Beethoven's Grand Symphonies arranged by Hummel
Beethoven and Hummel’s relationship was one of the fractious beginnings, but ultimately true friendship. Between 1825 and 1835 Hummel arranged his contemporary’s Symphonies Nos. 1–7 and Septet, Op. 20 for his favoured combination of pianoforte, flute, violin and violoncello. Beethoven would surely not have objected—arrangements were, after all, a perfectly normal part of the 19th-century musical landscape. To audiences today his symphonies need little introduction but, thanks to the musical sensitivity and sheer brilliance of Hummel’s arrangements, it is possible to experience the thrill of hearing these extraordinary pieces afresh.