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ClassicsOnline Home » HINDEMITH, P.: Violin Concerto / Symphonic Metamorphosis / Konzertmusik (Midori, North German Radio Symphony, Eschenbach)
Sensitive, sweet playing by Midori
I think this is a wonderful performance of Hindemith's violin concerto. Perhaps Midori's volume could be louder, but her beautifully sweet tone is a real joy. Excellent playing also by the North German Radio Symphony.more....
A mix of the enjoyable and slightly eclectic
The music on this disc consists of three works of Paul Hindemith, the earliest being from 1930, and the latest having been written in 1943. The oldest work is presented first, the “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C.M. von Weber”, a work in four movements that features delightful interplay between the various sections of the orchestra that is based on pieces of Weber’s for piano for four hands. The well-written liner notes indicate that Hindemith and his wife would have been familiar with several piano four-hands pieces of Weber’s since they played them at home. This composition is one of Hindemith’s most popular orchestral works, and it is a pleasure to listen to.
What you would expect to be the highlight of the CD is the “Konzert for Violine und Orchester” featuring Midori on her amazing del Gesu violin. Her playing is virtuosic and warm, but the piece itself does not have the form where the soloist and orchestra are having a conversation – rather, the composer set them against each other, but not in a manner in which they play over each other. Hindemith makes sure that instruments that would drown out the solo violin are not playing while the violin is, so the piece has a somewhat dynamic clarity in which the listener can hear every nuance. However, the work itself was soimewhat less than satisfying for me due to the constant feeling of contrast. That being said, Midori is amazing – no surprise there!
The final work on the disc is the “Konzertmusik for Streichorchester und Blechblaser, Op. 50” in which Hindemith’s skills writing horn music are on display right form the get-go, the interplay between the horns and the rest of the orchestra being done in a way that is again both contrasting and partnering. The recording quality of this piece is particularly impressive, as the dynamic range explored by the orchestra is wide. As for the piece itself, I found the Weber work to be more aesthetically pleasant, but this work was intellectually stimulating.
The NDR Sinfonieorchester sounds fantastic, and the recording captures the nuances that these marvelous musicians bring to life. That being said, Hindemith’s works are certainly not of the “easy listening” type for many. Recommended.if you like Hindemith’s music and you are not off-put by pieces that tend to have a more contrasting style.more....
These are live recordings. You'd never know it considering the virtual absence of ambient noise not to mention any significant ensemble flaws. Overall Eschenbach and his fine orchestra serve up convincingly paced, meticulously balanced readings of these works. The winds and brass in particular acquit themselves admirably. There is punch and drama to spare. Bear in mind the competition is formidable: Bernstein, Szell, Jarvi, Tortelier, etc. One of the best incentives for seriously considering this disc is the stunning account of the Violin Concerto. Conductor, orchestra and soloist are of a singular mind here, in a reading suffused with equal doses of poetry and kinetic energy. To better appreciate this, listen to the 2nd movement. Throughout, sonics are excellent: big-boned, rich and finely etched.more....
By Jeff Dunn
San Francisco Classical Voice
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HINDEMITH, P.: Violin Concerto / Symphonic Metamor...