Brilliant Classics BT 0039
Hummel: Septet militaire; Septet, Op. 74 – Solamente Naturali, Bratislava (ensemble), Aya Okuyama (pianoforte), Alessandro Commellato (pianoforte), Milos Valent (conductor)
The two works on this download showcase Hummel at his best. The large-scale D minor Septet (1816) is a first-rate composition. The piano has an extremely taxing part, but everything is beautifully written for the other instruments. It can stand alongside Beethoven’s Op. 20 Septet as one of the most popular chamber works of the nineteenth century, and for many years after his death was almost alone among his works to remain in the repertoire. The C major Septet (1829) features the trumpet, hence the title ‘Military’. The influence of Beethoven can be detected in the stormy opening movement. The lovely, dreamy slow movement, in which the trumpet falls silent, is a good example of Hummel’s romantic style, in which Mozart and Chopin meet.