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*** 1/2 HUMMEL: Piano Concerto in A-flat, Opus 113; Concertino in G, Opus 73; "Gesellschafts-Rondo," Opus 117. Howard Shelley, piano-conductor; London Mozart Players (Chandos)

January 04, 1998|Daniel Cariaga

Never quite forgotten, the piano music of Johann Nepomuk Hummel remains eminently revivable, as it is here--including the first recorded performance of the "Society" Rondo. Hummel, a contemporary of Cherubini and Weber, looked forward to the fluid style of Chopin--or perhaps Chopin looked back on his friend Hummel--and wrote tuneful, smart and virtually irresistible music for the keyboard. These three works offer pianistic display, musical charms and unforced continuity. The virtuosic and stylish Shelley, conducting from the piano, makes the strongest possible case for their exhumation; his London colleagues cooperate fully.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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