commentary to opus 83

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Three Piano Pieces, "hommage à Alban Berg", op. 83 (1985)

I. Fantasia beginning

II. Giocoso

III. Sostenuto


Première: November 12, 1985, Paris, Fondation de l'Allemagne
Peter Sauermann

American first performance: March 16, 1988, Berkeley, Berkeley Piano Club
Eileen Klatzky

Duration: 11 Minutes

Publisher: N. Simrock Hamburg-London (Boosey & Hawkes) ED 5161 / ISMN M-2211-1572-0


The composer's corrections to the edition printed by Simrock in October, 1995:

I. Fantasia:
Bar 3: right hand: eighth note c-sharp'''', quarter note c-sharp'''' instead of c-sharp'
III. Sostenuto:
Bar 47: right hand: grace notes: four thirty-second notes: b-flat' c' b-flat' c' instead of two 32nd notes b-flat' c'
Bar 59: after the bar: comma with fermata should be erased.

Musicaphon 55719

 Genuin 18609

The Three Piano Pieces, "hommage à Alban Berg", op. 83 were written during the Berg anniversary year 1985 and are an expression of my veneration for this great composer.
In the pieces 1 and 3 (Fantasia and Sostenuto), the letters in the name AlBAn BErG corresponding to notes of the scale in German notation as well as some of Berg's preferred chord structures provide the initial material. The 2nd piece (Giocoso) is constructed completely from the four opening notes of his opera "Lulu".

Bertold Hummel




Musica 5/88

Hummel's visit to Alban Berg has paid off. No copy, twelve-tone is recognisable but applied with freedom and fourth-semitone-fourth is not just building material working in the background but in every sense also a motif, audibly setting things in motion. We hear echoes of Berg's emotionality and rhythmical variety, enriching Hummel's sense of instrumental joie de vivre. A very inventive music which reaches its audience.


Neue Musikzeitung April/Mai 1988

Hummel shows here - as in earlier piano works - that he knows the capabilities of the instrument and can make use of these in a beautiful sounding, pianistic composition which does without any fashionable manners of playing. The pieces remain within the limits of medium technical difficulty and are ideal for study and teaching.

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