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Concerto in E Major

for Trumpet in E and Piano, S.49

By Johann Hummel

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Chamber Piano, Trumpet
For Trumpet in E and Piano, S.49. Composed by Johann Hummel. Edited by Elisa Koehler. Set of Score and Parts. With Standard notation. 36+8 pages. Carl Fischer Music #W2682. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.W2682).

Item Number: CF.W2682

ISBN 9781491144954. 9 x 12 inches. Key: E major.

Edited by Elisa Koehler, Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Department at Goucher College, this new edition of Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Concerto in E Major for trumpet in E and piano presented in its original key.
The concerto by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) holds a unique place in the trumpet repertoire. Like the concerto by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) it was written for the Austrian trumpeter Anton Weidinger (1766-1852) and his newly invented keyed trumpet, performed a few times by Weidinger, and then forgotten for more than 150 years until it was revived in the twentieth century. But unlike Haydn's concerto in Eb major, Hummel's Concerto a Tromba principale (1803) was written in the key of E major for a trumpet pitched in E, not E<=. This difference of key proved to be quite a conundrum for trumpeters and music publishers in the twentieth century. The first modern edition, published by Fritz Stein in 1957, transposed the concerto down one half step into the key of E<= to make it more playable on a trumpet in Bb, which had become the standard instrument for trumpeters by the middle of the twentieth century. Armando Ghitalla made the first recording of the Hummel in 1964 in the original key of E (on a C-trumpet) after editing a performing edition in 1959 in the transposed key of E<= (for Bb trumpet) published by Robert King Music. Needless to say, the trumpet had changed dramatically in terms of design, manufacture, and cultural status between 1803 and 1957, and the notion of classical solo repertoire for the modern trumpet was still in its formative stages when the Hummel concerto was reborn. These factors conspired to create confusion regarding the numerous interpretative challenges involved in performing the Hummel concerto according to the composer's original intentions on modern trumpets. For those seeking the best scholarly information, a facsimile of Hummel's original manuscript score was published in 2011 with a separate volume of analytical commentary by Edward H. Tarr,1 who also published the first modern edition of the concerto in the original key of E major (Universal Edition, 1972). This present edition--available in both keys: Eb and E major--strives to build a bridge between scholarship and performance traditions in order to provide viable options for both the purist and the practitioner. Following the revival of the Haydn trumpet concerto, a case could be made that some musicians were influenced by a type of normalcy bias that resulted in performance traditions that attempted to make the Hummel more like the Haydn by putting it in the same key, inserting unnecessary cadenzas, and adding trills where they might not belong.2 Issues concerning tempo and ornamentation posed additional challenges. As scholarship and performance practice surrounding the concerto have become better known, trumpeters have increasingly sought to perform the concerto in the original key of E major--sometimes on keyed trumpets--and to reconsider more recent performance traditions in the transposed key of Eb. Regardless of the key, several factors need to be addressed when performing the Hummel concerto. The most notorious of these is the interpretation of the wavy line (devoid of a "tr" indication), which appears in the second movement (mm. 4-5 and 47-49) and in the finale (mm. 218-221). In Hummel's manuscript score, the wavy line resembles a sine wave with wide, gentle curves, rather than the tight, buzzing appearance of a traditional trill line. Some have argued that it may indicate intense vibrato or a fluttering tremolo between open and closed fingerings on a keyed trumpet.3 In Hummel's 1828 piano treatise, he wrote that a wavy line without a "tr" sign indicates uneigentlichen Triller oder den getrillerten Noten ["improper" trills or the notes that are trilled], and recommends that they be played as main note trills that are not resolved [ohne Nachschlag].4 Hummel's piano treatise was published twenty-five years after he wrote the trumpet concerto, and his advocacy for main note trills (rather than upper note trills) was controversial at the time, so trumpeters should consider all of the available options when forming their own interpretation of the wavy line. Unlike Haydn, Hummel did not include any fermatas where cadenzas could be inserted in his trumpet concerto. The end of the first movement, in particular, includes something like an accompanied cadenza passage (mm. 273-298), a feature Hummel also included at the end of the first movement of his Piano Concerto No. 5 in Ab Major, Op. 113 (1827). The third movement includes a quote (starting at m. 168) from Cherubini's opera, Les Deux Journees (1802), that diverts the rondo form into a coda replete with idiomatic fanfares and virtuosic figuration.5 Again, no fermata appears to signal a cadenza, but the obbligato gymnastics in the solo trumpet part function like an accompanied cadenza. Other necessary considerations include tempo choices and ornamentation. Hummel did not include metronome markings to quantify his desired tempi for the movements, but clues may be gleaned through the surface evidence (metric pulse, beat values, figuration) and from the stratified tempo table that Hummel included in his 1828 piano treatise, where the first movement's "Allegro con spirito" is interpreted as faster than the "Allegro" (without a modifier) of the finale.6 In the realm of ornamentation, Hummel includes several turns and figures that are open to interpretation. This edition includes Hummel's original symbols (turns and figuration) along with suggested realizations to provide musicians with options for forming their own interpretation. Finally, trumpeters are encouraged to listen to Mozart piano concerti as an interpretive context for Hummel's trumpet concerto. Hummel was a noted piano virtuoso at the end of the Classical era, and he studied with Mozart in Vienna as a young boy. Hummel also composed his own cadenzas for some of Mozart's piano concerti, and the twenty-five-year-old composer imitated Mozart's orchestral gestures and melodic figuration in the trumpet concerto (most notably in the second movement, which resembles the famous slow movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467).

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