commentary to op 77c

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Tarantella on a Tone Sequence from Chopin's Minute Waltz for Piano, op. 77c (1979)

Tarantella beginning

Duration: 5 Minutes

Publisher: Schott Music ED 20281 / ISMN: M-001-14976-1
Erratum: 6th
bar before fine (bar 112): the 5th note is f instead f-flat

Video: Works by Hummel on youtube

Extreme popularity and inflationary treatment go hand in hand. Hardly any piano piece beyond "Träumerei", "Frühlingsrauschen" and "Für Elise" has a reception history comparable to that of Chopin's "Minute Waltz"; it ranges from the macabre grotesque to the popular sentimental to areas of the highest artistry. The radius of transcriptions and paraphrases of this small work ranges from stylish adaptation to highly amusing shallows of curious instrumentation. In addition to this genre, there are of course a number of piano paraphrases of the work by master craftsmen, which - having grown out of the pianistic arsenal of the Liszt (not Chopin!) school - elude any naive "Na spiel`n wir mal!" approach because of the artistic obstacles to their realisation on the keyboard instrument and are only located in a noble sphere of pianistic equilibristics.

Knut Franke

The well-known music editor Knut Franke suggested Bertold Hummel to contribute a composition in the tonal language of the 20th century on the theme "Chopin's Minute Waltz as a foil". A juxtaposition of the Tarantella over a sequence of notes from Chopin's Minute Waltz with the works of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Raphael Jossefy, Max Reger, Leopold Godowsky, Jeannot Heinen, Sam Raphling or with the original (Chopin's op.64,1) could be an attractive programme focus.

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