Communiqué de presse sur le projet JNHummel,sortie du double cd en Mars 2008.French Institute in Bratislava
the 170th Anniversary of
Jan Nepomuk HUMMEL’s death (1778-1837)
1.1. The idea consists in paying a tribute to the leading figure among the slovak composers from the 18th-19th centuries who was as well the greatest piano virtuoso of his time : Jan Nepomuk Hummel.
Born in 1778 in Bratislava (his native home is still to be visited in the downtown), a child prodigy, he has been the more gifted pupil of Mozart (with whom he spent 2 years in Vienna aged 8) and took over the position of the great Joseph Haydn in Eisenstadt at the service of the Esterhazy family. Friend and rival of Beethoven, he is actually a very good symbol of the link which exists between Slovakia, Germany and France.
After Bratislava, Vienna and Eisenstadt/Esterhaza, he spent more than 20 years in Germany as Kapellmeister in Stuttgart and then in Weimar where he died in 1837. He was there a close friend of Goethe.
Touring intensively in Europe till the end of his life, he has been awarded, on the other hand, the french Legion d’honneur and was a member of the Institut de France.
His musical style is that of the transition between classicism and romantism, not far from Schubert’s, Weber’s or Mendelssohn’s.
1.2. Three concerts (2 in Bratislava in historical buildings on November 18th, 1 in Banska Bystrica), workshops for students of the Banska Bystrica Faculty of musicology and the recording of 2 CDs will be carried out between november 9th-18th 2007 by some of the finest slovak, french and european musicians performing on period instruments.
The French Institute in Bratislava is the main organizer of this ambitious cultural and educational project. Others partners are The Slovak National Music Center, The University of Banska Bystrica and the European Union (Euromuse program).
3. Performers and instruments
The performers, all of them specialists of historical instruments, include members of Solamente Naturali ensemble from Bratislava led by Milos Valent, Sherman Plasner, violinist and violist (Julliard School, Minkowski…), Dominique Eder (1rst Prize from Paris Conservatory, teacher at the Nancy National Conservatory, specialist of romantic guitar)…
Two original pianofortes will be brough from Paris : one instrument (Germany, 1790s) has just being restored by the famous Christopher Clarke whereas the second will be a Pleyel pianino from 1837 (actually Hummel’s death year), a model very similar to the favourite instrument of Chopin.
Altogether, 14 musicians will be involved in this project.
4. The works
The 2 programs (= 2 CDs) are (approx. 70’ each):
4.1. The 2 septets opus 74 and 114 which are said to be 2 of the finest chamber works by Hummel. Often recorded but never on period instruments.
a. Septet n°1 in d opus 74 (1816) for pianoforte, flute, oboe, horn, viola, cello, doublebass (ca 30’)
b. Septet n°2 in C (“Military septet”) opus 114 (1829) for pianoforte, flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, doublebass (ca 30’)
4.2. The complete chamber music with guitar (including world premieres taken from libraries in Vienna, Copenhagen and Washington), a set of 6 charming sometimes funny scores :
a. The 2 “Grandes Serenades” opus 63 in G and 66 (1814) in C for pianoforte, guitar, violin, clarinet and bassoon
b. The “Grand Pot-pourri national” for pianoforte and guitar opus 79 in F (1819)
c. The “Pot-pourri” for pianoforte and guitar opus 53 in g (1810).
d. The “Concertante duet” for guitar and piano in E
e. The lied La sentinelle opus 71 in C for soprano, pianoforte, guitar, violin and violoncello.
5. Special limited edition for SPP, sponsor
The 2 CDs may appear in a special limited edition especially designed for SPP with a booklet about Hummel who remains till our days in the shadow although he is without any doubt a prominent slovak and european artist.