Hummel: Concerto

Austrian J.N. Hummel wrote this concerto shortly after the premiere of the Haydn Concerto. Anton Weidinger was the soloist on the premiere of both concertos.

Hummel died just ten years after Beethoven, suggesting the exploration of classical and romantic styles. This is evident certainly in the first movement: The classical sonata-allegro form offers the listener two themes interspersed with a light and playful transitional character. The musical conversation is very similar to that of the Haydn Concerto which may be pictured with Joe, Marie, and Fritz (see previous article on Haydn).

I personally believe the first movement can be stylistically facilitated on both Bb and Eb trumpets (less so, I believe, for the Haydn). In my own practice, I have found that whichever horn you choose to play one needs to grasp traits from the horn not in use (i.e. try not to lose the richness of the Bb when on Eb, or lose the lightness of the Eb while on Bb).

From a teaching standpoint, the first movement offers many opportunities for growth of the student; continuing with the subsequent movements should only follow great achievement on the first. I offer the adage that a younger student may reap benefits by approaching this concerto before Haydn; Haydn requires a lightness that the Hummel requires only at times– a lightness that takes time and attention to approach to grow.

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