »
I don't listen to Hummel as much as I ought.  And not merely because he is as inventive as he is entertaining.  He brings back fond memories of listening to Karl Haas and his daily Adventures in Good Music radio show.  Haas seemed to play and discuss Hummel every chance he got.  So much so, there was a time when I thought, jokingly, of changing my name to Nepomuk.  Fun to say and always got a chuckle outta my wife.  (My apologies for this bit of inanity, which I hope to atone for by earnestly recommending this) :

 

Enjoyed the Hummel I listened to today - pulled the rest of my collection for tomorrow - I have a number of piano sonatas & concerto discs - was also viewing the one added above on Amazon - might be an additional consideration for me as a 'wind' enthusiast - ;)  Dave

Offline Cato

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #143 on: December 16, 2015, 05:41:25 PM »
I don't listen to Hummel as much as I ought.  And not merely because he is as inventive as he is entertaining.  He brings back fond memories of listening to Karl Haas and his daily Adventures in Good Music radio show.  Haas seemed to play and discuss Hummel every chance he got.  So much so, there was a time when I thought, jokingly, of changing my name to Nepomuk.  Fun to say and always got a chuckle outta my wife.  (My apologies for this bit of inanity, which I hope to atone for by earnestly recommending this) :

No!  Not inane at all!  Karl Haas was great, and did have his favorites, like Hummel!   Other favorites of his were Czerny, Poulenc, along with Milhaud.  Second Vienna School did not get played much.   ;)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Online Jo498

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #144 on: December 17, 2015, 12:01:49 AM »
Haas seemed to play and discuss Hummel every chance he got.  So much so, there was a time when I thought, jokingly, of changing my name to Nepomuk.  Fun to say and always got a chuckle outta my wife.  (My apologies for this bit of inanity, which I hope to atone for by earnestly recommending this) :

This is totally OT but did you ever encounter Michael Ende's book(s) "Jim Button and Luke the Engine driver"? They were favorites of mine when I was about 7 and they feature a (semi)dragon named Nepomuk. Because the name is so uncommon and this was my first encounter with it Nepomuk will always evoke that little critter...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Button_and_Luke_the_Engine_Driver
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #145 on: December 17, 2015, 05:54:11 AM »
No!  Not inane at all!  Karl Haas was great, and did have his favorites, like Hummel!   Other favorites of his were Czerny, Poulenc, along with Milhaud.  Second Vienna School did not get played much.   ;)

"Second Vienna School did not get played much."  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:  he played a lotta Nathan Milstein (turned out he was a personal friend, didn't know that at the time) - and once he proclaimed him to be the greatest violinist of the 20th century.  I miss him greatly; not many days go by when I don't think about him and his friendly, sonorous "Hello, everyone!" His love for music was infectious; I was, of course, already infected but his talents and knowledge made the affliction much, much worse.  And, of course, I loved the mystery composer game, and frequently did well in it. I used to make my staff listen to the program (for their own good, you see) - they grew to like him nearly as much as I did.  I don't understand why he shouldn't live forever.  Well, come to think on it, I guess he does...

ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #146 on: December 17, 2015, 06:16:13 AM »
This is totally OT but did you ever encounter Michael Ende's book(s) "Jim Button and Luke the Engine driver"? They were favorites of mine when I was about 7 and they feature a (semi)dragon named Nepomuk. Because the name is so uncommon and this was my first encounter with it Nepomuk will always evoke that little critter...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Button_and_Luke_the_Engine_Driver

Just vaguely aware of that book - THANK YOU!!! - I am supposed to be an 'expert' in the area (seriously!) of children's RR books and so am pursuing your lead forthwith. And you know, I could always still change my name to Nepomuk, it's not off the table yet.  Another name I liked as well : Gulab Jamun (after the sweet Indian dessert), but an Indian restaurant waiter (after laughing so much he had to grip his belly) informed me in a tone that left no margin for error that it would prob. be a girl's name.  So that is off the table, sigh.  :laugh:   I can see we should get back to Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Karl Haas would want us to, though even he would occasionally digress. 

Here he is, below; I wonder how many GMGers on seeing his portrait, could say "Hey, THAT'S Johann Nepomuk Hummel!" ?



« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 06:21:06 AM by ZauberdrachenNr.7 »

Online Jo498

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #147 on: December 17, 2015, 09:54:01 AM »
It's actually a very good book (and the sequel as well) and it was hugely popular from its publication in the early 1960s (although Ende had had a hard time finding a publisher at all). Internationally he probably became far more famous with the "Neverending Story" almost 20 years later but Jim and Luke/Lukas (and Emma, the Engine) were famous long before Bastian and the lucky dragon.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Cato

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #148 on: December 17, 2015, 02:27:13 PM »
"Second Vienna School did not get played much."  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:  he played a lotta Nathan Milstein (turned out he was a personal friend, didn't know that at the time) - and once he proclaimed him to be the greatest violinist of the 20th century.  I miss him greatly; not many days go by when I don't think about him and his friendly, sonorous "Hello, everyone!"...  I don't understand why he shouldn't live forever.  Well, come to think on it, I guess he does...

When I was in northern Ohio, I picked up a classical station either out of Toledo or Fort Wayne, Indiana, and it was playing one of Karl's old shows!

One show's title really sticks in my mind: "For the Truck Drivers of America!"  ??? 8) 0:)   He put together a collection of "traveling music" for the truck drivers who listened to him.

And speaking of the good old days and performers like Nathan Milstein...

Maurice Andre!

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"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #149 on: December 21, 2015, 02:36:09 PM »
When I was in northern Ohio, I picked up a classical station either out of Toledo or Fort Wayne, Indiana, and it was playing one of Karl's old shows!

One show's title really sticks in my mind: "For the Truck Drivers of America!"  ??? 8) 0:)   He put together a collection of "traveling music" for the truck drivers who listened to him.

And speaking of the good old days and performers like Nathan Milstein...



Thanks!  I remember the truck driver's installment.  Definitely a man of the people!  Apparently the family does not want Karl's old shows to be aired - dunno why.  In any case, some followers, several hundred strong and now myself among them, are klamoring for Karl on a FB page :  https://www.facebook.com/Return-Karl-Haas-Adventures-in-Good-Music-to-the-Air-119871148037459/

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #150 on: December 22, 2015, 10:10:01 AM »
Some NEW Hummel CDs arrived today - culled out an old 2-disc set of flute and mandolin performances and replaced w/ the two below:

Now listening to the Flute Sonatas w/ piano & cello - modern instruments; performers all Canadians but w/ excellent credentials - great recorded sound on this bargain disc - if you like the flute, then recommended!

Mandolin works up next - Dorina Frati on a mandolin described as R. Calace, 1988 - see Wiki quote below; Raffaele Calace (1863-1934) - there is no further information in the notes on this instrument, but possibly a reproduction (or restoration) of an instrument used and/or made by Calace - just checked my collection and have the disc below of some of his mandolin music; also, a pic of Frati below on a mandolin that looks similar to the one pictured w/ her in the notes.

Finally, a PDF file attached w/ some reviews of these recordings, for those interested.  Dave :)

Quote
Raffaele Calace was an Italian mandolin player, composer, and luthier. Calace was born in Naples, Italy, the son of Antonio Calace, a successful instrument maker.

 

 

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #151 on: January 05, 2016, 09:38:42 AM »
Well, stimulated by my 'wind interest' in Hummel in the post above, the CD quoted below (i.e. post just left in the 'listening thread') just arrived from the Czech Republic - I made the purchase at the Praga Camerata website hoping to save a few bucks (vs. the Amazon prices) - but when I placed my order, no CC was asked - after a series of email exchanges w/ Pavel Hula (assume the conductor of the orchestral on the cover art below), he wanted me to send $18 USA cash (no check) to him - so w/ the postage across the pond, I'll likely pay a similar price - BUT, as stated below, the disc is enjoyable!  Dave :)

Quote
Hummel, Johann (1778-1837) - Oboe Variations, Septet, & Bassoon Concerto w/ Pavel Hula-Praga Camerata & Czech Nonet - new arrival directly from the Czech Republic and enjoying tremendously, i.e. a 'different side' of Hummel compared to the other CDs owned! :)  Dave

P.S. Pic of the Nonet added - not the same image as in the liner notes but looks like the same performers - wind instruments appear modern to me - these works were composed in the early 19th century, so the winds were in transition - BTW, this is a SACD (which I cannot appreciate w/ my aged equipment - ;)).

 

Online Jo498

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #152 on: January 05, 2016, 01:06:13 PM »
One of my last purchases before Xmas had been the piano trio set with the Parnassus Trio (MDG). These are already from the late 1980s (must be among the ensemble's first recordings) but well-recorded, brilliantly played and thoroughly enjoyable.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #153 on: December 05, 2016, 10:50:49 AM »
Well, nearly another year has gone by w/o a Hummel post!   ???

Recently, I've been looking at my collection of Hummel's Piano Sonatas - I had owned the discs below at the top for a while, i.e. Stephen Hough doing 3 sonatas and John Khouri on several fortepianos, repeating the same works.  So in checking Amazon, I just received the 3 volumes by Ian Hobson on Arabesque recorded in 1986 - the sound is excellent and the performances marvelous to my ears - see the attached PDF for reviews of all these Hobson CDs, plus a review of the Hough disc by Jerry Dubins, who seems to prefer Hough (not sure but will do a comparison) - BTW, all of the Arabesque discs are 'used' and w/ a little credit got each for just $4.

Now, there seems to be some confusion about 'how many' piano sonatas were composed by Hummel - he did write a LOT of music for the instrument being not only a performer himself, but also a popular teacher.  The 'official number' seems to be six, which are included on the Hobson CDs - the listing is shown below (Source), but in his non-catalog works, Piano Sonatas Nos. 7-9 are listed?  As to the latter, recordings are available from Centaur Records w/ Antonio Pompa-Baldi, who has done two volumes of Hummel's sonatas and may do a third to complete the series? 

So, would be curious about others' experiences w/ this composer's piano sonatas, whether on a modern piano or a fortepiano - Dave :)

Quote
Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 2a-No.3 (1792)
Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 13 (c. 1804)
Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 20 (c. 1807)
Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 38 (c. 1808)
Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 81 (date?)
Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 106 (1824))

Piano Sonatas No. 7-9 - not in any catalog?

   

   

Offline Ken B

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #154 on: December 05, 2016, 11:56:50 AM »
Well, nearly another year has gone by w/o a Hummel post!   ???

Recently, I've been looking at my collection of Hummel's Piano Sonatas - I had owned the discs below at the top for a while, i.e. Stephen Hough doing 3 sonatas and John Khouri on several fortepianos, repeating the same works.  So in checking Amazon, I just received the 3 volumes by Ian Hobson on Arabesque recorded in 1986 - the sound is excellent and the performances marvelous to my ears - see the attached PDF for reviews of all these Hobson CDs, plus a review of the Hough disc by Jerry Dubins, who seems to prefer Hough (not sure but will do a comparison) - BTW, all of the Arabesque discs are 'used' and w/ a little credit got each for just $4.

Now, there seems to be some confusion about 'how many' piano sonatas were composed by Hummel - he did write a LOT of music for the instrument being not only a performer himself, but also a popular teacher.  The 'official number' seems to be six, which are included on the Hobson CDs - the listing is shown below (Source), but in his non-catalog works, Piano Sonatas Nos. 7-9 are listed?  As to the latter, recordings are available from Centaur Records w/ Antonio Pompa-Baldi, who has done two volumes of Hummel's sonatas and may do a third to complete the series? 

So, would be curious about others' experiences w/ this composer's piano sonatas, whether on a modern piano or a fortepiano - Dave :)

   

   

I love ’em. I can't say I know one from the other, they are still just discs o' Hummel to me, due to lack of individual attention, but that may change. They are more consistent than Clementi's but C wrote so many I guess that is no surprise.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline amw

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #155 on: December 05, 2016, 01:28:02 PM »
The Ian Hobson recordings of the piano sonatas are indeed excellent. Stephen Hough is slightly better, but this is pretty much a general rule for everything Stephen Hough ever recorded. I don't think one can go wrong with either.

Piano Sonatas "7 through 9" were written between Op. 2/3 and Op. 13, I believe, whilst Hummel was a teenager. I wouldn't call them essential, though I wouldn't call Op. 2/3 or 38 essential either. If you like those two, you'll probably enjoy 7-9 just as much.

Of the piano sonatas I would say Op. 81 is not only the greatest, but probably Hummel's best work in general. Its popularity throughout the nineteenth century was well-deserved. I'd put Op. 13 in second place, but that's probably a somewhat heterodox opinion; that said, it's the work where Hummel's style crystallised (not to undergo any significant changes for the rest of his career) and has a certain youthful freshness and vitality that I don't find in some of the later works once that style had occasionally turned into formula (e.g. stretches of Op. 106, which I think is a more conventional second choice).

The fugal finale of Op. 106 is also a masterpiece; the fugal finale of Op. 20, not quite so much. Op. 20 I think could have been an impressive work but comes across as curiously underdeveloped—perhaps the most interesting concept of Hummel's sonatas but he ends up backing down somehow on its promises. I'm not sure how else to explain it.

The weakness of Hummel's sonatas and the thing that makes them hard to tell apart sometimes is of course that he wasn't good at coming up with memorable thematic ideas. At his best, he's aware of this, and uses various strategies to maintain interest, eg the brilliant "pre-Chopinesque" ornamentation of Op. 81/ii which successfully enlivens the rather generic shape of his melody, or replacing full-blown themes with a kind of cantus firmus that moves polyphonically through the texture, but very often he nonetheless can't do without those full-blown themes and they tend to be some combination of schmaltzy and generic. Only Op. 81 avoids having any such themes, and it is also the most fun to play, btw.

For early Romantic piano sonatas not by Schubert, Hummel doesn't approach the quality of Dussek's La retour à Paris or L'Invocation or Élégie harmonique, but his sonatas as a whole are better than the majority of Dussek's, and about on a level with those of Clementi, differing chiefly in that Clementi doesn't really seem aware of his difficulty in coming up with memorable thematic ideas.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 01:32:50 PM by amw »

Offline Ken B

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #156 on: December 05, 2016, 03:04:15 PM »
The Ian Hobson recordings of the piano sonatas are indeed excellent. Stephen Hough is slightly better, but this is pretty much a general rule for everything Stephen Hough ever recorded. I don't think one can go wrong with either.

Piano Sonatas "7 through 9" were written between Op. 2/3 and Op. 13, I believe, whilst Hummel was a teenager. I wouldn't call them essential, though I wouldn't call Op. 2/3 or 38 essential either. If you like those two, you'll probably enjoy 7-9 just as much.

Of the piano sonatas I would say Op. 81 is not only the greatest, but probably Hummel's best work in general. Its popularity throughout the nineteenth century was well-deserved. I'd put Op. 13 in second place, but that's probably a somewhat heterodox opinion; that said, it's the work where Hummel's style crystallised (not to undergo any significant changes for the rest of his career) and has a certain youthful freshness and vitality that I don't find in some of the later works once that style had occasionally turned into formula (e.g. stretches of Op. 106, which I think is a more conventional second choice).

The fugal finale of Op. 106 is also a masterpiece; the fugal finale of Op. 20, not quite so much. Op. 20 I think could have been an impressive work but comes across as curiously underdeveloped—perhaps the most interesting concept of Hummel's sonatas but he ends up backing down somehow on its promises. I'm not sure how else to explain it.

The weakness of Hummel's sonatas and the thing that makes them hard to tell apart sometimes is of course that he wasn't good at coming up with memorable thematic ideas. At his best, he's aware of this, and uses various strategies to maintain interest, eg the brilliant "pre-Chopinesque" ornamentation of Op. 81/ii which successfully enlivens the rather generic shape of his melody, or replacing full-blown themes with a kind of cantus firmus that moves polyphonically through the texture, but very often he nonetheless can't do without those full-blown themes and they tend to be some combination of schmaltzy and generic. Only Op. 81 avoids having any such themes, and it is also the most fun to play, btw.

For early Romantic piano sonatas not by Schubert, Hummel doesn't approach the quality of Dussek's La retour à Paris or L'Invocation or Élégie harmonique, but his sonatas as a whole are better than the majority of Dussek's, and about on a level with those of Clementi, differing chiefly in that Clementi doesn't really seem aware of his difficulty in coming up with memorable thematic ideas.

That's a very interesting analysis. Thank you!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Heck148

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #157 on: December 05, 2016, 03:30:55 PM »
his trumpet concerto is a favorite among trumpeters...i played it on a recital.  great tune.

He wrote a Grand Concerto in F for Bassoon and orchestra...it is really "grand"...quite a workout...

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Discovering Johann Nepomuk Hummel
« Reply #158 on: December 05, 2016, 03:54:51 PM »
The Ian Hobson recordings of the piano sonatas are indeed excellent. Stephen Hough is slightly better, but this is pretty much a general rule for everything Stephen Hough ever recorded. I don't think one can go wrong with either.

Piano Sonatas "7 through 9" were written between Op. 2/3 and Op. 13, I believe, whilst Hummel was a teenager. I wouldn't call them essential, though I wouldn't call Op. 2/3 or 38 essential either. If you like those two, you'll probably enjoy 7-9 just as much...................

Thanks Ken & amw for your comments.  I really enjoyed the Hobson performances - after, put on my Hough disc, of course more recent Hyperion sonics, plus his dynamics are much more emphasized to my ears - Hobson may be a more pleasant listen for me.  Concerning the Piano Sonatas, Nos. 7-9, I'd likely enjoy - will check Spotify to see if Antonio Pompa-Baldi's recording is available - we've seen him in concert and I own all of his Grieg solo piano CDs on Centaur.  Dave :)

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