Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hummel's Rondo and Sonata

Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837), an Austrian composer. He studied with Mozart and Haydn, so his music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era. His music style was slowly going out of fashion at that time because his classical ideas were seen as old-fashioned. Hummel wrote twenty-four preludes set for piano which was written in each key and mode. He wrote two piano concertos, almost 25 sonatas and other staffs.
Rondo in E flat major, Op.11, when I first time listen to it, I thought the composer must be a clown, because the music sounds like for acrobatic troupe. From the other side, I think the piece is also brilliant and playful because of the staccatos, the fast 16th notes passages, the ornamentation, long trills, and dotted notes.
Hummel’s Sonata Op.81 in F sharp minor, is the peak of his writing for the piano. The sonata has drama, brilliance and pathos. It is a quite challenge for the player. The composer makes the player running the span of the keyboard in a single measure. There are dramatic passage of rapid playing and introspective moments of reflection, particularly in the beautiful Largo. I personally like the beginning of the third movement. It is really playful. From the music score, you can see there are a lot of notes on there. I think Hummel liked writing more notes than Haydn and Mozart, and that is the differences comparing with classical composers.
Hummel philosophy on which he based his actions was to “enjoy the world by giving joy to the world”. I like it.

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