commentary to opus 76a

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Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, op. 76a (1981)

I. Introduktion

II. Allegro molto

III. Fantasia

IV. Finale - Presto


First performance : October 24, 1981, Karlstadt, Rathaus
Rüdiger Warnecke / Florian Hummel / Wendelin Treutlein

Duration: 20 Minutes

Publisher: Schott Music ED 20295 / ISMN: M-001-15000-2



The Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, op. 76a is written in a concertante style, i.e. it provides the three instruments with plenty of opportunity to show the their capacities in terms of sonority and technical flexibility.
The introductory 1st Movement begins with a recitative-like solo for clarinet, this is then taken up by the viola until all 3 instruments enter into "conversation" with each other. The form is marked by easily identifiable short motifs and 12-tone chord structures built up from superimposed major and minor chords.
In the Allegro molto (2nd Movement), the dominant feature are the upwards and forwards pressing, richly syncopated melodic ideas, suipported by pulsating basses. A peaceful middle section marks a formal division and provides temporary relaxation of the tension. Immediately afterwards, the whirring ¾ time of the opening is heard again. The movement fades away in extreme pp.
The Fantasia (3rd Movement) is based on a 4-note series which determines both harmonically and melodically the following series of sections with their varied and sometimes meditative metamorphoses.
The turbulent Final movement, which includes a very dance-like variable metrical scheme, provides as a contrast 2 appearances of a more tranquil Fugato section. The different elements of the movement become more and more closely connected. An effective Coda concludes this approachable and "serene" opus.

Bertold Hummel, 21st November, 1989



Nordbayerische Nachrichten, 26th January, 1982

With a solo, the clarinet leads us into the Introduction. The rhythmically forceful Allegro molto is followed by the Fantasy, full of opportunities for individual shaping and gracious towards each instrument within the ensemble. In the scherzo-like Finale, full of activity, peaceful phases recur, and each performer has the opportunity for solo passages.


Karlstadter Tageszeitung, 28th November, 1981

The climax, however, was the première of opus 76, composed specially for this trio by Bertold Hummel only a few weeks ago. In this work for clarinet, viola and piano, the composer does honour to his name. From exciting to threateningly dramatic, this music leads the ear of the listener throughout, to the Finale with all its temperament. Hummel intended that the audience should not only hear but also perceive with the ear. He wishes to reach his listener and communicate with him in the music; in this he has been successful, as the final applause showed.

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