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Hummel: Serenades / Consortium Classicum

Release Date: 11/22/2005 
Label:  Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold Catalog #: 3011344   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer:  Dieter KlöckerHelman JungSonja PrunnbauerAndreas Krecher,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Classicum
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 50 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In the days before sound recording, the only way music could be projected beyond the concert venue was by way of adaptation or arrangement. The best-known form in 18th-century Europe was Harmoniemusik , or a wind band consisting of pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons. These ensembles would perform original compositions and arrangements of excerpts from popular operas in the gardens and homes of the aristocracy and wealthy commoners while they dined and discussed events of the day.

But these evenings weren?t limited to serenades from wind Read more instruments. Almost always, the 18th-century Viennese salon held a piano, and frequently a composer was invited to perform his own compositions as well as improvise on popular themes. Sometimes these soirees would feature additional performers in addition to the pianist, perhaps?as in the case of the two Grand serenades recorded here?violin, clarinet, bassoon, and guitar?or in the case of the Potpourri , a piano and one instrument, in this instance, a guitar. The three works recorded here were published numerous times, testimony to not only their immense popularity but also that of their composer. In fact, they created a sensation at the Imperial Gardens.

Hummel fashioned these featherweight works from popular operatic themes of the day, including arias from Mozart?s Don Giovanni , The Marriage of Figaro , and The Magic Flute . Hummel also drew on the operatic works of other composers, including Paisiello?s Il Reo Teodoro in Venezia , Grétry?s Raoul Barbe-bleu , Boieldieu?s Jen de Paris , Weigl?s Kaiser Hadrian, Cherubini?s Le deux journées , and Spontini?s La vestale . The arias are all identified in Hummel?s piano part and the knowledgeable opera-lover will have no trouble picking up on the familiar melodies included here.

This repertoire falls into the category of what is generally termed light music, a tradition that would later include music by members of the Strauss family and still further down the time line Robert Fuchs. The genre would also take root in England, where it would become an integral part of the nation?s lifestyle through music of Eric Coates, Ronald Binge, Sydney Torch, and others. Unfortunately, light music is passé by current standards, but it is beginning to enjoy a revival. That however, is another story for another issue.

Consortium Classicum was founded in the 1960s by German clarinetist Dieter Klöcker; as it approaches the half-century mark, the ensemble is still going strong. There have been some personnel changes. For example, bassoonist Karl-Otto Hartmann has been replaced here by Helman Jung and pianist Werner Genuit by Thomas Duis, but Herr Klöcker still holds the reins. Personnel changes aside, the ensemble still is possessed with the enviable execution for which it had become known. These are expressively adept performers whose innate sense of musicality allows them to make no attempt to extract more from these scores than is there. They present the material with vigor and affection, commitment and purpose, elegance and exuberance.

Simply put, this release is fun and will offer the listener three more obscure and neglected gems for which Herr Klöcker and his colleagues have long been known.

FANFARE: Michael Carter
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Works on This Recording

Grand Serenade no 1 in G major, Op. 63 "Sérénade en potpourri" by Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer:  Dieter Klöcker (Clarinet), Helman Jung (Bassoon), Sonja Prunnbauer (Guitar),
Andreas Krecher (Violin), Thomas Duis (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Classicum
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen 
Length: 19 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen (11/02/2004 - 11/04/2004) 
Grand Serenade no 2, Op. 66 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer:  Sonja Prunnbauer (Guitar), Dieter Klöcker (Clarinet), Helman Jung (Bassoon),
Thomas Duis (Piano), Andreas Krecher (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Classicum
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen 
Length: 19 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen (11/02/2004 - 11/04/2004) 
Potpourri for Piano and Guitar in G minor, Op. 53 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel
Performer:  Thomas Duis (Piano), Sonja Prunnbauer (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Classicum
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1810-1814; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen 
Length: 11 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen (11/02/2004 - 11/04/2004) 

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