Musical arrangement was central throughout the career of Johann Nepomuk Hummel(1778–1837), whose output includes about fifty transcriptions of pieces in a variety of musical genres, from opera overtures to symphonies and chamber music. Of particular importance are his adaptations of seven of Mozart’s piano concertos (K365, 456, 466, 482, 491, 503 and 537) for piano quartet (flute, violin, cello, fortepiano), not only for their historical significance in terms of Mozart reception, but for the invaluable information they provide about the performance practice of the time.
The special historical interest of this transcription lies in the solutions proposed by Hummel to the problem of improvisational practice — in particular through the addition of written-out cadenza and lead-ins (Eingänge) in the outer movements, and of ornaments, especially in the Andante (for which they are described as being ‘expressly written’). This practice seems at least to be inspired by the models provided by his teacher, providing important evidence for the performance practice related to this repertory.
These scores create a unique opportunity for pianists and students to perform Mozart’s masterpieces with a handful of friends or colleagues rather than with full orchestra, or even to play them as solo works in their own right.
The publication of this volume is supported by
Forschungsschwerpunkt Interpretation of the Hochschule der Künste Bern.