- Piano Sonata No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 13
- Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 20
- Variations on a theme from Gluck's "Armide" for piano in F major, Op. 57
- Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 107: No. 3. Fantasie: La contemplazione
- La bella capricciosa, polonaise for piano in B flat major, Op. 55
Johann Nepomuk Hummel is often thought of as a rivel to Beethoven, but Hummel's piano music is closer to the Classical era than the Romantic era. The way Hummel used long melodic ideas, without sophisticated development or harmony, and stuck closely to conventional ideas of harmony and structure, have caused many to dismiss his piano music altogether. Christoph Hammer hasn't, and the pieces he chose for this disc are a few of the more lasting in Hummel's keyboard output. Hammer very ably demonstrates that these works are better suited to the fortepiano than Beethoven's, which often seem to overwhelm the instrument's capabilities with their power, and that Hummel's would sound equally well on a modern piano. Hammer plays all of these works with a very fluid and naturally developed sense of drama. The sonatas are much less volatile and intense than Beethoven's, but the range of emotion that Hammer gives them has a depth of character that aspires to that of the Romantics. The "Fantasie: La Contemplazione" is also as introspective as a Beethoven slow movement, but in a lighter mood and a little more ornamented. The "Variations on a Theme from Gluck's Armide" are not even as sophisticated as the other pieces here, although there are moments of technical interest, which indicate that Hummel might have written these specifically for use in recitals. Another outstanding feature of Hammer's playing is the way he colors the music. The variety of color and tone that he gets out of the two instruments used on this recording is far greater than many other period keyboard instrument performers. This is what makes it so easy to imagine how it would sound on a modern piano. Hammer's performance recommends Hummel's piano works perhaps more than the music itself.