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Cat. No. CHAN 9807 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9807 - Hummel: Piano Works
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Available From: 16 March 2000
Hummel’s Sonata in E flat, Op. 13 was first published in Vienna in 1805, and dedicated to Haydn. It opens with a two-bar flourish after which the main theme enters, followed by the second theme, a melody of great charm. The Adagio is reminiscent of early Beethoven in its graciously ornamented melodies and expressive use of dissonance. The final Allegro con spirito is dominated by the infectious rhythm of its opening and contains passages which demonstrate Hummel’s contrapuntal skills.

The Caprice, Op. 49 first appeared around 1810 in a self-published series entitled Repertoire of Music for Ladies; the gracefully decorated covers of the first edition bore the signature of Hummel.

The Variations on a theme from Gluck’s Armide, Op. 57, an example of a genre popular at the time, belong to then same series as the Caprice. The theme is followed by ten variations, the final one being in the form of a fantasia.

La bella capricciosa (polonaise), Op. 55 appeared shortly after the Caprice and also belongs to the same series. An expressive introduction leads into a cadenza which in turn leads to the elegant polonaise with its characteristic rhythms.

La contemplazione, Op. 107, subtitle ‘Fantasia’, is the third of six bagatelles written in about 1825. There are echoes of Beethoven in the reflective opening, hints of Schubert in the second half. The final section is similar to the first and ends serenely.

The Rondo all’Ungharese, Op. 107 No. 6 is the sixth of the bagatelles, and is one of many pieces written on real or imitation ‘nationalistic’ themes in this period.

The Rondo, Op. 11, published in 1804 might be described as a sonata-rondo as it has two main themes, the first playful and the second more lyrical, and Hummel shows his skill in balancing the two elements successfully.
Hummel’s Sonata in E flat, Op. 13 was first published in Vienna in 1805, and dedicated to Haydn. It opens with a two-bar flourish after which the main theme enters, followed by the second theme, a melody of great charm. The Adagio is reminiscent of early Beethoven in its graciously ornamented melodies and expressive use of dissonance. The final Allegro con spirito is dominated by the infectious rhythm of its opening and contains passages which demonstrate Hummel’s contrapuntal skills. The Caprice, Op. 49 first appeared around 1810 in a self-published series entitled Repertoire of Music for Ladies; the gracefully decorated covers of the first edition bore the signature of Hummel. The Variations on a theme from Gluck’s Armide, Op. 57, an example of a genre popular at the time, belong to then same series as the Caprice. The theme is followed by ten variations, the final one being in the form of a fantasia. La bella capricciosa (polonaise), Op. 55 appeared shortly after the Caprice and also belongs to the same series. An expressive introduction leads into a cadenza which in turn leads to the elegant polonaise with its characteristic rhythms. La contemplazione, Op. 107, subtitle ‘Fantasia’, is the third of six bagatelles written in about 1825. There are echoes of Beethoven in the reflective opening, hints of Schubert in the second half. The final section is similar to the first and ends serenely. The Rondo all’Ungharese, Op. 107 No. 6 is the sixth of the bagatelles, and is one of many pieces written on real or imitation ‘nationalistic’ themes in this period. The Rondo, Op. 11, published in 1804 might be described as a sonata-rondo as it has two main themes, the first playful and the second more lyrical, and Hummel shows his skill in balancing the two elements successfully.
Reviews

‘…unfailing expertise by Howard Shelley… The recordings are exceptionally well balanced, the acoustic pleasingly spacious.’
Gramophone on CHAN 9558 (Hummel)

‘With Shelley at the helm, the Piano Concerto emerges with an almost Mozartian freshness and elegance. Quite literally there’s never a dull moment.’
Classic CD on CHAN 9687 (Hummel)

‘… Shelley’s technical control is outstanding.’
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 9687 (Hummel)

 

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