Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

Johann N. Hummel – Gesellschafts Rondo Op. 117, No. 1 for piano and orchestra

Johann Nepomuk Hummel or Jan Nepomuk Hummel (November 14, 1778 — October 17, 1837) was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.

Gesellschafts Rondo, Op. 117, No. 1 (1830)

Anne Queffélec, piano and Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard

“Johann Hummel” redirects here. For the German painter, see Johann Erdmann Hummel.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Hummel was born in PressburgKingdom of Hungary, then a part of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy (now Bratislava in Slovakia). His father, Johannes Hummel,[1] was the director of the Imperial School of Military Music in Vienna and the conductor there of Emanuel Schikaneder‘s theater orchestra at the Theater auf der Wieden; his mother, Margarethe Sommer Hummel, was the widow of the wigmaker Josef Ludwig. He was named after St John of NepomukWolfgang Amadeus Mozart offered the boy music lessons at the age of eight after being impressed with his ability. Hummel was taught and housed by Mozart for two years free of charge and made his first concert appearance at the age of nine, at one of Mozart’s concerts.

Hummel’s father then led him on a European tour, arriving in London, where he received instruction from Muzio Clementi and stayed for four years before returning to Vienna. In 1791, Joseph Haydn, who was in London at the same time as young Hummel, composed a sonata in A-flat for Hummel, who played its premiere in the Hanover Square Rooms in Haydn’s presence. When Hummel finished, Haydn reportedly thanked the young man and gave him a guinea.

Hummel in 1814

The outbreak of the French Revolution and the following Reign of Terror caused Hummel to cancel a planned tour through Spain and France. Instead, he returned to Vienna, giving concerts along his route. Upon his return to Vienna he was taught by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Joseph Haydn, and Antonio Salieri.

At about this time, young Ludwig van Beethoven arrived in Vienna and took lessons from Haydn and Albrechtsberger, becoming a fellow student and a friend. Beethoven’s arrival was said to have nearly destroyed Hummel’s self-confidence, though he recovered without much harm. Despite the fact that Hummel’s friendship with Beethoven was often marked by ups and downs, the mutual friendship developed into reconciliation and respect. Before Beethoven’s death, Hummel visited him in Vienna on several occasions, with his wife Elisabeth and pupil Ferdinand Hiller. Following Beethoven’s wishes, Hummel improvised at the great man’s memorial concert. It was at this event that Hummel became good friends with Franz Schubert. Schubert dedicated his last three piano sonatas to Hummel. However, since both composers were dead by the time of the sonatas’ first publication, the publishers changed the dedication to Robert Schumann, who was still active at the time.    More…



Electric Guest – This Head I hold (MTV)

Electric Guest - This Head I hold (MTV)

Electric Guest – This Head I hold (MTV) (click the picture to view video)

Metric – Youth Without Youth (from MTV)

Metric - Youth Without Youth (from MTV)

Metric – Youth Without Youth (from MTV)  (click on picture to access music video)

Metric is a Canadian indie rock and New Wave band founded in 1998 in Toronto.[1] The band has also at various times been based in Montreal, London, New York City and Los Angeles. Metric consists of vocalist Emily Haines (who also plays the synthesizer and guitar), guitarist James Shaw (who also plays the synthesizer and theremin), bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key. More…

Bernanke slams Ron Paul’s Fed audit bill (from Reuter US)

Bernanke slams Ron Paul's Fed audit bill (from Reuter US)

Bernanke slams Ron Paul‘s Fed audit bill (from Reuter US)  (click on picture to access the story)

(Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday rebutted Republican lawmakers pushing a bill that would give Congress the ability to review monetary policy decisions, saying it could compromise central bank independence.

Bernanke said it would be a “nightmare scenario” if politicians decided to second-guess monetary policy.

“That is very concerning because there’s a lot of evidence that an independent central bank that makes decisions based strictly on economic considerations and not based on political pressure will deliver lower inflation and better economic results in the longer term,” Bernanke told the U.S. House of RepresentativesFinancial Services Committee.

The hearing was the likely last chance for retiring Texas Representative Ron Paul, known for proposing the Fed should be abolished, to grill the central bank chairman.  More…

Signed: L.Cohen Still carrying the torch, to the next artisctic Olympiad!

Of Glass & Paper

Leonard Cohen, a Great Lyricist

 “No wonder,” wrote Simon Shama in his prologue to a monograph on Leonard Cohen in the Guardian’s series “Great Lyricists”, “no wonder, then, that he had to struggle for attention in the golden age of the screamers, Janis’s ecstatic rasp, Hendrix’s maddened guitar, Lennon’s glottal roar, even Dylan’s adenoidal faux-country all made sounds through which their lyrical  inventions had to fight for air, and if not quite up to snuff, those words could hide behind the wall of noise. But Cohen’s minimalist drone was the drowsy couch on which his poetry lay, fully exposed, with nowhere else to go.”

Cohen has today 21 albums to his name, worldwide tours, and twelve – yes – twelve books. Leonard Cohen is a great lyricist, a poet, a Writer with a capital W. Born in 1934, the Wikipedia entry notes that: “His work often explores religion, isolation…

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