commentary to opus 91b
Adagio "In memoriam Anton Bruckner" for large orchestra, op 91b (1989/1992)
Instrumentation: 22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199 - Timp., Perc. <3> Hrp., Strings
performance: September 8, 1996, Linz, Brucknerhaus, Brucknersaal
Duration: 10 Minutes
Publisher: Schott Music
Horn gave me the idea of orchestrating the 2nd movement of my Organ Fantasy,
op. 91a. It was in the nature of such work that changes and additions were made,
resulting in the present orchestral version.
The chorale idea in the Adagio "In memoriam Anton Bruckner" deserves particular attention. It sounds as if Bruckner had invented it - ppp misterioso - , and yet it came from the pen of the 8-year-old Bertold, who returned home full of impressions from Bruckner's 3rd Symphony and decided he would become a composer. The first thing he put down on paper was this bold chorale idea, which now achieves its fulfilment in his Bruckner Fantasy.
homage to the master of St. Florian culminates in this chorale after a long build-up
to the full forces of the orchestra.
Fränkisches Volksblatt, 7th November, 1996
The opening of the programme with Bertold Hummel's "in memoriam Anton Bruckner" for large orchestra, op. 91b set the atmosphere perfectly for the Symphony that followed it. It is striking that Hummel is both an excellent artist in instrumentation and also a master of the musical language of Bruckner. One hears idiomatic Bruckner, mixed with Hummel's unmistakable writing, nothing less than a small masterpiece with no need to hide itself in Bruckner's shadow. Symphonic music in every way, permeated with subtle refinements. Hummel even includes a hint of Tristan melody (Wagner was for Bruckner a god on earth), in unison of course, and typical eruptions neutralise each other in Hummel's Adagio to produce a gently flowing Tranquillo.
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 9th September, 1996
Hummel's Adagio in Memoriam Bruckner is a densely woven gathering and re-working of Bruckner motifs with am independent component of personal thoughts over their musical significance.