Hummel: Johann Nepomuk. Sheet Music and Biography

By | June 30, 2020

Hummel Sheet Music

Black and White portrait of Johann Hummel dressed elegantly of Joseph
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
14 Nnov 1778-17 Oct 1837

Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. He delighted audiences as a pianist wherever he went, but he is best known today as a composer for the trumpet. 

His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.

Take a look at his Trumpet Concerto in Eb 1st Movement.

Life and Works

Johann Hummel was born on 14th November 1778 in what is now Bratislava, Slovakia. He was an only child born to his parents just four months after their marriage. His father Johannes was the director of the Imperial School of Military Music in Vienna and his mother Margarethe was the widow of a wigmaker.

At the age of eight, Wolfgang Mozart offered Johann music lessons which cemented a long-term friendship between them. Hummel then lived with Mozart free of charge for two years.

Hummel wrote his Trumpet Concerto for Anton Weidinger, as had Joseph Haydn.

Weidinger was the trumpet player of the moment, considered an artist using the instrument in ways others never had.  Consequently a few significant composers wanted to write specifically for him. Weidinger’s new trumpet had at least five keys and his technique raised the fundamental pitch to E.

Haydn wrote his concerto in the old Baroque style whereas Hummel’s was the first modern one. The key for Hummel’s composition, E major, was an unusual one and proved to be technically difficult. Many editions have subsequently transposed it into the easier key of E flat.

Listen to Hummel’s trumpet concerto – the trumpet starts at just over 2 minutes 10 seconds in.

There are places, mostly within the second movement, it is believed that Weidinger changed the music because of the execution of the instrument. It is unknown whether this was in agreement with Hummel.

Hummel was famous until his death but sadly his music quickly went out of fashion and any revival was overshadowed by Mozart owing to the large availability of his recordings. His music is now becoming re-established in the classical repertoire.

Interesting Facts

Johann was friends with Beethoven, Haydn, and Mozart

Hummel toured around Europe with his father for four years as a child prodigy, then proceeded to London where Haydn wrote a symphony for the young pianist. Johann performed the symphony in the Hanover Square Rooms in the presence of Haydn.

When he returned to Vienna, Johann received lessons from Haydn who also taught a young Beethoven.

Franz Schubert dedicated his last three sonatas to Hummel. However, by the time they were published both composers had died and they were dedicated to Robert Schumann instead.

Hummel died peacefully on 17 October 1837 in Weimar.

Hummel Sheet Music Downloads and Further Reading

On music-scores.com we have a selection of Johann Nepomuk Hummel sheet music in PDF format for you to download.

For further information take a look at Wikipedia and Britannica.