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#1646248 - 03/23/11 01:05 AM Hindemith Sonata Interpretation
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Does anyone know which, if any, recordings of Paul Hindemith piano sonatas could be considered accurate interpretations of the composer's musical intentions. I have Gould's recordings but, while reading the book The Music of Paul Hindemith by David Neumeyer, I have learned that his renditions are, apparently, not true to the composers ideas. I think it would be fascinating to hear a recording that tries to preserve Hindemith's intentions and compare it to Gould's.

Here is what Neumeyer says: "Nothing has done Hindemith more harm than the supposedly neoclassical renderings with which his sonatas especially have to contend (and not just from immature performers-Glenn Gould's recordings of the three piano sonatas (1936) is a case in point). Such performances exchange the vigour, interest, and lyricism of detail within a broadly proportioned, readily understandable formal frame for placidness, aridity, and sad predictability that is entirely at odds with Hindemith's conception of music."

I hardly think that Gould's interpretations lack lyricism and interest, vigor perhaps. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to hear a "correct" interpretation as a comparison.

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#1646254 - 03/23/11 01:23 AM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: polyphasicpianist]
Lingyis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 832
i don't know, but it sounds like a great project. become a Hindemith specialist!

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#1646261 - 03/23/11 01:39 AM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: polyphasicpianist]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3871
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I don't have a suggestion for an authoritative performance.

But I'm pretty familiar with the Hindemith sonatas-- partly through reading through them, partly from Gould's recordings. I don't know what Neumeyer is talking about. I think these recordings have vigor and lyricism in spades. Gould is sometimes untrue to a composer's intentions (like Mozart), but from what I've played through myself, and from what I know of the rest of Hindemith's music, he's quite faithful here. Unless Mr. Neumeyer can more concretely specify how Gould is "entirely at odds with Hindemith's conception of music", I wouldn't worry about it.

My the way, if you're interested in Hindemith piano music, get your hands on Ludis Tonalis, his set of twelve Interludes and Fugues*, spanning the entire Hindemith universe.

-Jason


* Well: a Preludium, 11 Interludes connecting the 12 Fugues in order of increasing key complexity, and a Postludium, being the double mirror image (temporally and in pitch) of the Preludium. Whew!
_________________________
Beethoven op.111 first movement -- Liszt 11th Hungarian Rhapsody -- Rachmaninoff B minor Prelude -- Chopin first Ballade

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#1646842 - 03/23/11 09:58 PM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: polyphasicpianist]
scriabinpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 37
I'm playing #2 and Gould's tempo on mvt 1 is a good bit off from what Hindemith specifies...my understanding is Hindemith was VERY precise in a Germanic sort of way about his notation. Gould chose otherwise - I like the Gould recordings but can see how he took liberties.

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#1646926 - 03/24/11 01:08 AM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: polyphasicpianist]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2419
Loc: San Jose, CA
I don't know of any better recordings of the sonatas than Gould's, but for Ludus Tonalis and the 1922 Suite, look to Boris Berezovsky. I have that album and it's a knockout.

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#1646931 - 03/24/11 01:17 AM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: jeffreyjones]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3871
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
I don't know of any better recordings of the sonatas than Gould's, but for Ludus Tonalis and the 1922 Suite, look to Boris Berezovsky. I have that album and it's a knockout.


Not to mention this recent synthesizer version of Ludus I stumbled upon the other day....

-j
_________________________
Beethoven op.111 first movement -- Liszt 11th Hungarian Rhapsody -- Rachmaninoff B minor Prelude -- Chopin first Ballade

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#1646970 - 03/24/11 04:21 AM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: beet31425]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8138
Originally Posted By: beet31425

My the way, if you're interested in Hindemith piano music, get your hands on Ludis Tonalis, his set of twelve Interludes and Fugues*, spanning the entire Hindemith universe.

-Jason


* Well: a Preludium, 11 Interludes connecting the 12 Fugues in order of increasing key complexity, and a Postludium, being the double mirror image (temporally and in pitch) of the Preludium. Whew!


I actually did break down and order a copy of Ludus just recently, and read through it over the course of several days last week. I'll probably end up looking at the sections more carefully over the next year - I like his stuff.

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#1646975 - 03/24/11 04:37 AM Re: Hindemith Sonata Interpretation [Re: wr]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3871
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: wr
I actually did break down and order a copy of Ludus just recently, and read through it over the course of several days last week. I'll probably end up looking at the sections more carefully over the next year - I like his stuff.


Yes, it's quite good in general!

The first fugue (in C) really confused me for a while. It seemed that the theme disappeared for the middle 60% of the fugue. I didn't figure out what was happening until I looked online and found an excerpt from Ludi Leonum, Hindemith's illustrated version of the work in which he demonstrates the theme entrances with cartoon lions (really).

(The mystery of the C fugue turned out to be: it's a particularly opaque triple fugue, so after the three entrances of theme1, there are three statements of a theme2 (although all three voices are going, so it's hard to realize a new theme is being introduced), then we get three statements of a theme3, and finally, on the last page, we return to the original theme, as all three themes are played at the same time.)

-J
_________________________
Beethoven op.111 first movement -- Liszt 11th Hungarian Rhapsody -- Rachmaninoff B minor Prelude -- Chopin first Ballade

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