commentary to opus 74
"in memoriam ..." for Organ and Percussion, op. 74 (1980)
First Performance: October 17, 1982, Frankfurt, Peterskirche
Bernd Kremling / Matthias Balzer
Percussion: Vibraphone, 2 bongos, 2 congas, small drum, claves, temple-block, wood-block drum, tam-tam, gong, 4 cymbals, sizzle cymbal.
Dedication: Dedicated to the memory of my friend Dietrich von Bausznern
Duration: 14 MinutesPublisher: Schott Music ED 7182 / ISMN: 979-0-001-07529-9
was written in 1980 and is dedicated to the memory of my friend Dietrich von Bausznern,
who died in January of the same year as the result of a vicious illness.
wir in höchsten Nöten sein
So ist dies unser Trost
we are in deepest need,
one consolation is this alone,
Paul Eber (1511-1569)
Oldenburg, 12th June, 1987
a deeply impressive composition combining on equal terms a large selection of
percussion instruments with the organ. Musical effects of startling intensity
created a canvas of deep sadness and mental despair. Hummel succeeded in this
work with the movements Invocation, Toccata and Requiem in
conjuring up a profusion of magically fascinating musical visions. The chorale
"Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein" is heard at the end
alone as a cantus firmus, accompanied "forsakenly" by an unsettlingly
pale bass. Daubs of vibraphone colour brought light. Claus Hecker on the organ
and Axel Fries on percussion offered a successful interpretation, touching and
3rd March, 1994
unreal hovering of seventh and tritone sounds on the vibraphone, the long trills
and whirring runs on the organ, everything is in choice, meditative colours. This
takes on dynamic life and almost explodes in the driving regularity of the Toccata
with pulsating rhythms on cymbals, wood-blocks and tom-toms, finally finding rest
in a Chorale, slipping quietly into vagueness and openness.
Post, 23rd April, 1986
a work that stirs up feelings, even if - or precisely when - one does not know
that Hummel took the musical material from the musically usable letters of the
name von Bausznern and in the third movement - Requiem - quotes a chorale. In
an "Invocation" of mounting tension, a superb "Toccata"
(it was almost incredible that one percussionist alone could produce this rapid
changing of the most varied tone colours) and a meditative "Requiem",
both performers demonstrated the highest levels of musical partnership.
9th June, 1986
Hummel's op. 74, "in memoriam", whose four sections on organ
and marimbaphone revealed a multiplicity of highly sensitive musical thoughts,
left a no less deep impression. Passages of pure mystical immersion provided intense
contrast to the waves of emotion.
Echo, 24th March, 1987
Three economic movements without padding - the sometimes highly dramatic developments animated the soloists to gripping releases of energy. In the unfolding of copious musical gestures as also in the filigree details, organ and percussion parts are closely intermeshed.