At the close of the Classical era, Johann Nepomuk Hummel was one of the most acclaimed composers and virtuoso pianists in Europe, due to his enviable reputation as a student of Mozart, Salieri, and Haydn, and to the charm and accessibility of his music. Today, Hummel is regarded a bit unfairly as a minor composer, and finding good recordings of his music can be a challenge. This is the second volume in the Gould Piano Trio's recordings of Hummel's complete piano trios, and it continues the excellence displayed in the first volume, released in 2013. The open expressions of Hummel's music are communicated through the group's lively exchanges, and the technical polish of the playing makes these trios easy to enjoy. Hummel's music may seem superficial when compared to the works of his contemporary Beethoven, and this is a drawback for anyone seeking individuality or emotional depth. But these works are best appreciated as skillfully crafted chamber pieces exemplifying Classical elegance and balanced proportions, and the Gould Piano Trio delivers them with an appropriate measure of their worth. The recording at Champs Hill, West Sussex, UK, captures the room's spacious acoustics, but preserves the clarity of the parts.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 12|
|Piano Trio No. 4 in G major, Op. 65|
|Piano Trio No. 5 in E major "Grand Trio Concertante", Op. 83|