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HUMMEL: Oberons Zauberhorn / Variations on Das Fest der Handwerker / Le retour de Londres

Composer(s):Hummel, Johann Nepomuk
Artist(s) Grodd, Uwe, Conductor • Gavle Symphony OrchestraHinterhuber, Christopher, piano
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.557845
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Hummel’s long career as one of Europe’s most celebrated virtuosi owed as much to his resourcefulness as a composer as it did to his exceptional technique as a pianist. The four works on this recording illustrate the vitality of Hummel’s musical imagination at the height of his career. Oberons Zauberhorn (Oberon’s Magic Horn) is a strikingly original fantasy based loosely on Weber’s opera Oberon. Le retour de Londres, a large-scale rondo composed in 1833, opens with a slow introduction remarkable for its beauty and expressive power which leads into the inventive and brilliantly virtuosic Rondeau.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The four concertante pieces on this imaginative disc were written between 1820 and 1833, primarily as vehicles to show off Hummel’s virtuosity at the keyboard. The Grand Rondeau brillant is subtitled The Return to London; Hummel wrote it in celebration of his return to the British capital after an absence of 40 years. The main Rondo theme is aptly jaunty, prompting a sequence of free variations, punctuated by improvisatory passages. The Variations and Finale offer a similar free formula, again with another catchy main theme, while Oberon’s Magic Horn uses material from Weber’s Oberon, which was being performed at the time. It is a colourful piece with a strikingly dramatic opening and with a storm sequence full of


Review By David Denton, Naxos,November 2007

Those who still think of Mozart’s pupil, Johann Hummel, as a composer now wrapped in reference book cobwebs are going to have a mighty big surprise when they hear this stunning new release, the brilliant opening bars of Le retour de Londres grabbing your attention. Stylistically he stands as a bridge between Mozart and Liszt, offering the performer ample scope for virtuosity while keeping within due bounds of classicism. Reports described him as an outstanding pianist who earned much of his early living as a concert pianist, eventually ploughing his money back into music publishing. The works on the present disc are extended musical lollypops, Hummel using those sparkling right hand runs and filigree decorations that Liszt would later exploit in his solo piano music.



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