Author Topic: Hindemith's Harmonie  (Read 54878 times)

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Offline Irons

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #280 on: September 22, 2018, 01:00:16 AM »
Making my path through the Hindemith's chamber music, I stumbled upon the Kammermusik (1922-1927). Starting with the Kleine Kammermusik for wind quintet and later with the Kammermusik No. 1, I have to say this is some of the quirkiest music I've heard lately. Man, this is so well-crafted, the combination for diverse instruments stands out (the Kammermusik No. 1 for flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, piano, harmonium, string quintet and percussion), one can also notice some sarcastic writing that makes these works thoroughly absorbing, not to mention those serious and heartfelt slow movements, which give the due contrast. This music is truly satisfying, carefree and cleverly written.

The Kammermusik series appears to be a source of assured entertainment.



The music of a young composer with his creative juices in full flow. You are right Hindemith's music is well crafted, but many critics turn this positive into a negative by accusing him of dryness which not only unfair but inaccurate. To dispel that theory you have only to listen to the Labéque sisters tearing it up with his Sonata for Two Pianos.

You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #281 on: September 22, 2018, 07:22:35 AM »
You are right Hindemith's music is well crafted, but many critics turn this positive into a negative by accusing him of dryness which not only unfair but inaccurate.

I very much agree with this. Personally, I prefer much of Hindemith’s music to that from Stravinsky’s neoclassical period, which I tend to find rather “dry”. In his best works, Hindemith combines masterful craftsmanship with a haunting lyricism and colorful textures, to great effect.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #282 on: September 22, 2018, 06:11:05 PM »
The music of a young composer with his creative juices in full flow. You are right Hindemith's music is well crafted, but many critics turn this positive into a negative by accusing him of dryness which not only unfair but inaccurate. To dispel that theory you have only to listen to the Labéque sisters tearing it up with his Sonata for Two Pianos.

A gifted brain to compose, Hindemith's stamp is a easily recognizable voice, sounding fresh and with a bunch of spicy and ironic touches. I really like his music. To be honest, I did find some dry-and-acid fragments in many of his works, but somehow I feel them rather original, without forgetting the effects and quirky rhythms and harmonies that catch your imagination.

Then the Sonata for two pianos will be a new work to me, so thanks for the suggestion. Ludus Tonalis receives a lot of praises as well.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #283 on: March 17, 2020, 07:05:22 AM »
TTT! - has been over a year - yesterday, I left the post below in the 'listening thread' w/ no responses - SO, thought that this dormant Hindemith thread needs some attention, especially regarding updates on new recordings - don't believe that I added to my 'modest' collection of his works in a half dozen year or more - e.g. who might be 'better' in the SQs - Danish Quartet vs. Amar Quartet?  Dave :)

Quote
Hindemith, Paul (1895-1963) -  Orchestral Works (6-CDs), Kammermusik (2-CDs), & String Quartets - first 3 sets w/ the performers shown; Hindemith was a prolific German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor who settled in the United States in 1940 - decided to 'tackle' my nearly 20 disc collection of Paul's works (he indeed was prolific - check HERE).

Today, listening to the String Quartets - own the 3-disc set w/ the Danish Quartet; main competition seems to be the Amar Quartet (reviews attached w/ a comparison of the two groups for those interested), Kammermusik w/ Chailly (probably my favorite Hindemith pieces, BUT there is so much to enjoy!), and several selections from the Albert Orchestral Works, V. 1 (note there is a V. 2 & 3 w/ 9 more discs!).  My remaining recordings are mostly his chamber works for various instruments, another source of pleasure.  Dave :)

P.S. according to the link, Hindemith founded the 'original' Amar Quartet in 1921 (he was the violist); finally, there is a 15-page Hindemith thread that I scanned this morning w/ no posting in over a year.

     
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 07:17:34 AM by SonicMan46 »

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #284 on: March 17, 2020, 07:17:46 AM »
For the morning's listening - Dave :)

     

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #285 on: March 17, 2020, 09:29:59 AM »
Reminds me that it is high time for me to revisit Der Dämon
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #286 on: March 17, 2020, 09:45:34 AM »
Brass & Woodwind Chamber Music - the 2 first CDs below (bassoon sonata the only duplicated work) - the BIS recording is from 1974-83; the other from 1998 on the obscure Equilibrium label, actually the company recorded 4 CDs of Hindemith (check HERE, if interested) - the last CD of the Octet/Quintet/Septet which was not in my collection was just ordered and is 'in the mail' - Dave :)

   

Online vers la flamme

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #287 on: March 17, 2020, 02:26:30 PM »
Saw that this thread had been updated and put on String Trio No.1, which I have on CD (the same CPO CD that was just pictured by Sonicman) hadn't heard in months. I'm not crazy about the string trios. If the "dry" criticism is ever true, it must be here—or maybe I am not listening closely enough. I haven't decided whether or not I really like Hindemith, I go back and forth with really appreciating his music, and not getting much from it at all. His extreme skill as a craftsman and his deeply unique voice is more than enough to prove his worth to me as a composer, though, and I will keep trying to break through with his music for the rest of my life as a lover of classical music.

Any love for his piano concertos? I see Idil Biret, a pianist I greatly admire, has recorded them. Furthermore I need to get my hands on the complete Kammermusik. I see both Abbado and Chailly have tackled them with members of major orchestras, I will probably get my hands on one or the other.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #288 on: March 17, 2020, 04:19:54 PM »

Any love for his piano concertos? I see Idil Biret, a pianist I greatly admire, has recorded them.

Yes, and I have that Naxos album.  I like that they included the Konzertmusik, Op. 49 for brass, two harps and piano, one of my favorite pieces.  I do need to dig into that album more.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline The new erato

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #289 on: March 18, 2020, 12:21:25 AM »
TTT! - has been over a year - yesterday, I left the post below in the 'listening thread' w/ no responses - SO, thought that this dormant Hindemith thread needs some attention, especially regarding updates on new recordings - don't believe that I added to my 'modest' collection of his works in a half dozen year or more - e.g. who might be 'better' in the SQs - Danish Quartet vs. Amar Quartet?  Dave :)
I think I'd go with the Amar, owning both for some years.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #290 on: March 18, 2020, 07:58:15 AM »
I think I'd go with the Amar, owning both for some years.

Thanks Erato - I had the Amar Quartet in my Amazon cart - just re-read some more reviews (attached for those interested) - seems the preferred set of a number of reviewers and with improved sonics - just 'pulled the trigger' - Dave :)

Online vers la flamme

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #291 on: March 21, 2020, 03:05:01 PM »
I like the Mathis der Maler Symphony a lot. Who here has heard the opera it is based on? It sounds fascinating, I love the art of Matthias Grünewald, but I'm not sure how effective Hindemith might be as an operatic composer.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #292 on: March 21, 2020, 03:30:47 PM »
I like the Mathis der Maler Symphony a lot. Who here has heard the opera it is based on? It sounds fascinating, I love the art of Matthias Grünewald, but I'm not sure how effective Hindemith might be as an operatic composer.

I've got it to hand, and yes, it is high time I listened to it!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #293 on: March 21, 2020, 03:34:40 PM »
The early "shock trilogy" operas, I really like:
Mörder, Hoffnung, der Frauen, Das Nusch-Nuschi & Sancta Susanna
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #294 on: March 21, 2020, 03:43:09 PM »
^Are there any really good, essential recordings of Hindemith's operas out there? Any of them, really, but the one I'm most curious about is Mathis, and as you've alerted me to this early trilogy, Karl, I've now become curious about them, too.

Offline JBS

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #295 on: March 21, 2020, 03:49:22 PM »
There seem to be two full recordings. I have this one


 I have listened to it, but I can't say it overwhelmed me.
There's also a recording on Oehms led by Simone Young, and a CD of highlights from both MdM and Cardillac on DG, featuring DFD.

^Are there any really good, essential recordings of Hindemith's operas out there? Any of them, really, but the one I'm most curious about is Mathis, and as you've alerted me to this early trilogy, Karl, I've now become curious about them, too.


There's also The Long Christmas Dinner, based on a play by Thornton Wilder. There's two recordings, one in German on Wergo, and one in English under Leon Botstein. If I read the Amazon blurb correctly, the English is the opera's original language, and the German a translation.

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Offline JBS

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #296 on: March 21, 2020, 03:55:52 PM »

Went digging through this thread and found....

I've spent some time listening to The Long Christmas Dinner for each of the last three or four days, and I spent more time with the libretto last night, and I find it tremendously impressive.  Touching, at times unalloyedly enchanting, it is an opera which I feel ought to be standard repertory.  If, ten years ago (and this is probably the fault of the reader, not of the author), I had read the Wilder story, I might have had no patience with it;  here, the music flows so naturally, has such engaging profiles, carries on so confidently, that the setting obliterated any prejudice I might have entertained against the text.  This sounds like an odd thing to say about a piece which remains next door to unknown, but I think it one of the best operas of the 20th century.  And I am not done;  I expect to spend another week in the piece's sonic company.

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #297 on: March 21, 2020, 05:14:04 PM »
There seem to be two full recordings. I have this one

 I have listened to it, but I can't say it overwhelmed me.
There's also a recording on Oehms led by Simone Young, and a CD of highlights from both MdM and Cardillac on DG, featuring DFD.


There's also The Long Christmas Dinner, based on a play by Thornton Wilder. There's two recordings, one in German on Wergo, and one in English under Leon Botstein. If I read the Amazon blurb correctly, the English is the opera's original language, and the German a translation.


I really like the Wergo rec. of The Long Christmas Dinner, even though, as you observe, we're missing Thornton Wilder's English
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #298 on: March 25, 2020, 02:27:41 PM »
There seem to be two full recordings. I have this one

 I have listened to it, but I can't say it overwhelmed me.
There's also a recording on Oehms led by Simone Young, and a CD of highlights from both MdM and Cardillac on DG, featuring DFD.


There's also The Long Christmas Dinner, based on a play by Thornton Wilder. There's two recordings, one in German on Wergo, and one in English under Leon Botstein. If I read the Amazon blurb correctly, the English is the opera's original language, and the German a translation.


Viz. Mathis, if you've not already done, Jeffrey, have you tried starting with Scene 6?

My ears are having an easy ride out to the end now, then, I'll need (?) to try the first two scenes again.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline JBS

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Re: Hindemith's Harmonie
« Reply #299 on: March 25, 2020, 04:46:36 PM »
Viz. Mathis, if you've not already done, Jeffrey, have you tried starting with Scene 6?

My ears are having an easy ride out to the end now, then, I'll need (?) to try the first two scenes again.

I don't recall any real differences between the earlier and later scenes. But it has been a bit since I heard it. 

My general practice is rather boring: the standard begin at the beginning and end at the end routine, I confess.

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