Johann Nepomuk Hummel


Hummel was born into a musical family on 14th November 1778 in Pressburg (part of modern Bratislava).  He became a pupil of Mozart when he was ten, and toured Europe, earning international fame.  After four years, he decided to retire from performing, devoting himself to the study of composition.  He was employed by the Esterhazy family at Eisenstadt as Konzertmeister, writing sacred music, occasional music and operas, but became more interested in writing minuets and waltzes for Vienna's fashionable ballrooms.  He moved there in 1811 to teach, compose and raise a family.  He was appointed Kappelmeister at Weimar in 1818.

His elegantly designed melodies anticipated the complexities and emotions of the Romantic composers to come after him, making his piano works interesting examples of 19th century music.  He also composed many vocal and choral pieces, a result of the demands of his court employment.  He is best known for the Piano Concertos in A minor, Op.85, and in B minor, Op.89

After several years of popularity, he was eclipsed in 1831 by Liszt and Paganini, whose superb virtuosity lured the public away from Hummel's more restrained music.  He died in 1837 regarded by many as a relic, but he had resisted the temptation to affect the style of the new generation of composers, and retained the admiration of true music lovers.

Related composers: LisztPaganini, Mozart

MIIDI FILE - From Piano Sonata op.81: Allegro (7'56'')

 MIDI FILE - Piano Fantasia op.18 (24'41'')

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