Paul Hindemith

Mixed chorus
Secular choruses
by popularity


14 Leichte Stücke1922, Op.262 Ballads2 Songs3 Hymnen, Op.143 Leichte Stücke3 Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op.84 Pieces for Bassoon and Cello5 Songs on Old Text6 Chansons6 Lieder nach Gedichten von Hölderlin8 Lieder, Op.188 Pieces for Solo Flute8 Walzer, Op.69 English Songs


A Composer's WorldA Concentrated Course in Traditional HarmonyA Frog He Went A-CourtingA Song of MusicAlto Horn SonataAmor and PsycheAnekdoten für RadioAngelus Domini apparuitApparebit repentina diesAscendente Jesu in naviculam


Ballett-PhantasieBassoon Sonata


CardillacCello ConcertoCello Concerto in E-flat major, Op.3Cello Sonata in E majorCello Sonata, Op.11 No.3Cello Sonata, Op.25 No.3Chöre für vier MännerstimmenChorlieder für KnabenClarinet ConcertoClarinet QuartetClarinet Quintet, Op.30Clarinet SonataConcerto for Orchestra, Op.38Concerto for Trumpet, Bassoon and StringsConcerto for Woodwinds, Harp and OrchestraCum descendisset Jesus de monteCum factus esset Jesus annorum duodecimCum natus esset


Das MarienlebenDas Nusch-NuschiDas UnaufhörlicheDefuncto HerodeDer Dämon, Op.28Der SchwanendreherDer TodDes kleinen Elektromusikers LieblingeDes Todes Tod, Op.23aDicebat Jesus scribis et pharisaeisDie Harmonie der WeltDie Harmonie der Welt SymphonyDie junge Magd, Op.23bDie Serenaden, Op.35Dixit Jesus PetroDouble Bass SonataDu mußt dir Alles gebenDuet for Viola and Cello


EchoEine lichte MitternachtElementary Training for MusiciansEnglish Horn SonataErat Joseph et MariaErster SchneeExiit edictum


Flute SonataFünfstimmige MadrigaleFürst Kraft


Harp SonataHérodiadeHin und zurückHorn ConcertoHorn Sonata


In einer Nacht..., Op.15Ite, angeli veloces


Kammermusik No.1, Op.24 No.1Kammermusik No.2, Op.36 No.1Kammermusik No.3, Op.36 No.2Kammermusik No.4, Op.36 No.3Kammermusik No.5, Op.36 No.4Kammermusik No.6, Op.46 No.1Kammermusik No.7, Op.46 No.2Kanonische DuetteKanonische Sonatine, Op.31 No.3Klaviermusik, Op.37Kleine Kammermusik, Op.24 No.2Kleine Sonate, Op.25 No.2Konzertmusik for Brass and String OrchestraKonzertmusik für Blasorchester, Op.41Konzertmusik für Klavier, Blechbläser und Harfen, Op.49Konzertmusik, Op.48


LehrstückLieder für Singkreise, Op.43 No.2Lieder nach alten Texten, Op.33Ludus Tonalis


Marsch für Orchester über den alten 'Schweizerton'Mathis der MalerMelancholie, Op.13MesseMinimaxMörder, Hoffnung der FrauenMusica divinas laudes


Neues vom TageNeues vom Tage, Ouvertüre mit KonzertschlußNobilissima VisioneNobilissima Visione, Konzert-SuiteNuptiae factae suntNusch-Nuschi Tänze


Oboe SonataOctetOld Irish AirOrgan ConcertoOrgan Sonata No.1Organ Sonata No.2Organ Sonata No.3Ouvertüre zum "Fliegenden Holländer", wie sie eine schlechte Kurkapelle morgens um 7 am Brunnen vom Blatt spielt


Pastores loquebanturPhilharmonic ConcertoPiano ConcertoPiano Sonata No. 1Piano Sonata No.2Piano Sonata No.3Piano Sonata, Op.17Pittsburgh SymphonyPlöner MusiktagPlöner Musiktag Suite


Sämtliche WerkeSancta SusannaSchulwerk für Instrumental-Zusammenspiel, Op.44SeptetSine musica nulla disciplinaSinfonietta in E majorSing und Spielmusik für Liebhaber und Musikfreunde, Op.45Sonata for 2 PianosSonata for 4 HornsSonata for Piano 4 HandsSpielmusik, Op.43 No.1Spruch eines FahrendenString Quartet No.1, Op.2String Quartet No.2, Op.10String Quartet No.3, Op.16String Quartet No.4, Op.22String Quartet No.5, Op.32String Quartet No.6String Quartet No.7String Trio No.1, Op.34String Trio No.2Suite französischer TänzeSymphonia SerenaSymphonic DancesSymphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von WeberSymphony in B-flat for BandSymphony in E-flat majorSymphony: Mathis der Maler


Tanzstücke, Op.19The Demon of the GibbetThe Flight Across the OceanThe Four TemperamentsTrauermusikTrio for Viola, Heckelphone and Piano, Op.47Trombone SonataTrumpet SonataTuba SonataTuttifäntchenTuttifäntchen Suite


Unterweisung im Tonsatz


Variationen über ein altes TanzliedVidet Joannes Jesum venientemViola SonataViola Sonata No. 1Viola Sonata, IPH 172Viola Sonata, Op.11 No.5Viola Sonata, Op.25 No.1Viola Sonata, Op.25 No.4Viola Sonata, Op.31 No.4Violin ConcertoViolin Sonata in C majorViolin Sonata in E majorViolin Sonata No. 2Violin Sonata, Op.11 No.1Violin Sonata, Op.31 No.1Violin Sonata, Op.31 No.2Vision des Mannes


When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'dWir Bauen eine Stadt


Über das FrühjahrÜbungen für Geiger
Paul Hindemith (/ˈpaʊlˈhɪndəmɪt/; 16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a prolific German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. In the 1920s, he became a major advocate of the Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity) style of music. Notable compositions include his song cycle Das Marienleben (1923), Der Schwanendreher for viola and orchestra (1935), and the opera Mathis der Maler (1938). Hindemith's most popular work, both on record and in the concert hall, is likely the Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, written in 1943.
Hindemith was born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, as the eldest child of the painter and decorator Robert Hindemith from Lower Silesia and his wife Marie Hindemith, née Warnecke. He was taught the violin as a child. He entered Frankfurt's Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium, where he studied violin with Adolf Rebner, as well as conducting and composition with Arnold Mendelssohn and Bernhard Sekles. At first he supported himself by playing in dance bands and musical-comedy groups. He became deputy leader of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra in 1914, and was promoted to concertmaster in 1916. He played second violin in the Rebner String Quartet from 1914.
Hindemith was conscripted into the Imperial German Army in September 1917 and sent to join his regiment in Alsace in January 1918. There he was assigned to play bass drum in the regiment band, and also formed a string quartet. In May 1918 he was deployed to the front in Flanders, where he served as a sentry; his diary shows him "surviving grenade attacks only by good luck", according to New Grove Dictionary. After the armistice he returned to Frankfurt and the Rebner Quartet.
In 1921, he founded the Amar Quartet, playing viola, and extensively toured Europe.
In 1922, some of his pieces were played in the International Society for Contemporary Music festival at Salzburg, which first brought him to the attention of an international audience. The following year, he began to work as an organizer of the Donaueschingen Festival, where he programmed works by several avant-garde composers, including Anton Webern and Arnold Schoenberg. In 1927 he was appointed Professor at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. Hindemith wrote the music for Hans Richter's 1928 avant-garde film Ghosts Before Breakfast (Vormittagsspuk), and also acted in the film; the score and the original film were later burned by the Nazis. The score was recreated by Ian Gardiner in 2006. In 1929 he played the solo part in the premiere of William Walton's viola concerto, after Lionel Tertis, for whom it was written, turned it down.
On 15 May 1924, Hindemith married the actress and singer Gertrud (Johanna Gertrude) Rottenberg (1900–1967). The marriage was childless.
The Nazis' relationship to Hindemith's music was complicated. Some condemned his music as "degenerate" (largely based on his early, sexually charged operas such as Sancta Susanna). In December 1934, during a speech at the Berlin Sports Palace, Germany's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels publicly denounced Hindemith as an "atonal noisemaker". The Nazis banned his music in October 1936 and he was subsequently included in the 1938 Entartete Musik (Degenerate Music) exhibition in Düsseldorf. Other officials working in Nazi Germany, though, thought that he might provide Germany with an example of a modern German composer, as, by this time, he was writing music based in tonality, with frequent references to folk music. The conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler’s defence of Hindemith, published in 1934, takes this line. The controversy around his work continued throughout the thirties, with Hindemith falling in and out of favour with the Nazis.
During the 1930s, he made a visit to Cairo and several to Ankara. He accepted an invitation from the Turkish government to oversee the creation of a music school in Istanbul in 1935, after Goebbels had pressured him to request an indefinite leave of absence from the Berlin Academy. In Turkey, he was the leading figure of a new music pedagogy in the era of president Kemal Atatürk. His deputy was Eduard Zuckmayer. Hindemith led the reorganization of Turkish music education and the early efforts to establish the Turkish State Opera and Ballet. He did not stay in Turkey so long as many other émigrés, but he greatly influenced Turkish musical life; the Ankara State Conservatory owes much to his efforts. Young Turkish musicians regarded Hindemith as a "real master", and he was appreciated and greatly respected.
Toward the end of the 1930s, Hindemith made several tours of America as a viola and viola d'amore soloist.
He emigrated to Switzerland in 1938, partly because his wife was of partially Jewish ancestry.
At the same time that he was codifying his musical language, Hindemith's teaching and compositions began to be affected by his theories, according to critics like Ernest Ansermet. Arriving in the U.S. in 1940, he taught primarily at Yale University, where he founded the Yale Collegium Musicum. He had such notable students as Lukas Foss, Graham George, Andrew Hill, Norman Dello Joio, Mitch Leigh, Mel Powell, Yehudi Wyner, Harold Shapero, Hans Otte, Ruth Schönthal, Samuel Adler, Leonard Sarason, and Oscar-winning film director George Roy Hill. He also taught at the University at Buffalo, Cornell University, and Wells College. During this time he also gave the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard, from which the book A Composer's World was extracted. Hindemith had a long friendship with Erich Katz, whose compositions were influenced by him. Also among Hindemith's students were the composers Franz Reizenstein and Robert Strassburg.
Hindemith became a U.S. citizen in 1946, but returned to Europe in 1953, living in Zürich and teaching at the university there until he retired from teaching in 1957. Toward the end of his life he began to conduct more, and made numerous recordings, mostly of his own music.
In 1954, an anonymous critic for Opera magazine, having attended a performance of Hindemith's Neues vom Tage, wrote, "Mr Hindemith is no virtuoso conductor, but he does possess an extraordinary knack of making performers understand how his own music is supposed to go".
Hindemith received the Wihuri Sibelius Prize in 1955. He was awarded the Balzan Prize in 1962 "for the wealth, extent and variety of his work, which is among the most valid in contemporary music, and which contains masterpieces of opera, symphonic and chamber music."
Despite a prolonged decline in his physical health, Hindemith composed almost until his death. He died in Frankfurt from pancreatitis aged 68. He is buried in Cimetière La Chiésaz, La Chiésaz, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland.
Hindemith is among the most significant German composers of his time. His early works are in a late romantic idiom, and he later produced expressionist works, rather in the style of the early Schoenberg, before developing a leaner, contrapuntally complex style in the 1920s. This style has been described as neoclassical, but is quite different from the works by Igor Stravinsky labeled with that term, owing more to the contrapuntal language of Johann Sebastian Bach and Max Reger than the Classical clarity of Mozart.
The new style can be heard in the series of works called Kammermusik (Chamber Music) from 1922 to 1927. Each of these pieces is written for a different small instrumental ensemble, many of them very unusual. Kammermusik No. 6, for example, is a concerto for the viola d'amore, an instrument that has not been in wide use since the baroque period, but which Hindemith himself played. He continued to write for unusual groups of instruments throughout his life, producing a trio for viola, heckelphone and piano (1928), 7 trios for 3 trautoniums (1930), a sonata for double bass and a concerto for trumpet, bassoon, and strings (both in 1949), for example.
Around the 1930s, Hindemith began to write less for chamber groups, and more for large orchestral forces. In 1933–35, Hindemith wrote his opera Mathis der Maler, based on the life of the painter Matthias Grünewald. This opera is rarely staged, though a well-known production by the New York City Opera in 1995 was an exception (Holland 1995). It combines the neo-classicism of earlier works with folk song. As a preliminary stage to the composing of this opera, Hindemith wrote a purely instrumental symphony also called Mathis der Maler, which is one of his most frequently performed works. In the opera, some portions of the symphony appear as instrumental interludes, others were elaborated in vocal scenes.
Hindemith wrote Gebrauchsmusik (Music for Use)—compositions intended to have a social or political purpose and sometimes written to be played by amateurs. The concept was inspired by Bertolt Brecht. An example of this is his Trauermusik (Funeral Music), written in January 1936. Hindemith was preparing the London premiere of Der Schwanendreher when he heard news of the death of George V. He quickly wrote this piece for solo viola and string orchestra in tribute to the late king, and the premiere was given that same evening, the day after the king's death. Other examples of Hindemith's Gebrauchsmusik include:
Hindemith's most popular work, both on record and in the concert hall, is probably the Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, written in 1943. It takes melodies from various works by Weber, mainly piano duets, but also one from the overture to his incidental music for Turandot (Op. 37/J. 75), and transforms and adapts them so that each movement of the piece is based on one theme.
In 1951, Hindemith completed his Symphony in B-flat. Scored for concert band, it was written for the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own". Hindemith premiered it with that band on 5 April of that year. Its second performance took place under the baton of Hugh McMillan, conducting the Boulder Symphonic Band at the University of Colorado. The piece is representative of his late works, exhibiting strong contrapuntal lines throughout, and is a cornerstone of the band repertoire. Hindemith recorded it in stereo with members of the Philharmonia Orchestra for EMI in 1956.
His complete set of instructional books (in possible educational order)
Hindemith was a prolific composer. He conducted some of his own music in a series of recordings for EMI with the Philharmonia Orchestra and for Deutsche Grammophon with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, which have been digitally remastered and released on CD. The Violin Concerto was also recorded by Hindemith for Decca/London, with the composer conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with David Oistrakh as soloist. Everest Records issued a recording of Hindemith's postwar When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd ("A Requiem for Those We Love") on LP, conducted by Hindemith. A stereo recording of Hindemith conducting the requiem with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, with Louise Parker and George London as soloists, was made for Columbia Records in 1963 and later issued on CD. He also appeared on television as a guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's nationally syndicated "Music from Chicago" series; the performances have been released by VAI on home video. A complete orchestral music collection has been recorded by German and Australian orchestras, all released on the CPO label, recordings all conducted by Werner Andreas Albert.
An annual festival of Hindemith's music is held at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. It features student, staff, and professional musicians performing a range of Hindemith's works.