Dutch-German family of music publishers. Johann Julius Hummel (b Waltershausen, bap. 17 Dec 1728; d Berlin, 27 Feb 1798) and his brother Burchard (Burghard) (b Waltershausen, 16 April 1731; d The Hague, 27 Sept 1797) were both french horn players. In the 1740s they arrived at The Hague, where Johann Julius became a citizen in 1751. By 1753 he had apparently moved to Amsterdam and established himself as a music publisher and music dealer. His first address there was in Nes, and in May 1764 he moved to Vygendam. In 1770 he opened a branch in Berlin, where he himself moved in 1774 after receiving a privilege for publishing music from Frederick II in 1773. From 1774 the imprint of his firm reads ‘Chez J.J. Hummel à Berlin, à Amsterdam au Grand Magazin de Musique’, often with the addition ‘et aux adresses ordinaires’. He evidently delegated the management of the business in Amsterdam to his daughter Elisabeth Christina (b The Hague, bap. 27 Feb 1751; d Amsterdam, 16 April 1818), who from 1791 was helped by her second husband, Carl Wilhelm von Mettingh. In 1776 the Amsterdam branch moved to Warmoestraat and at the end of 1780 to Rokkin. After Johann Julius’s death his son Johann Bernhard (1760–c1805) took over the firm, although it was managed by a certain Annisius; in 1800 Johann Bernhard was excluded from the firm, according to a statement in the Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen (4 September 1800). The firm continued its activities and in 1808 took over Siegfried Markordt’s music business in Amsterdam. In August and September 1822 clearance sales of the firm’s stock and equipment took place in Berlin and Amsterdam, and much of it passed to C. Bachmann in Hanover and Lischke and Trautwein in Berlin. At the beginning of his activities in Amsterdam Johann Julius Hummel collaborated with the Dutch music publisher Arnoldus Olofsen. In 1754 they published Sei nuove sinfonie by Santo Lapis, but by 1757 a sharp conflict had developed between them. Hummel’s cooperation with his brother, however, continued until the early 1780s.
J.J. Hummel was enterprising, capable and energetic, and developed his business into one of the leading music publishing firms of its kind. He imported music and had agents abroad for the sale of his own publications. It is true that he had no scruples about publishing pirated prints, but this practice was relatively common at the time. He and his brother published thematic catalogues of the works they issued; only the main catalogue (1768) and six supplements (1769–74) are known, although a seventh supplement and a thematic catalogue from 1780 apparently also appeared. The firm’s many publishing catalogues contain mostly instrumental music by contemporary Austrian, Bohemian, Dutch, German and Italian composers as well as arias and ensembles from French and German operas and lieder; composers represented include Abel, J.C. and C.P.E. Bach, Boccherini, Dittersdorf, Haydn, Kozeluch, Mozart, Pleyel, Stamitz and Vanhal. Hummel’s nomination to membership of the Royal Board of Commerce also testifies to contemporary recognition of his work.
Besides his short time in his father’s firm, Johann Bernhard Hummel was a pianist and composer; he wrote Modulationen durch alle Dur und Moll Töne (Berlin, 1800) as well as some lieder and piano pieces.
Burchard Hummel settled in Agterom in The Hague, where in 1755 he received civic rights as a music dealer. In 1765 he moved his business from Agterom to Spuystraat and in 1771 he bought a house on the same street; he was active there until his death. His son Leonard Hummel (b The Hague, bap. 8 Feb 1757) became active in the firm at an early age. From the beginning of the 1780s it was called B. Hummel et fils or B. Hummel en Zoon; its activities were carried on in Warmoestraat in Amsterdam and in Spuystraat in The Hague. In January 1801 Leonard Hummel sold a large collection of musical items, from which it can be assumed that B. Hummel’s business ceased at this time. Besides orchestral and chamber music by contemporary composers Burchard Hummel published many collections of airs. His activities as a publisher were, however, not as extensive as his brother’s.
J.W. Enschedé: ‘Een magazijn-catalogus van J.J. Hummel te Amsterdam en B. Hummel te ’s Gravenhage, 1778’, TVNM, viii/4 (1908), 262–86
D.F. Scheurleer: Het muziekleven te ’s Gravenhage in de tweede helft der 18e eeuw (The Hague, 1908)
E.F. Kossmann: De boekhandel te ’s-Gravenhage tot het eind van de 18de eeuw’ (The Hague, 1937), 198
R. Elvers: Altberliner Musikverleger (Berlin, 1961)
R. Elvers: ‘Musikdrucker, Musikalienhänder und Musikverleger in Berlin 1750 bis 1850’, Festschrift Walter Gerstenberg, ed. G. von Dadelsen and A. Holschneider (Wolfenbüttel, 1964), 37–44
K. Hortschansky: ‘Zwei datierte Hummel-Kataloge: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Musikalienhandels in Frankfurt am Main’, Quellenstudien zur Musik: Wolfgang Schmieder zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. K. Dorfmüller and G. von Dadelsen (Frankfurt, 1972), 79–94
R. Elvers: ‘Berliner Musikverleger’, Studien zur Musikgeschichte Berlins im frühen 19. Jahrhundert, ed. C. Dahlhaus (Regensburg, 1980), 285–91
K.G. Fellerer: ‘Musikbeziehungen zwischen den nördlichen Niederlanden und dem Reich im 18. Jahrhundert’, TVNM, xxx (1980), 51–69
L. Weinhold and A. Weinmann: Kataloge von Musikverlegern und Musikalienhändlern im deutschsprachigen Raum 1700–1850 (Kassel, 1995)
Hummel, Ferdinand B.
(b Berlin, 6 Sept 1855; d Berlin, 24 April 1928). German composer, harpist and pianist. A child prodigy at the harp, he appeared in public at the age of seven and was given a subsidy by Wilhelm I of Prussia to study (1862–3) with Antonio Zamara in Vienna. In 1864–7 he toured Germany, Scandinavia and Russia with his father, a flautist in the Prussian royal chapel. From 1868 to 1875 he attended first Kullak's academy and then the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and the Akademie der Künste, studying the piano with Scharwenka, Kullak, Rudorff and Grabau, composition with Wüerst, Bargiel and Kiel, and the harp with Ludwig Grimm. After a period as harpist in Bilse's orchestra he became music director of the Königliches Theater in 1892, and royal Kapellmeister in 1897.
Hummel's compositions reach about 120 opus numbers, including seven verismo operas: Mara (Berlin, 1893), Angla (Berlin, 1894), Ein treuer Schelm (Altenburg, 1894), Assarpai (Gotha, 1898), Sophie von Brabant (Darmstadt, 1899), Die Beichte (Berlin, 1899) and Die Gefilde der Seligen (Altenburg, 1916); for fuller details see GroveO. Of these, Mara was quite successful, as was a Symphony in D op.105. He also wrote a film score Jenseits des Stroms (1922), incidental music, chamber works (including Elfentraum for cello and harp, op.27), music for piano and for harp and many charming songs, partsongs and choruses. His operatic success was overshadowed by d'Albert's Tiefland (1903); his works are all but forgotten.
GroveO (A.L. Aber-Count)
MGG1 (T.-M. Langner)
RiemannL12 [with lists of works]
B. Bagatti: Arpa e arpisti (Piacenza, 1932), 54
A.N. Schirinzi: L'arpa: storia di un antico strumento (Milan, 1961), 105
ALICE LAWSON ABER-COUNT