Masterclass: Hummel Potpourri for viola and piano

edit.Timothy Ridout 29 credit Kaupo Kikkas copy

Violist Timothy Ridout considers the endless invention and simple elegance of a work written for popular appeal

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Writing in 1820, at the end of a golden period for the viola as a solo instrument, Johann Nepomuk Hummel chose a form that would enable him to quote familiar operatic themes while showcasing the skill of a soloist, and satisfying the more sophisticated tastes of the musical cognoscenti. People really would have known the melodies he chose. They were incredibly popular and I think the ‘potpourri’ form itself was also quite fashionable…

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