Johann Nepomuk Hummel (November 14, 1778 – October 17, 1837) was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.
As a student in Vienna he was taught by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Joseph Haydn, and Antonio Salieri.
Despite his "classic" approach, Hummel's music took a different direction from that of Beethoven, as his writing was forward looking, and stepped into modernity.
At the end of his life, Hummel saw the rise of a new school of young composers and virtuosi, and found his own music slowly going out of fashion. His disciplined and clean Clementi-style technique, and his balanced classicism, opposed him to the rising school of tempestuous bravura displayed by the likes of Liszt. Composing less and less, but still highly respected and admired, Hummel died peacefully in Weimar in 1837.
The date of composition of the "Zwei Praeludien und Fugen" is not known. They were sold by his widow to Breitkopf & Hartel in 1837.
The "C Minor Prelude and Fugue" is a tense and dramatic work. It is marked "Largo," and makes extensive use of the "vollen Werk." Naturally, I have used the 32' reed... ;-)
I really was looking for a dark, but majestic postlude for the Palm Sunday high mass, and this seemed to fit the bill. I almost always play the Bach Fantasia in G Minor, and I wanted a change.
To make this work, you need a big sound. The church where I play has a historic 1909 Wirsching, which sounds like a cross between a Sauer and a Cavaille Coll. Add to that the 6 seconds of reverberation, and I THINK this is going to sound fine...