Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Yang, Fan. “Reconsidering the Nineteenth-Century Potpourri: Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Op. 94 for Viola and Orchestra.” Ad Parnassum: A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music 19 (April 2021): 83-128.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Op. 94 for Viola and Orchestra exists in two versions: the original “Potpourri” composed in 1820 and published in 1822, and a heavily abridged “Fantasy” not prepared by Hummel and first published in 1899 or 1900. Hummel’s Potpourri is organized into six distinct sections (with interspersed transitions) that each present a single borrowed melody. The material is drawn from four operas, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Rossini’s Tancredi, as well as from an unidentified source labeled by Hummel as Boleros. Hummel employs several methods of borrowing throughout the Potpourri: modeling and paraphrase (in the case of Don Giovanni and the first Entführung section), variations (Figaro and Tancredi), and cantus firmus (second Entführung section). The Fantasia on the other hand cuts all but one of the episodes of borrowed material, leaving only the Don Giovanni section and Hummel’s introduction, transition material, and finale. The choice of whether to perform the Potpourri or the Fantasy is related to philosophical debates over Werktreue, faithfulness to score, and improvisation. While the provenance of the Op. 94 Fantasy is unresolved, one hypothesis is that its significant cuts and new title were made as an attempt to distance the work from the negative associations of the potpourri genre in the late nineteenth century. While the Op. 94 Fantasy is significantly shorter and still creates an exciting effect, modern performers should not shy away from the original Potpourri, which has value as a serious work.

Works: Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Potpourri for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 94 (89-95, 106-11); Hummel (composer), Anonymous (arranger): Fantasia for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 94 (89-92, 111-12)

Sources: Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Potpourri for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 94 (89-92, 111-12); Mozart: Don Giovanni (89-92, 106-7), Le Nozze di Figaro (89, 92-93, 107), Entführung aus dem Serail (89, 94-95, 107-9); Rossini: Tancredi (90, 95, 109)

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License