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An examination of the composer/performer relationship in the piano style of J.N. Hummel

By Derek Carew


Our age sees in Hummel the "transitional" figure\ud par excellence. A pupil of Mozart, Haydn, Clementi, Al-brechtsberger and Salieri, he carried the Classical piano\ud style to its limits, frequently trespassing on the Romantic,\ud and his importance for the subsequent development of music\ud in that era was considerable.\ud His piano style was the result of the reciprocal\ud influence of the composer and the performer in his make-up\ud and these, in turn, were shaped to a great extent by external\ud factors in the period. I have examined the general\ud background, to the period in Section I, and the second Section\ud is devoted to Hummel's own compositional and performance\ud styles.\ud Creator and executant fuse in improvisation, and\ud its prevalence during, the period of Hummel’s life is well-known.\ud He himself was possibly the greatest improviser of\ud his time, and this extempore facility affected him both\ud as composer and as performer, and I consider it to be the\ud most important single musical factor in his piano style.\ud Section III deals with improvisation generally and the\ud final Section (IV) seeks to draw attention to the traces it\ud has left in particular genres of his work

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 1981
OAI identifier:

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