4. At Beethoven’s wish, Hummel improvised at his memorial concert and it was at this event that Hummel made friends with Franz Schubert
, who dedicated his last three piano sonatas
to Hummel. However, since both composers had died by the time of the sonatas’ first publication, the publishers changed the dedication to Robert Schumann
, who was still active at the time. (See no. 11)
6. Although Hummel had taken over many of the duties of Kapellmeister
because Haydn’s health did not permit him to perform them himself, he continued to be known simply as the Concertmeister out of respect to Haydn, receiving the title of Kapellmeister, or music director, to the Eisenstadt court only after the older composer died in May, 1809. Hummel remained in the service of Prince Nikolaus for seven years altogether before being dismissed in May 1811 for neglecting his duties.
7. During that period, in 1807, Beethoven was given a commission by Prince Nikolaus to write a Mass for his wife. Hummel would have surely been introduced to his Mass in C, and subsequently, wrote his own Mass in D Major a year later.
8. In 1811 Hummel returned to Vienna where, after spending two years composing, he married the opera singer Elisabeth Röckel
in 1813. Beethoven never married.
9. Both composers admired Goethe a great deal; Hummel formed a close friendship with Goethe
, learning among other things to appreciate the poetry of Schiller
, who had died in 1805. Beethoven set some of Goethe’s works to music, including his tragedy, Count Egmont. However, the two did NOT remain friends and had a “falling out.”
10. Later 19th century pianistic technique was influenced by Hummel, through his instruction of Carl Czerny
who later taught Franz Liszt
. Czerny had transferred to Hummel’s tutelage after studying three years with Beethoven.
11. Robert Schumann also practiced Hummel (especially the Sonata in F-sharp minor, Op. 81), and considered becoming his pupil.
13. Goethe and Hummel were Freemasons and many scholars believe Beethoven was also a Mason, though there is no proof or record of it.
14. Although Hummel died famous, with a lasting posthumous reputation apparently secure, sadly, he and his music were quickly forgotten at the onrush of the Romantic period
, perhaps because his classical ideas were seen as old-fashioned. The same thing happened earlier to J. S. Bach. Later, during the classical revival of the early 20th century, Hummel was passed over, much like Haydn (for whom a revival had to wait until the second half of the 20th century); Hummel was also overshadowed by Mozart in this revival.
15. Speaking of revivals, due to a rising number of available recordings and an increasing number of live concerts across the world, Hummel’s music is now becoming reestablished in the classical repertoire. Hummel’s “Trumpet Concerto” for example, is heard frequently in concert world-wide.
Pairing the two masses by Hummel and Beethoven together on one program is the best way to further compare and contrast the styles and gifts of these two important and influential classical contemporaries.