Piano Concerto No. 2 (Hummel)

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Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Piano Concerto No. 2 in A minor, Op. 85 was written in 1816 and published in Vienna in 1821.[1] Unlike his earlier piano concerti, which closely followed the model of Mozart's, the A minor concerto, like the B minor Concerto, Op. 89, is written in a proto-Romantic style that anticipates the later stylistic developments of composers such as Frédéric Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn.[2]

Date of composition and scoring[edit]

The piano concerto was written by Hummel as a showcase for his virtuosity at the instrument. It was written in 1816 and is scored for piano, flute, two oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings.


The work is composed in traditional three movement form. There is a solo transition in the second movement leading into the Rondo without pause.


Although Hummel's music, seen as essentially Mozartian in style, had fallen out of fashion by the 1830s, the A minor concerto nonetheless exercised considerable influence over a number of works that helped to usher in the Romantic style. Frédéric Chopin, who had played the Hummel concerti, drew from elements of the A minor concerto in his own piano concerti.[3] Indeed, it has been suggested that Chopin's concerto is closely linked both thematically and structurally to the Hummel antecedent.[4]

The A minor concerto da camera of Charles-Valentin Alkan has also been noted for its debt to Hummel's style of writing for the keyboard.[5]

While generally uninterested in Hummel as a composer,[6] Robert Schumann had made a close study of the A minor concerto in 1828[7] and considered it one of the works (along with the F-sharp minor piano sonata) of his "heyday".[8] And in his own A minor concerto, Schumann makes reference to aspects of Hummel's virtuosic style.[9]


  1. ^ Mikio Tao, Works Catalogue of Hummel, [1] (pdf)
  2. ^ MF Humphries, The Piano Concertos of Johann Nepomuk Hummel Dissertation (Northwestern University, 1957)
  3. ^ Chopin: The Piano Concertos, John Rink, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0521446600, pp. 59 & 65.
  4. ^ Ref to dig up (unpubl. diss.)
  5. ^ Structural Novelty and Tradition in the Early Romantic Piano Concerto, p.116 ISBN 1576470008
  6. ^ Mark Kroll, Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Musician's Life and World, Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, ISBN 0810859203, pp. 275-78
  7. ^ Schumann, Hummel, and "The Clarity of a Well-Planned Composition", Eric Frederick Jensen, Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, T. 40, Fasc. 1/3 (1999), pp. 59- 70
  8. ^ NZfM, 1840, Schumann, "Concertstücke und Concerte für Pianoforte" p. 39 "...ein Werk aus seiner Blüthenzeit, der das A-moll-Konzert..."
  9. ^ Macdonald, Claudia. "Schumann's earliest compositions and performances." Journal of Musicological Research 7.2-3 (1987): 259-283, PAGE NUMBER & DOI MISSING


  • M.F. Humphries, The Piano Concertos of Johann Nepomuk Hummel, PhD Dissertation (Northwestern University, 1957)
  • B.H. Kim, Johann Nepomuk Hummel and His Contribution to Piano Music and the Art of Playing the Piano (University of Rochester, 1967)

External links[edit]