Hummel, J N - Ballet Music - Shelley, Howard

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Hummel now enjoys the popularity he deserves, thanks in part to the dedication of Howard Shelley. Shelley
presents the latest in his series of Hummel works for Chandos and on this occasion shows a less-known side to
Hummel’s compositional style: that of dance-composer. Vienna was well-known for its love for the dance and
especially the waltz. Hummel composed a number of ballets for the choreographer and dancer Giulio Viganom
who was the son and brother of more famous choreographer/dancers Onorato and Salvatore respectively: all three
works receive their premiere recordings with this release.
The ‘Sappho’ Ballet suite is based on the Greek tragedy, Sappho. As was his habit, Hummel arranged the ballet for
piano solo and published it as Op.68 in a series of his own works for piano called Repertoire da musique pour les
dames. Hummel adapted some of the music for a different ballet some ten years later. The present suite begins
with the overture, opening, surprisingly, with a pastoral section which is taken from a later movement in the ballet,
a practice which was not frequent at this time. The orchestration, with solo woodwinds and horns suggests the
Imperial orchestra was well-endowed in these sections. Act I begins with an Andante maestoso, with the full
orchestra, includes trumpets and timpani, one each of alto, tenor and bass trombones, adding much to the colour of
the music. The suite uses many popular dances of the time including an ecossaise and waltz and the orchestration
is challenging for many of the parts of the orchestra, which are given many solo passages throughout.
Coupled with ‘Sappho’ is The ‘Zauberschloss’ ballet (the Magic Castle) which was never published. This multisectioned
movement lasts only twenty minutes, which suggest, along with the character and its subject matter that it
may have been a ballet for children, or perhaps intended as light relief from a more serious work. Hummel’s
orchestra is unusually large, with two of each of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoon and horns together with three
trumpets. The great popularity of public dancing in the German-speaking lands was a good source of revenue for
composers of the period. The popularity grew during the last twenty years of the eighteenth century when Emperor
Joseph II, opened up public dancing to all levels of society. Hummel was well established as a dance-composer,
especially for public dance halls, and Twelve Waltzes and Coda is a prime example.
Howard Shelley and the London Mozart Players bring together a unique CD of rare Hummel works, and shine light
on a less-known side of Hummel’s compositional style.
London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley
Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Sappho - Ballet

Zauberschloss - Ballet

Twelve Waltzes and Coda
Artikelnummer CHAN10415
Streckkod 0095115141526
Utgivningsdatum 2007-04-10
Kategori Balettmusik
Skivbolag Chandos
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Dirigenter Shelley, Howard
Kompositörer Hummel, J N
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