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Mozart: Symphonies 38-40 (Arr. by Hummel for Flute, Violin, Cello & Piano)

Mozart; Hummel / Grodd / Eichhorn / Rummel
Release Date: 02/25/2014 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572841   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Martin RummelUwe GroddFriedemann EichhornRoland Kruger
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

MOZART (arr. Hummel) Symphonies Nos. 38–40 Uwe Grodd (fl); Friedemann Eichhorn (vn); Martin Rummel (vc); Roland Krüger (pn) NAXOS 8.572841 (75: 29)

Early in his life—specifically, before he was even 10 years old—Johann Nepomuk Hummel lived and studied with Mozart, and is likely to have had extensive exposure to the elder composer’s musical “workshop,” if you will. As flutist Uwe Grodd’s booklet notes recount, Hummel never lost his deep respect for Mozart and Read more his music. In 1823 and 1824, when he was commissioned to prepare arrangements of Mozart’s symphonies for the combination of flute, violin, viola, and piano, Hummel remained faithful to the original scores, in the sense that he did not alter harmonies or extend cadenzas, even after he had been asked to. He did, however, use a broader palette of dynamic markings than Mozart himself used. Mozart did not often use extreme dynamic markings or ask players to use crescendo effects … perhaps because he assumed that sensitive performers could be trusted to insert them themselves? In his chamber arrangements of Mozart’s symphonies, Hummel was very specific and more liberal with dynamic markings. He also added precise metronome markings, accents, and varied ornaments to be more in keeping with the customs of the era. (For example, Hummel’s trills begin on the main note, not on the note above it, as in Mozart’s time.) One cannot assume too much about the metronome markings, however, as the metronome in Hummel’s time was not as accurate as it would later become. Also, one would not necessarily perform a chamber arrangement at the same tempos as the orchestral original—the former’s lighter textures might make faster tempos possible, and even advisable.

Of course these arrangements do not take the place of the orchestral originals, nor were they meant to. In the era before recorded music, Hummel’s arrangements gave talented amateurs a means of access to Mozart’s symphonies when an orchestra might not have been available. There are more of them than the three recorded here, so perhaps this is the first volume in a series. I am not aware of any comprehensive collection of Hummel’s Mozart arrangements, so such a series would be welcome, particularly when the performances are as engaging as these. Like the arrangements themselves, these performances (which use new editions by Grodd) are faithful to Mozart’s originals, but also sensitive to the cultural circumstances under which Hummel prepared them. Thus (for example), the G-Minor Symphony is not the profoundly dark and disquieting work that it can be, when it is performed by an orchestra, but its intimate dimensions help the work to get under the listener’s skin in a perhaps more subtle way. This is Mozart in a more social, more polite guise, but it is no less enjoyable. Rather than acquiring yet another recording of these works in their original versions, listeners who love this music might enjoy hearing them as they are performed here. In fact, I feel quite certain that they will. Recommended.

FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 40 in G minor, K 550 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Martin Rummel (Cello), Uwe Grodd (Flute), Friedemann Eichhorn (Violin),
Roland Kruger (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Martin Rummel (Cello), Uwe Grodd (Flute), Friedemann Eichhorn (Violin),
Roland Kruger (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Symphony no 38 in D major, K 504 "Prague" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Martin Rummel (Cello), Uwe Grodd (Flute), Friedemann Eichhorn (Violin),
Roland Kruger (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K. 504, "Prague" (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): I. Adagio - Allegro
Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K. 504, "Prague" (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): II. Andante
Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K. 504, "Prague" (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): III. Presto
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): I. Molto allegro
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): II. Andante
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): III. Menuetto: Allegretto
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): IV. Finale: Allegro assai
Symphony No. 39 in E-Flat Major, K. 543 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): I. Adagio - Allegro
Symphony No. 39 in E-Flat Major, K. 543 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): II. Andante con moto
Symphony No. 39 in E-Flat Major, K. 543 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): III. Menuetto: Allegretto
Symphony No. 39 in E-Flat Major, K. 543 (arr. J.N. Hummel for flute, violin, cello and piano): IV. Finale: Allegro

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Mozart's symphony's arrangement  August 15, 2014 By Henry Federman (Tillson , NY) See All My Reviews "Mozart is Mozart, love his symphonies,but the arrangement by Hummel makes his symphonies sound different, and I really enjoyed it." Report Abuse
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