commentary to opus 107c

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Paraphrase sur la Sérénade de Riccardo Drigo for Oboe solo, op. 107c (2001)

First Performance: September 7, 2001, Frankfurt, Zimmermann Musikverlag
Friedhelm Neubert

Publisher: Zimmermann Musikverlag Frankfurt ZM 34540 / ISMN M-010-34540-6


Introductory text for the published version (Musikverlag Zimmermann, Frankfurt)

The ballet "Harlequin's Millions", composed by Riccardo Drigo (1846-1930), was first performed in 1900 and met with immediate success. The Serenade from this work has enjoyed particular popularity to the present day and has appeared in numerous versions in Zimmermann's catalogue. The work is thus intimately associated with our publishing house as no other published work has been. This was the reason for asking our authors, on the occasion of our 125th birthday, to write variations on the Serenade. Many were delighted to take up the challenge* and the works were premièred on the 7th September, 2001, the day of the publishing house's anniversary.
Bertold Hummel is indeed no unfamiliar name. His principal connection with our firm are his splendidly effective works for percussion. For the anniversary, he has thought up a highly individual variation for oboe solo, using exclusively notes which occur in the piano version of the work (the Serenade) which he took as a starting point. Hummel interrupts the constantly reappearing Drigo melody with surprising pauses and cadenza-like passages. In this, you cannot fail to hear the jester-like figures with their references to Harlequin, contrasting beautifully with the lyrical elements of the Paraphrase, a form popular in the 19th century and widely circulated in the salons, presenting well-known themes from the popular opera music of the day.

* Robert Delanoff, Jindrich Feld, Werner Heider, Bertold Hummel, Frank Michael, Wil Offermans, Ivan Shekov, Graham Waterhouse, Klaus Wüsthoff, Ruth Zechlin und Krzysztof Zgraja

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