Author Topic: Hindemith's Harmonie  (Read 51860 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Hindemith's "Die Harmonie der Welt" Symphonie
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2009, 04:36:43 PM »
By chance I just happened to revisit this work, and I see some comments have been added here in the last day or so!  I have the Blomstedt/Gewandhaus recording on Decca.

Based on Hindemith's music for an opera on Kepler, it is a parallel composition to Prokofiev's use of music from The Flaming Angel for his Third Symphony.

It must rank as one of the best "unknown" major works from a major composer of the last century.

A superb work indeed! I have the Chandos/Tortelier version on cd but I also have an LP version with Mravinsky conducting the old Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra-a tremendous performance :)

Offline Nick

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2009, 07:55:56 PM »
I much agree with everyone's recent comments. Exploring and enjoying the complete Hindemith orchestral works has been one of my most recent projects although I don't have the expertise yet in his music to comment too extensively.

To all the Hindemith enthusiasts out there, take heart that there are definitely some people out there who put Hindemith in the top rank. A professor of mine (and now a big cheese) from Vassar College once told me that the 20th century composers who most impressed him were Bartok, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Copland, and Hindemith. Still, he's egregiously overlooked.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2009, 11:48:51 AM »
Just finished listening to the new Ondine recording of Hindemith's 'Klaviermusik mit Orchester' for piano(left hand) performed by Leon Fleisher and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.

This is the work written in 1923 for Paul Wittgenstein but never played by him and which remained the property of the pianist and then his widow. The score was kept in a locked room until 2002 when it finally was obtained by the Hindemith Foundation.

The Concerto is-very definitely-early Hindemith, lively and a touch brittle, no masterpiece but worth hearing for a more complete picture of the young composer. It is, by and large, well played by soloist and orchestra but is, most unfortunately, coupled with a decidedly uncompetitive version of the Dvorak 9th. The students of the Curtis Institute play with enthusiasm and commitment and at a live concert the performance would certainly pass muster but it is not a performance that one would want to listen to again when there are so many great recordings available. Nor is Eschenbach a particularly distinguished Dvorak interpreter on this evidence.

So Ondine gives us an 18 minute long concerto of interest and an uncompetitive Dvorak....whose bright idea at Ondine was that ???

(Wait a minute...I have just realised that the coupling did not stop me buying the cd ;D Hmm....but it might stop others less obsessed by 'completism'. Ok :))
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 11:52:41 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline Brewski

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #43 on: May 23, 2009, 11:59:06 AM »
Colin, I was at the New York premiere of the Hindemith and reviewed it, here.  I was left with enough curiosity to be very glad to hear of a recording (although I am hardly in need of another Dvorak 9th, competitive or not  ;D). 

Thanks for the comments and I may succumb, myself.  ;D

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2009, 12:57:02 PM »
Thanks for the linked review, Bruce :)

You are probably a little more enthusiastic about the Hindemith than I was. The early neo-classical Hindemith of the 1920s is less appealing to me than the music he wrote in the 30s and later :)

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2009, 03:48:36 AM »
Not even the Concerto for Orchestra, Opus 38 (1925), Colin?

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2009, 03:58:39 AM »
Not even the Concerto for Orchestra, Opus 38 (1925), Colin?

Will try that one again, Karl :)

There is just not enough time in the day to play all the music I need to revisit :(

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #47 on: May 30, 2009, 06:19:27 AM »
Of course, two of my favorite Hindemith pieces (the Opp. 49 & 50 Konzertmusiken) he wrote in 1930 . . . the debatable 'border' of your earlier post, Colin  8)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #48 on: May 30, 2009, 10:44:05 AM »
Was just looking at the New York Philharmonic's 2009-2010 season, and next March Riccardo Muti will be conducting the Symphony in E-Flat.  Also on the program is AndrĂ¡s Schiff in the Brahms First Piano Concerto.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #49 on: May 30, 2009, 02:26:43 PM »
Oh, I should be delighted to hear that piece live, Bruce!

snyprrr

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #50 on: May 31, 2009, 04:52:44 PM »
I'm just going to shout out my love for Hindemith's probably most maligned piece, the Octet ("Hindemith at his most manufactured", "ugly").

As I have it with the Berliner Soloisten on Teldec (w/Prokofiev chamber) it definitely comes across as one of those, "You have to play Hindemith perfectly, or it sounds like scheet" pieces (witness Sony/Marlboro). But they seem to do it, and I go back to it a lot. This, and Stravinsky's Septet make a nice, craggy pair. Perhaps along with Martinu's Nonet, this would make a great recital.

You don't hear too much love for late Hindemith (1957-63). If ever there was a composer who needed the greatest advocacy, Paul's the man!

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #51 on: June 01, 2009, 02:26:29 AM »
You don't hear too much love for late Hindemith (1957-63).

Hmm . . . let me consider that.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #52 on: June 01, 2009, 02:37:39 AM »
Acccording to the website of the Hindemith Foundation-

http://www.hindemith.org/E/paul-hindemith/compositions.htm

Hindemith did not actually write very much between these years! There is the Octet(to which you referred) but the only other major works appear to be the 1958 Pittsburgh Symphony and the 1962-63 Organ Concerto-both of which are good without being amongst Hindemith's very best compositions-and the one act Opera "The Long Christmas Dinner"-which I know nothing about.

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #53 on: June 01, 2009, 03:01:45 AM »
Hindemith did not actually write very much between these years! There is the Octet(to which you referred) but the only other major works appear to be the 1958 Pittsburgh Symphony and the 1962-63 Organ Concerto-both of which are good without being amongst Hindemith's very best compositions-and the one act Opera "The Long Christmas Dinner"-which I know nothing about.

I think I've been put off from that patch of his career, by a 'strong indifference' with which I met a recording of the Pittsburgh Symphony back around the time I was in Buffalo.  I recently revisited it in a different (and more recent) recording, but it continues to underwhelm me. YMMV.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #54 on: June 01, 2009, 06:26:50 AM »

To all the Hindemith enthusiasts out there, take heart that there are definitely some people out there who put Hindemith in the top rank.

Count me in. And to all the words of praise for the Harmonie der Welt symphony - the opera is superb as well, and the Wergo issue is pure luxury production through and through!

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #55 on: June 01, 2009, 06:29:14 AM »
I missed 1891's remark, but yes, Hindemith is definitely top-rank in my brochure.

snyprrr

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #56 on: June 01, 2009, 08:13:51 AM »
Leave it to Dun! ;D

The Pittsburgh and the Organ Sym. IS what I was thinking of, but, huh!, I didn't know that that was it.

Still, I really do love the Octet, warts and all. It's not particularly "appealing", and it IS a good example of my often herald "hardening of the language" spiel I mention concerning composers of his generation (Bloch, Chavez, Malipiero, Rosenberg, Rawsthorne etc. etc.) still working after WWII, and who, mostly, died in the 1960s. As such, I consider the Octet a goodbye to "classical" music, as the old guard gave up the reins to the 1960s, and I do think it's important to note that many of these composers were "bitter" that their kind of music was no longer considered even worthy (Englund?). Honegger comes to mind also (his last pieces).

I'd say, stay away from the Octet unless you can find the Teldec disc. I mean, the piece IS turgid and clotted and thick, but, as played by the Berliner Soloisten, all my problems melt away (think of Reger). If I hadn't heard this great performance first, I probably would have dismissed this beautiful ugly duck. The Martinu Nonet is great, but it's EASY to love (Martinu a good example of someone who sounded LESS bitter towards the end- just more magical).

Ha, I feel like I'm pleading for the life of a two headed cow!

snyprrr

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2009, 08:20:38 AM »
I was going to say I find the Octet less gnarly than the Clarinet Quintet, which reminds me of the Easley Blackwood cd of Hindemith clarinet music (some Asian clarinetist, John Woo, or something; is it Arabesque?). It has the Qnt.,Qrt., sonata, and two other pieces, I believe.

Karl, do you have this? I would love to know your review of the playing. As far as I can tell, the disc is absolutely perfect.

karlhenning

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #58 on: June 01, 2009, 08:21:49 AM »
I was going to say I find the Octet less gnarly than the Clarinet Quintet, which reminds me of the Easley Blackwood cd of Hindemith clarinet music (some Asian clarinetist, John Woo, or something; is it Arabesque?). It has the Qnt.,Qrt., sonata, and two other pieces, I believe.

Karl, do you have this? I would love to know your review of the playing. As far as I can tell, the disc is absolutely perfect.

I don't, but I really ought to have more Hindemith chamber music.

snyprrr

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #59 on: June 01, 2009, 08:25:38 AM »
One of my really really favorite works, period, is the Hindemith piece for piano, 2 harps, and brass...what is it called?..."something-musik" Op.39???

Phillip Jones did it on LP. The only recording I know is the Nimbus disc w/Janacek and Vackar. The Nimbus recording is a touch cavernous (a consistant problem with these folks), and the harps don't make the greatest impact. I seem to recall the PJBE recording (Decca?) was spot on.