Here’s a collection unrivalled in its scope within the current catalogue, of orchestral works by one of the most prolific of 20th-century, Paul Hindemith, whose reputation as a purveyor of ‘useful’ music has perhaps overshadowed his colourful orchestrations and often powerfully dramatic transformations of a wide range of extra-musical inspirations. His masterpiece may be the opera he based on the life and work of the painter of the Isenheim alterpiece, Matthias Grünewald, but the Mathis der Maler symphony he derived from its music is hardly less emotive. Nobilinssima visione, originally a ballet on the life of St Francis, is as visionary as its title implies; and the Symphonia Serena is another under-estimated masterpiece of quiet grandeur.
This set contains the most important works of Hindemith: the symphony Mathis der Maler, the orchestral suite Nobilissima Visione, der Schwanendreher (for viola solo, Hindemith’s own instrument), Pittsburg Symphony, the moving Trauermusik for viola and strings, and the sumptuous Symphonic Metamorphosis after themes by Carl Maria von Weber.
The final disc pays homage to Hindemith’s quest to involve the younger generations in music-making, including his ‘play for children’ Wir bauen eine Stadt, which was originally performed by school children in Berlin.
The performances here are all given by native and experienced Hindemith interpreters, in fine studio recordings from the 1970s.
- Paul Hindemith was one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century Germany. His eclectic style incorporated diverse influences such as expressionism, neo-classicism and even jazz. His music is energetic, rhythmically vibrant, witty and joyous, but also able to express deeper and tragic feelings.
- Excellent and authoritative performances by the Staatskapelle Dresden & Otmar Suitner and the Dresden Philharmonic & Herbert Kegel.
- An important and well deserved tribute to a great composer!
- Booklet contains extensive liner notes on the works.
- Several of these works otherwise unavailable.