Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): Concerto in E flat major
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837): Concerto in E major
Jan Krˇtitel Jirˇi (Johann Baptist Georg) Neruda(c1707-c1780): Concerto in E flat major
Bedrˇich Divisˇ (Friedrich Dionys) Weber (1766-1842):Variations in F major
By 1796 Joseph Haydn was once again actively in the serviceof the Esterhazy family. The death of his old employer Prince Nikolaus I in1790 had released him from the great palace complex of Esterhaza and allowedhim two extended and highly successful visits to London. The new Prince, PaulAnton, had outlived his father by only four years and his son Prince NikolausII had followed the former in making his principal residence Eisenstadt, whereHaydn had started his career with the family in 1761. Haydn now lived for mostof the year in Vienna, moving to Eisenstadt only for a short period in thesummer, there providing a number of Mass settings, while in Vienna occupiedwith the composition of oratorios, influenced by his stay in London, and of hislast string quartets. The inspiration for the Trumpet Concerto that hecompleted in 1796 was a newly modified instrument, the keyed trumpet. Anearlier limitation of the Baroque clarino was its inability to play consecutivenotes in a lower register, confined as it was to the notes of the harmonicseries, widely spaced in the lower register and more closely adjacent in thehigher. Experiments had been made with the further development of the slidetrumpet, on the principle of the trombone, and of the technique of hand-stoppingto adjust the pitch, as with the French horn. It was, however, the invention in1793 of a more effective form of keyed trumpet by Anton Weidinger, a friend ofHaydn and a member of the Vienna court orchestra since 1792, that offered evenwider possibilities, coming after less successful experiments in Dresden in the1770s. Keys, operated by the player's left hand, were added to the instrument,covering holes which could each raise the pitch a semitone. The keyed trumpetwas later replaced by the valve trumpet of 1813 and fell into disuse. Weidingerintroduced the new instrument and Haydn's concerto to Vienna in a benefitconcert in 1800. The concerto starts with an orchestral exposition during whichthe soloist is provided the means of warming up before the solo entry with theprincipal subject, later developed, before returning in a recapitulationleading to a virtuoso cadenza. French horns, orchestral trumpets and drums arenot included in the scoring of the A flat major slow movement, with itseffective use of the lower chromatic range of the keyed trumpet. The concertoends with a brilliant rondo, witness both to Haydn's unfailing powers ofinvention and to the technical prowess of Weidinger.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel was born in Pressburg, the modernBratislava, in 1778, the son of a musician. Moving with his family to Vienna atthe age of eight, he became a piano pupil of Mozart, before embarking on apublic career as a virtuoso in 1788, on the latter's advice. By 1793 he hadreturned once more to Vienna, studying, like Beethoven, with Albrechtsberger,Salieri and Haydn. It is said to have been on the recommendation of this lastthat Hummel was appointed Konzertmeister to Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy,effectively performing the duties that Haydn had now relinquished, whileretaining the title of Kapellmeister. He remained in the service of theEsterhazys until 1811, when his contract, after a series of complaints, wasended. Thereafter he resumed his career as a virtuoso pianist before settlingin Stuttgart as Kapellmeister and, eventually, in Weimar in the same capacity,while continuing, as far as he could, his concert tours. His Trumpet Concertoin E major was also written for the keyed trumpet and its inventor, AntonWeidinger, who gave the first performance at a court concert on New Year's Day1804. Unusual in its key, and often played in E flat rather than E, theconcerto, more lightly scored, explores even more than Haydn's work thepossibilities of the new instrument. The orchestral exposition of the firstmovement again leads to the formal entry of the soloist with his version of theprincipal theme, followed by the return of the second subject, in the soloist'sexposition, a central development and a recapitulation. The slow movement,starting in the minor, allows the soloist a prolonged trill before theintroduction of the principal theme, finally shifting to the major before thefinal rondo, which is ushered in by the repeated notes of the solo trumpet, amovement that brings taxing technical demands and bravura display.
The Bohemian composer Jan Krˇtitel Jirˇi Neruda,often known by the German form of his forenames, Johann Baptist Georg, was bornabout the year 1707 and trained in Prague. In 1750 he moved to Dresden as amember of the court orchestra, of which he subsequently became Konzertmeister,serving there through the difficult conditions brought about in Saxony by theSeven Years War. Charles Burney visited Dresden during the course of his tourthrough Germany in 1772 and remarks on Neruda's continued presence in anorchestra in which his two sons were also employed, having served first underthe Court Kapellmeister Johann Adolf Hasse and then under his successors.Neruda left a quantity of music of various kinds, including some fourteen concertos.The Trumpet Concerto belongs to an earlier musical world than Hummel's work.Scored for an orchestra of strings, with continuo harpsichord, it ispre-classical in form, with an orchestral introduction, followed by the solotrumpet with the principal theme and its characteristic use of sequence inmotifs expanded by successive repetition. The principal theme returns in thedominant in an orchestral ritornello before the trumpet entry with newmaterial, a procedure followed in the following ritornello and final return ofthe principal theme in its original key, leading to a trumpet cadenza and coda.The orchestra offers the first statement of the main theme of the slowmovement, followed by the solo trumpet with an elaboration and extension of thesame material. A cadenza precedes the second orchestral section of the movementand the soloist leads the way back to the original key and to a second cadenza,before the Largo comes to a close. The concerto ends with a triple metreVivace, its principal theme proposed by the orchestra, a ritornello thatreturns in different keys to frame a series of solo episodes, culminating in atrumpet cadenza.
Bedrˇich Divisˇ Weber, a Bohemian composer widelyknown by the German form of his forenames, Friedrich Dionys, had a particularinterest in new developments in brass instruments and was himself responsiblefor a form of chromatic French horn. Born near Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in 1766,he studied philosophy and law in Prague, before turning his attention definitivelyto music. He had met Mozart, a composer who influenced him very greatly, andprofited from instruction by Carl Maria von Weber's later teacher, theversatile Abt Vogler. In 1811 he became the first director of the new PragueConservatory, retaining that position until his death in 1842. Conservative intaste, he took objection to the music of Beethoven, as he did to that of CarlMaria von Weber, but nevertheless had his Conservatory students perform asymphony by Wagner, of which he apparently approved. He also served as directorof the Prague Organ School, effectively controlling higher musical education inthe region for many years. Weber's Variations for trumpet and orchestra seemsto have followed his own experiments with keyed instruments and the use of akeyed horn of his devising by a Prague student, Joseph Kail, who introduced theinstrument to Vienna. Kail went on to develop the double