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Record Box - Planning your collection - with Bill Newman

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Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Hummel piano works

 

I give full plaudits to the artists who make it their conscious and consistent duty to concentrate on the rarer-performed repertoire of past composers. In Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837), you have the perfect example of the composer-pianist-improvisor who was admired by Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Field in his lifetime, yet tended to become consigned to the lists of second and third stream innovators awaiting renewal of interest. 'Fine for student pianists hoping to become concert artists', said the snobs who took refuge behind the acknowledged masters without bothering to listen further, but now we understand differently.

Here are skills and ideas combined on a wide canvas of achievement to provide evidence of the man's sheer versatility, whether in the salon or turning other composer's themes to his own advantage while looking forward to the changing period ahead.

Hummel piano music. Copyright (c) 2000 Chandos Records Ltd.

Howard Shelley's aims to revitalize interest have already had great effects by placing the concertos back in the repertoire. In the solo piano works, he is able to extend his choice to show Hummel's derived influences and appreciations towards his immediate contemporaries.

The programme itself hints at romance: Rondo Op.11, Caprice Op.49, Variations on a theme from Gluck's Armide Op 57, La Contemplazione Op 107/3, Rondo all'Ungherese, Op 107/6, La bella capricciosa: Polonaise Op.55 [listen - track 16, 12:03-13:03] and the Sonata Op.13.

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Copyright © 6 September 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

 

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