commentary to opus 75d (1978)
Adagietto for string sextet, op. 75d (1978)
Performance : October 30, 1999, Güthersloh, Stadttheater
Duration: 6 MinutesPublisher: Schott Music ED 20289 / ISMN: M-001-14994-5
Foreword (Schott Music)
Hummel worked on his Adagietto for many years. Originally conceived
as an Elegy for Strings in 1965, it was transformed into an Adagietto
for String Sextet in 1978 and published for the first time in 1993. Hummel
undertook a further arrangement of the composition in 1999 and participated with
musical friends in its first performance. In one of the scores, the title is supplemented
by the term "sacrale", an indication of the religious background
of this composition.
a time of increasing secularisation, the creative and no doubt also the reproducing
artist have the task of pointing out to their contemporaries the transcendental,
the inexplicable and the unprovable. The language of music - most effective perhaps
in reaching across world frontiers - has an especially important role in this.
Representations of suffering and horror alone cannot be the inherent constituent
of a work of art. A reference to comfort and hope is indispensable. Furthermore,
life, nature, and, for the believer, knowledge of God give cause enough for praise
is how my father once formulated his artistic conception. A favourite adopted
term of his, "musikalische Klangrede" [musical speech), appears to me
to be particularly well implemented in the Adagietto.
Hummel Translation: Lindsay Chalmers-Gerbracht
his Adagietto for string sextet, the variety results from
the playing in the two of each arrangement of violins, violas and cellos.
Jürgen Kuhlmann (in the programme booklet of the ensembles
"Il Cappricio", July 2003)
Winnender Zeitung, 4th May, 2004
A 20th century work carried us away into a completely different world - the "Adagietto for String Quartet" by Bertold Hummel (1925 - 2002). Tone clusters and clouds of sound, expressive and full of dissonances, savoured by the instrumentalists to the last note. Then again sounds like an uproar or an unaltered repetition of a melody which seemed to come from another sphere. Pictorial atmosphere in the purest form. Seconds went by before the tension in the audience was released with the first applause.