Paul Hindemith

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Kleine Kammermusik, Op.24 No.2Viola Sonata, Op.25 No.1Viola Sonata No. 1Cello Sonata, Op.25 No.3Kanonische Sonatine, Op.31 No.3Violin Sonata, Op.31 No.2Viola Sonata, Op.11 No.5String Trio No.1, Op.34Kammermusik No.1, Op.24 No.1Violin Sonata, Op.31 No.1Das MarienlebenViolin Sonata, Op.11 No.1String Quartet No.4, Op.221922, Op.26Concerto for Orchestra, Op.38Kammermusik No.2, Op.36 No.13 Pieces for Cello and Piano, Op.8String Quartet No.5, Op.32Die Serenaden, Op.35Cello Sonata, Op.11 No.3String Quartet No.2, Op.10Kammermusik No.4, Op.36 No.3Kammermusik No.3, Op.36 No.2String Quartet No.3, Op.16Violin Sonata No. 2Lieder nach alten Texten, Op.33Sancta Susanna8 Lieder, Op.18Die junge Magd, Op.23b9 English SongsKlaviermusik, Op.37Mathis der MalerNusch-Nuschi TänzeDas Nusch-NuschiMörder, Hoffnung der FrauenHorn SonataTuttifäntchenA Composer's WorldA Concentrated Course in Traditional HarmonyBallett-PhantasieDer Dämon, Op.28Elementary Training for MusiciansHérodiadeNobilissima VisioneSämtliche WerkeUnterweisung im TonsatzWir Bauen eine Stadt14 Leichte Stücke2 Ballads8 Pieces for Solo Flute8 Walzer, Op.6Amor and PsycheAngelus Domini apparuitAscendente Jesu in naviculamCello Concerto in E-flat major, Op.3Clarinet QuartetClarinet Quintet, Op.30Concerto for Trumpet, Bassoon and StringsCum descendisset Jesus de monteCum factus esset Jesus annorum duodecimCum natus essetDas UnaufhörlicheDefuncto HerodeThe Flight Across the OceanDer TodDes kleinen Elektromusikers LieblingeDicebat Jesus scribis et pharisaeisDixit Jesus PetroErat Joseph et MariaErster SchneeExiit edictumHarp SonataKammermusik No.5, Op.36 No.4Kammermusik No.6, Op.46 No.1Kammermusik No.7, Op.46 No.2Kanonische DuetteKonzertmusik für Blasorchester, Op.41Konzertmusik für Klavier, Blechbläser und Harfen, Op.49Lieder für Singkreise, Op.43 No.2Marsch für Orchester über den alten 'Schweizerton'Musica divinas laudesNeues vom TageNeues vom Tage, Ouvertüre mit KonzertschlußNuptiae factae suntOld Irish AirOrgan ConcertoOrgan Sonata No.1Organ Sonata No.2Organ Sonata No.3Pastores loquebanturPiano ConcertoPlöner Musiktag SuiteSeptetSine musica nulla disciplinaSinfonietta in E majorSpruch eines FahrendenSymphonia SerenaThe Four TemperamentsTuttifäntchen SuiteVidet Joannes Jesum venientemViola SonataViola Sonata, Op.31 No.4Übungen für Geiger3 Hymnen, Op.143 Leichte Stücke4 Pieces for Bassoon and Cello5 Songs on Old TextA Song of MusicApparebit repentina diesBassoon SonataClarinet ConcertoClarinet SonataConcerto for Woodwinds, Harp and OrchestraDes Todes Tod, Op.23aDu mußt dir Alles gebenEchoEine lichte MitternachtEnglish Horn SonataFlute SonataHin und zurückHorn ConcertoIn einer Nacht..., Op.15Melancholie, Op.13MesseOboe SonataPhilharmonic ConcertoPiano Sonata No.3Piano Sonata, Op.17Schulwerk für Instrumental-Zusammenspiel, Op.44Sonata for 2 PianosSpielmusik, Op.43 No.1Suite französischer TänzeTanzstücke, Op.19The Demon of the GibbetTrauermusikTrombone SonataTrumpet SonataTuba SonataVariationen über ein altes TanzliedVision des MannesWhen Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'dÜber das Frühjahr2 SongsAlto Horn SonataDie Harmonie der Welt SymphonyDuet for Viola and CelloFürst KraftIte, angeli velocesKonzertmusik for Brass and String OrchestraLudus TonalisPiano Sonata No. 1Sonata for Piano 4 HandsA Frog He Went A-CourtingCello ConcertoCello Sonata in E majorDer SchwanendreherDouble Bass SonataKleine Sonate, Op.25 No.2LehrstückSymphony: Mathis der MalerNobilissima Visione, Konzert-SuitePittsburgh SymphonySymphony in B-flat for BandViola Sonata, IPH 172Viola Sonata, Op.25 No.4Violin ConcertoAnekdoten für RadioChorlieder für KnabenPiano Sonata No.2String Quartet No.1, Op.2String Quartet No.7Symphonic DancesSymphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von WeberTrio for Viola, Heckelphone and Piano, Op.47Violin Sonata in E majorDie Harmonie der WeltKonzertmusik, Op.48MinimaxOuvertüre zum "Fliegenden Holländer", wie sie eine schlechte Kurkapelle morgens um 7 am Brunnen vom Blatt spieltSymphony in E-flat majorViolin Sonata in C major6 Lieder nach Gedichten von HölderlinChöre für vier MännerstimmenSing und Spielmusik für Liebhaber und Musikfreunde, Op.45Sonata for 4 HornsString Trio No.26 ChansonsString Quartet No.6OctetPlöner MusiktagFünfstimmige MadrigaleCardillac
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.