commentary to op 107b

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Asiago for Percussion and Violoncello, op. 107b (2001)


Asiago beginning

Percussion instruments required: Vibraphone, 2 tom-toms, 2 bongos, side drum, templeblocks, 4 cymbals, sizzle cymbal, gong (diameter 50cm, larger if possible), tamtam, triangel, chimes, cow-bell, vibraslap

First performance: August 5, 2001, Asiago (Italy), Duomo di S. Matteo
Julius Berger / Peter Sadlo

Duration: 15 Minutes

Publisher: Schott Music
score and 2 parts ED 9721 / ISMN M-001-13640-2

BeginningCadenza and Finale


In summer 2001, Bertold Hummel composed the present work as a commission for the "Asiago Festival" and brought together in the grand dimensions of this "Fantasy in one movement" - as he himself termed it - for the first time the instruments he had always most loved during his life.
Asiago - the letters a-s-a-g, corresponding to the notes a, e-flat, a, g in the German musical scale, open and close the work - is a successful excursion into the complex sound combinations of percussion instruments and the mystical, sensuous tone of the violoncello, whereby the stringed instrument occasionally takes on a percussive role and the percussion is sometimes treated like a bowed instrument. Driving rhythmes pursue each other, alternating with meditative moments. Chorale fragments lead to a grand cadenza, in which the instrumentalists have the opportunity, following patterns provided, for free improvisation.
The première of this work of approximately 15 minutes duration took place on 5th August, 2001 in the Duomo di S.Matteo in Asiago in northern Italy and was in the hands of Peter Sadlo and Julius Berger, who are amongst the most committed exponents of my father's works.

Martin Hummel

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