Franz Hummel: 33 Hercher Variations
Format: COMPACT DISC
At the suggestion of his friend and patron of the arts Roland F.O. Hercher, the composer Franz Hummel has written 33 Variations on a small waltz. Its substance is pieced together from casual sequences of letters and cryptic alphabet mutations drawn from the Christian and surnames “Roland F.O. Hercher and Sieglinde Pirzer”, in order to create a suitably lyrical model, reminiscent of a quiet summer evening on Roland‘s terrace, that offers plenty of scope for variations. Although Hummel has always held a poor opinion of programme music, he found himself in a difficult situation: in this piano work, he wanted to characterize the two people linked in the theme in each single number and thus came into conflict with his often all too enthusiastically proclaimed rejection of extra-musical programmatic elements. “Fortunately, at the age of eighty, one is old enough to bend a few wizened rules of life from time to time with late adolescent satisfaction. Work on the composition becomes more and more pleasurable and the imagination increases, if one simply throws one‘s ideologies overboard.” - says the composer. With an enthusiasm that is all his own, the talented 18-year-old piano virtuoso Christoph Preiss not only learned the “Hercher Variations” by heart in a very short time but also recorded them on album right away with wonderful effortlessness. The inspiration and accomplishment with which he presents the piece, that is anything but easy, is immediately convincing.