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Ludwig van Beethoven

(1770 - 1827)

Symphonies No. 2 & 5

 

arr. by

Johann Nepomuk Hummel

(1778 – 1837)

 

ensemble1800berlin

 

MDG 927 2276-6 

Price: 21,99 €

 

Large print

Early 19th-century arrangers could say they were lucky if their name was mentioned at all on the editions of sheet music. Johann Nepomuk Hummel was lucky - he even found his name printed a tiny bit larger on the title page than that of Beethoven, whose symphonies he arranged for an unusual piano quartet instrumentation. The ensemble1800berlin has dedicated itself to the revival of these high-quality re-creations, which were already accorded an independent value alongside the original by their contemporaries.

 

Reprint

There were many arrangements, for a symphony orchestra was not always available to perform them - Beethoven's symphonies alone were in circulation in more than 50 versions for every conceivable instrumentation. In order to channel the proliferation of sometimes amateurishly executed works, Beethoven himself sought arrangements by colleagues he deemed worthy - Hummel was expressly one of them.

Impression

And Hummel knew how to use his talent: He intervenes in Beethoven's indications of articulation and phrasing in a thoroughly idiosyncratic manner in order to do justice to the distinctive instrumentation of piano, flute, violin and violoncello. That the piano is entrusted with the largest part of the music is not surprising for a keyboard virtuoso like Hummel.

 

Expression

Accurately historically informed and on instruments of Beethoven's time, the ensemble1800berlin presents these extraordinary treasures with unmistakable joy in making music, but also with respect for the incomparable original and the ingenious arrangement. Conclusion: A fascinating testimony to the times - through Hummel's chamber music glasses a completely new, exciting view of Beethoven and his time!

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