commentary to opus 59d

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Paraphrase on an alemann Folk Song for 4 Horns, op. 59d (1958)

Duration: 10 Minutes

Publisher: Zimmermann Musikverlag Frankfurt ZM 29640 / ISMN M-010-29640-1

Video: Works by Hummel on youtube


Clarino 1/1997

The alemann folk melody which forms the seed of the composition contains an element of unhurried, peaceful flow. This makes itself felt in the motion of the opening. Such peacefulness cannot be maintained, however, for the lines of both the principal melody and the accompanying parts are subjected to increasing disturbance. Unexpectedly, from the beginning onwards, strongly contrasting elements appear in opposition to the melody, which is interrupted in its course as it crosses to different instruments; particular emphasis is placed on variable and eloquent articulation and dynamics. Tranquillity gives way more and more to hectic tension. In keeping with this development, the flowing alla breve of the beginning changes to a rapid ¾ time signature in the breathless middle section. At the close, the frenzy is discharged into a ponderously striding phase for wind instruments, growing constantly louder and broken off abruptly with a sharp sforzato.

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