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Johann Nepomuk Hummel

November 14, 1778 - October 17, 1837
born in Pressburg, Slovakia, composed during the Classical period
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) was an important composer from the late Classical period primarily known for his solo piano compositions and piano concertos. In recent years, however, attention has been given to his chamber music, operas, and sacred works. He tended to write long-breathed melodies, often used Alberti bass accompaniments and dotted rhythms, and favored the sonata-allegro and rondo forms. Among his greatest works in the keyboard genre are the Sonata in A Flat, for piano 4 hands, Op. 92, and the Sonata in F Sharp, Op. 81. His Mass, Op. 111, and some of his cantatas are also important works. Hummel wrote a highly-regarded three-volume treatise on pianism, entitled A Complete Theoretical and Practical Course on the Art of Pianoforte Playing.

Hummel was born on November 14, 1778, in Bratislava (then Pressburg), Slovakia. Young Johann's first musical studies came on the violin at the behest of his father, a player of string instruments himself, and director of the local Imperial School of Military Music. By the age of five Hummel could play the violin with proficiency. But he would abandon it in favor of the piano, on which he developed an astonishing technique by age six.

When the family moved to Vienna in 1786, Johann studied with Mozart, with whom he lived for two years. After concert appearances throughout Europe at age ten, Hummel and his father traveled to London, where they settled temporarily. Johann met Clementi there, and took private instruction from him.

Hummel returned to Vienna in 1793 and began studies with Albrechtsberger. Now 14, the young composer largely turned away from the concert stage, in favor of teaching and composing. Among his works were a set of variations for piano in 1794, and, four years later, two sonatas for piano and violin, and one for piano and viola. But he struggled with opera: Il viaggiator ridicolo (1797), and Don Anchise (c. 1800) were left incomplete. He did, however, finish Dankgefühl einer Geretten (1799).

His Piano Trio in E Flat and the Variations in G on a Romance by Méhul came in the early years of the next century, and he completed his opera Le vicende d'amore in 1804. Soon more operas would come, as well as his Concerto in G, for piano and violin. His first major appointment came in April, 1804, when he accepted the post of Concertmaster to Prince Nikolaus Esterházy at his Eisenstadt court. Hummel also wrote several masses, including the Mass in E Flat (1804), and Mass in D (1808); and he composed a Te Deum (1806), and two Salve Reginas. More operas came, too: Der vereitelten Ränke (1806) and Mathilde von Guise (1810; revised in 1821).

In May, 1811, Hummel was dismissed as Kapellmeister in a controversy and returned to Vienna to focus on composition. Two years later he married Elizabeth Röckel. Late the following year, at his wife's behest, he launched a concert tour in Vienna, scoring triumph after triumph. He subsequently toured Germany and Europe with great success, sometimes also assuming the role of conductor.

Hummel accepted the Kapellmeister posts in Stuttgart (1816) and Weimar (1819). This was a most productive period for him, as many of his best works appeared, including the Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 83 (1819), the Sonata in A Flat, for piano four hands, Op. 92 (1820), and two "birthday" cantatas for the Duke (1823 and 1827). By 1832, Hummel's health was in decline, and he frequently took leave of his Kapellmeister duties in Weimar because of sickness. He died on October 17, 1837. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Hummel: Complete Piano Trios

Disc 1
Title: Piano Trio In E Flat Major, Op. 93
Title: Piano Trio In G Major, Op. 65
Title: Piano Trio In E Major, Op. 83
Disc 2
Title: Piano Trio In E Flat Major, Op. 12
Title: Piano Trio In F Major, Op. 22
Title: Piano Trio In G Major, Op. 35
Title: Piano Trio In E Flat Major, Op. 96
x

Track List: Hummel: Flute Sonatas (Complete): Grand Rondeau Brillant; Trio For Flute, Cello And Piano

Title: Sonata For Violin Or Flute & Piano Or Harpsichord In G Major, Op. 2a/2
Title: Sonata For Violin Or Flute & Piano In D Major, Op. 50
Title: Sonata For Flute Or Violin & Piano In A Major, Op. 64
Title: Rondo Brillant For Violin (or Flute) & Piano In G Major, Op. 126
Title: Adagio, Variations And Rondo On "Schöne Minka" For Piano, Flute & Cello In A Major, Op. 78
x

Track List: Hummel: Septet, Op.74, Quintet, Op.87; Weber: Clarinet Quintet, Op. 34 [Australia]

x

Track List: Mass in D Major Op 111 / Mass in B-Flat

Title: Mass For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra In D Major, Op. 111
Title: Alma Virgo, Offertory For Soprano, Chorus & Orchestra, Op. 89a
Title: Mass For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra No.1 In B Flat Major, Op. 77

Comments

Beautiful; Inspires me to write of Gods majesty
They sure did master instruments early in those days. Amazing
may all who enjoy peace of soul find tranquility in beautiful music, for it is from YHWH to comfort you. ALL good things come from god, and they are for YOU. may you never be deprived of beauty my loved ones, rejoice in each other, praise god and enjoy the fruit of your labor, this is your gift and your portion from god SEEK LOVE AND IT SHALL FIND YOU
I agree with docdglobal-v o c h o . it doesn't break your eardrums. I love Beethoven, but I'm often looking for the volume knob, this guy reminds me of Beethoven but one can leave the volume knob alone. It seems Ludwig or Johann copied the other though somewhat. Definitely one was inspired by the other.
I am practicing and I'm doing good
His music makes me picture a bird or deer running around in the forest.
Amazing. I will never be able to play like Alison Balsom, She is truly wonderful.
I know this song!
Always loved to play the Hummel Clarinet Quintet In B Flat Major, splendid music.
I could listen to this man all day...simply divine.
linda3241
Delightful!! ! !
Alison Balsom, magnificent trumpeter!
Ah, The Hummel Trumpet Concerto...n o t too shabby for being over 200 years old. The beauty of it, is, one can listen to it without breaking one's eardrums!
pbarkley1
A great new find for me...Hummel. He even lived with Mozart for two years! Can you imagine what that might have been like? Piano mastery is mind-bogglin g .
Love the portrait... but love the music even more. Fantastic Piano Concerto in B Minor Op. 89!!!!
I agree with docdglobal-v o c h o ; invigorating !
He doesn't get much press today, but he was in good company when alive and I've always liked his work.
wmwelkerpa
Superlativel y balanced in his musical gift and with inquisitive studiousness of his predecessors accomplishme n t s .
This rendition of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto is without a doubt the most dynamic I've ever heard,I've played in several symphony orchestras and heard many trumpeters play it, and, I agree with John Newman...bri l l i a n t , but then again it is Wynton Marsalis.
:D
Quite invigorating .
122183710
Brilliant rendition
So little national exposure. I guess no matter how brilliant the artist is he or she still needs a PR firm to expose the world to that brilliance. Thank you Pandora for placing him and others of equal musical genius> on your menu.
mayginin
I am thankful that you introduced his music to me. I never realized I had such a hole in my musical library. His style is classical , but with a flair and grace not always heard in the music of his era.
tedsandyman0 1
Hummel will pummel ur face
alnyhe
HIS DOUBLE CONCERT FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO IS BEATIFUL
a lovely surprise for me thought he was contempory ...as in 20th century.
All this guy needed was the Pandora radio in his era...
oui33
Hummel's work is somewhat obscure. He's one of those underrated composers; however, he's gained some popularity in recent years. Classical radio plays his works occasionally - - e v e r y t h i n g that I've heard by him thus far has been quite nice!
........hmmm m m . . . . . . . . g u e s s i n g he didn't dabble in li'l ceramic figurines? ......just kidding..... . . l i ' l traditional music humor......v e r y little...... . . o k , ok......bu'
Hummel's Trumpet Concerto is, next to Haydn's, the most popular and commonly played by that instrument. It is also the first to exploit the modern valved trumpet. The final movement is infectious. Hummel is is not considered a "top-tier" Classical era composer, like Mozart, Haydn and early Beethoven, but ranks with Czerny, Salieri, Benda and Field.
pete090354
I first heard his music and his name about two months ago while watching a British murder mystery
Eventhough I have a higher musical education, and played a lot of classical music, taught in the musical school, never heard about this composer. Love his music, it is just wonderful.
i_hart_the_b e a t l e s
I have also never heard of him. But i love his enthusiastic music.
Never heard of this guy before either. But actually great music...
I've never heard of this guy before but I really enjoy listening to his music

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