Paul Hindemith


I rather like Hindemith’s music, especially the Kammermusik collection, Ludus Tonalis and the opera Mathis der Maler, and the symphonic poem derived from it.

The seven Kammermusiks contain a lot of wonderful stuff, in some ways the acceptable face of “Neo-classicism”. I’ve always liked them (most of them anyway). For me they’re far and away the best things Hindemith wrote, some of his best music, and No. 1 is particularly inventive and energizing.

I mean, I don’t like all I’ve heard, but he’s definitely not a composer I’d accuse of being a complete charlatan.

The Kammermusiks are collected together (I think in their entirety) on a very fine Double Decca release with (resort to failing memory here) Riccardo Chailly. Recordings and performances of demonstration quality. I paid full price for it when it was first released. It has all seven pieces plus the “Kleine Kammermusik” for wind quintet, not usually considered part of the set (not that interesting either, to be honest). I think I’d say that No.7 is the weakest of the series, with the exception of its slow movement.


One Response to “Paul Hindemith”

  1. Juan Rodriguez Says:

    I am a Hindemith fan and studied with one of his students. I am looking for others that have studied his theory. Are you such?
    Do you know what is one of his best compositions? It is Herodiade, that is, if you can find a good recording of it. There are many others but if there is one piece of music that I could only have stuck on an island, it would be this one.
    Juan Rodriguez

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