Zurich’s First Showing of “Der Durchzug durchs Rote Meer”
by Johann Nepomuk Hummer
Johann Nepomuk Hummel. You might only barely be aware of this musician and composer, perhaps because he is not counted as part of the ‘First Viennese School’ despite the fact that he worked during this period, was supported by Mozart and Salieri, and was the successor of Haydn at the Esterházy court. Undeservingly, his clerical works never circulate in concert halls and churches as often as the masses of Mozart or the oratorios of Haydn. Walter Riethmann, of the Cantus Zürich, has adopted a recent ‘excavation’: the only Hummel oratorio, entitled ‘Durchzug durchs Rote Meer’ (The Passage Through the Red Sea), which was written between 1800 and 1810. This piece was never performed during Hummel’s lifetime and lay undiscovered for 100 years, hidden away in the British Library in London until Hermmann Max discovered it in 2007, and later performed it with the Rheinische Kantorei.