An examination on the influences and establishment of Chopin's personal style through the comparative analysis of his concertos and Hummel's A and B minor concertos
This study compares the Hummel Concertos in A Minor, Op. 85 and B Minor, Op. 89 and the Chopin Concertos in E Minor, Op. 11 and F Minor, Op. 21. On initial hearing of Hummel's rarely played concertos, one immediately detects similarities with Chopin's concerto style. Upon closer examination, one discovers a substantial number of interesting and significant parallels with Chopin's concertos, many of which are highlighted in this research project. Hummel belongs to a generation of composers who made a shift away from the Classical style, and Chopin, as an early Romantic, absorbed much from his immediate predecessors in establishing his highly unique style. I have chosen to focus on Chopin's concertos to demonstrate this association. The essay begins with a discussion of the historical background of Chopin's formative years as it pertains to the formation of his compositional style, Hummel's role and influence in the contemporary musical arena, as well as interactions between the two composers. It then provides the historical background of the aforementioned concertos leading to a comparative analysis, which includes structural, melodic, harmonic, and motivic parallels. With a better understanding of his stylistic influences, and of how Chopin assimilated them in the creation of his masterful works, the performer can adopt a more informed approach to the interpretation of these two concertos, which are among the most beloved masterpieces in piano literature.