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Paul Hindemith

November 16, 1895 - December 28, 1963
born in Hanau, Germany, composed during the Modern period
A theorist, teacher, violist, conductor, and composer who is regarded by many as the foremost German composer of his generation, Paul Hindemith was one of the most central figures in music between the First and Second World Wars. Born outside of Frankfurt, Hindemith moved with his family to the city in 1902. It was here, in 1904, that Hindemith began taking violin lessons. By 1908, Hindemith became a student of Adolf Rebner, a teacher at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, who arranged for Hindemith to be awarded a free place at the conservatory the following year. Although he had long been composing, Hindemith, in addition to continuing his study of the violin, began to study composition formally. However, he was forced to leave the conservatory in 1917 when he was called up for military service. He spent most of his service as a member of a regimental band stationed about 3 kilometers from the front line.

After returning from the war, Hindemith again took to the concert stage, having switched to viola in 1919. In 1923 he was invited to join the administrative committee of the Donaueschingen Festival, a group over which he exerted an ever increasing amount of control; programming works of such composers as Schoenberg and Webern. The next year he married Gertrud Rottenberg, the daughter of the conductor of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra, an ensemble in which Hindemith had been playing. In 1927 he received an appointment as professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. In addition to maintaining an active performing career, Hindemith soon developed a strong interest in teaching, and even took on an evening class at the Volksmusikschule NeuKolln.

Early in 1934, the Nazi party began a campaign to discredit Hindemith, which culminated in a boycott of the composer's works announced by the Kulturgemeinde in November of that year. In January 1935, Hindemith was given a six-month leave from the Hochschule. However, as the boycott of his music was not endorsed by the music division of the Nazi party until 1937, Hindemith was allowed not only to return to teaching, but also to undertake a series of concert tours abroad, to have his music published, and to enter into an agreement with the government of Turkey to build an organized musical life in that country. However, in 1937, Hindemith left Germany for Switzerland, and in 1940 came to the U.S.

After a series of lecture and teaching engagements which had been arranged by friends, Hindemith took a position at Yale, teaching composition and, from 1945 to 1953, conducting the Collegium Musicum. In 1946, Hindemith became an American citizen. In 1951 he accepted a position at the University of Zurich and, after retiring from Yale in 1953, took up permanent residence in Switzerland. After retiring from his post in Zurich, in 1955, he became more active as a conductor. In November 1963, he was taken ill and transferred to a hospital in Frankfurt, where he died of acute pancreatitis. ~ Stephen Kingsbury, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Hindemith Complete Viola Music, Vol. 1: Viola Sonatas

Title: Sonata For Viola & Piano In C Major

1. Sonata For Viola & Piano In C Major: I. Breit - Mit Kraft

2. Sonata For Viola & Piano In C Major: II. Sehr Lebhaft

3. Sonata For Viola & Piano In C Major: III. Phantasie: Sehr Langsam, Frei

4. Sonata For Viola & Piano In C Major: IV. Finale (Mit Zwei Variationen): Leicht Bewegt - Ein Wenig Langsamer - Sehr Lebhaft

Title: Sonata For Viola & Piano In F Major, Op. 11/4

5. Sonata For Viola & Piano In F Major, Op. 11/4: I. Fantasie

6. Sonata For Viola & Piano In F Major, Op. 11/4: II. Thema Mit Variationen

7. Sonata For Viola & Piano In F Major, Op. 11/4: III. Finale (Mit Variationen)

Title: Sonata For Viola & Piano, Op. 25/4

8. Sonata For Viola & Piano, Op. 25/4: I. Sehr Lebhaft - Markiert Und Kraftvoll

9. Sonata For Viola & Piano, Op. 25/4: II. Sehr Langsam Viertel

10. Sonata For Viola & Piano, Op. 25/4: III. Finale: Lebhafte Viertel

Title: Nobilissima Visione, Ballet Suite For Orchestra

11. Nobilissima Visione, Ballet Suite For Orchestra: Meditation (Sehr Langsam)

x

Track List: Hindemith: Complete Sonatas, Vol. 4

Title: Sonata For 2 Pianos

1. Sonata For 2 Pianos: I. Glockenspiel

2. Sonata For 2 Pianos: II. Allegro

3. Sonata For 2 Pianos: III. Kanon

4. Sonata For 2 Pianos: IV. Recitativ Eines Altenglischen Gedichtes

5. Sonata For 2 Pianos: V. Fuge

Title: Sonata For Bassoon & Piano

6. Sonata For Bassoon & Piano: I. Leicht Bewegt

7. Sonata For Bassoon & Piano: II. Langsam

Title: Sonata For Harp

8. Sonata For Harp: I. Massig Schnell

9. Sonata For Harp: II. Lebhaft

10. Sonata For Harp: III. Lied. Sehr Langsam

Title: Sonata For Piano, 4 Hands

11. Sonata For Piano, 4 Hands: I. Massig Bewegt

12. Sonata For Piano, 4 Hands: II. Lebhaft

13. Sonata For Piano, 4 Hands: III. Ruhig Bewegt

Title: Sonata For Horn & Piano

14. Sonata For Horn & Piano: I. Massg Bewegt

15. Sonata For Horn & Piano: II. Ruhig Bewegt

16. Sonata For Horn & Piano: III. Lebhaft

x

Track List: Hindemith: Ludus Tonalis; Suite '1922'

Title: Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano

1. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Praeludium: Moderate-arioso, Quiet-slow-solemn, Broad

2. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Prima In C: Slow

3. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Moderate, With Energy

4. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Secunda In G: Gay

5. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Pastorale, Moderate

6. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Tertia In F: Andante

7. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Scherzando

8. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Quarta In A: With Energy-slow, Grazioso-tempo Primo

9. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Fast

10. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Quinta In E: Fast

11. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Moderate

12. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Sexta In E Flat: Quiet

13. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: March

14. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Septima In A Flat: Moderate

15. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Very Broad

16. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Octava In D: With Strength

17. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Very Quiet

18. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Nona In B Flat: Moderate, Scherzando

19. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Very Quiet (2)

20. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Decima In D Flat: Moderately Fast, Grazioso

21. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Allegro Pesante

22. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Undecima In B (Canon): Slow

23. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Interludium: Valse

24. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Fuga Duodecima In F Sharp: Very Quiet

25. Ludus Tonalis, Cycle Of 25 Pieces For Piano: Postludium: Solemn, Broad-arioso, Quiet-moderate

Title: Suite "1922", For Piano, Op. 26

26. Suite "1922", For Piano, Op. 26: Marsch

27. Suite "1922", For Piano, Op. 26: Shimmy

28. Suite "1922", For Piano, Op. 26: Nachtstück

29. Suite "1922", For Piano, Op. 26: Boston

30. Suite "1922", For Piano, Op. 26: Ragtime

x

Track List: Hindemith: String Quartets (6)

Disc 1
Title: String Quartet No.2 In F Minor, Op. 10
Title: String Quartet No.3 In C Major, Op. 16
Title: String Quartet No.7
Disc 2
Title: String Quartet No.4, Op. 22
Title: String Quartet No.5, Op. 32
Title: String Quartet No.6 In E-flat Major
x

Track List: Hindemith: Symphonies; Der Schwanendreher; etc.

Disc 1
Title: Mathis Der Maler, Symphony (from Opera)
Title: Symphonia Serena, For Orchestra
Title: Konzertmusik, For Brass & Strings, Op. 50
Disc 2
Title: Der Schwanendreher, Concerto For Viola & Small Orchestra
Title: Symphonic Metamorphosis Of Themes By Carl Maria Von Weber, For Orchestra
Title: Nobilissima Visione, Ballet Suite For Orchestra
x

Track List: Paul Hindemith: Kammermusik Nos. 1-7

Disc 1
Title: Kammermusik No.1, For 12 Instruments, Op. 24/1
Title: Kleine Kammermusik, For Wind Quintet, Op. 24/2
Title: Kammermusik No.2, For Piano & 12 Instruments, Op. 36/1
Title: Kammermusik No.3, For Cello And 10 Instruments, Op. 36/2
Disc 2
Title: Kammermusik No.4, For Concerto For Violin & Chamber Orchestra, Op. 36/3
Title: Kammermusik No.5, For Viola & Orchestra, Op.36/4
Title: Kammermusik No.6, For Viola D'amore & Chamber Orchestra, Op.46/1
Title: Kammermusik No.7, Concerto For Organ & Orchestra, Op. 46/2

Comments

Report as inappropriate
There is quite a verisimilitu d e to Bedrich Smetana's Má vlast. The rondeau is a striking throwback to Shostakovich ' s most subtle and powerful chords, IMHO.
Report as inappropriate
The Hindemith Sonata für Klarinette in B was the first solo work in my repertoire, the first work I played in a judged competition. More important, it is the garden of musical endeavor that I entered as a boy and departed as a young man, at age 13. I still play it, it is still a thrill.
Report as inappropriate
Hindemith is my favorite classical composer. I am especially partial to his solo piano pieces and chamber music.

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