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Paul Hindemith


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« on: June 18, 2022, 11:58:09 am »

Paul Hindemith was born at Hanau, near Frankfurt am Main, in 1895.

The style that was to be considered typical of Hindemith was purely musically motivated, elementally simple, "objective" music-making. In the concentration on purely musical procedures the music also began to lose its harmonically plush opulence and sonority altogether. Hindemith now took to writing parts as independent lines; the Neue Sachlichkeit was thus identified stylistically with the assertion of a fundamentally linear, polyphonic musical idiom that seemed new in the context of the time.

Formal coherence was no longer supported and articulated by motivic-thematic developmental processes, tonal functional harmony, or regular syntax, but rather by a rhythmically and metrically uniform structure or a sometimes supple, sometimes strict continuity of musical movement. In this continuity, musical procedures were reduced to their primary elements, such as a pulsing metre, often made particularly effective by means of irregular accents.

The harmonic dimension is markedly dissonant in these works, to allow the often extremely individualized voices in the musical texture to stand out against each other. There are also directions to the players which make explicit the priority that impetuous, almost reckless playing was to have over articulation, clear enunciation and beauty of sound. For example, "Furious tempo. Wild. Beauty of sound is a secondary matter."

He produced seven interesting quartets between the years 1915 and 1945.

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First string quartet, in C, opus 2 (1915).

There are four movements:

I. Sehr lebhaft
II. Adagio
III. Scherzo. Sehr lebhaft
IV. Ziemlich lebhaft

It was played by the Danish String Quartet



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Second string quartet, in F minor, opus 10 (1918).

There are three movements:

I. Sehr lebhaft, straff im Rhythmus
II. Thema mit Variationen. Gemächlich
III. Finale. Sehr lebhaft

It was played by the Kocian Quartet:

Pavel Hůla (violin)
Jan Odstrčil (violin)
Zbyněk Paďourek (viola)
Václav Bernášek (cello)



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Third string quartet, in C, opus 16 (1920):

There are three movements:

I. Lebhaft und sehr energish
II. Sehr langsam. Äußerst ruhige Viertel
III. Finale. Äußerst lebhaft

It was played by the Danish String Quartet



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Fourth string quartet, opus 22 (1921):

There are five movements:

I. Fugato, Sehr langsame Viertel
II. Schnelle Achtel, Sehr energisch
III. Ruhige Viertel. Stets fließend
IV. Mäßig schnelle Viertel
V. Rondo. Gemächlich und mit Grazie

It was played by the Los Angeles String Quartet



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Fifth string quartet, opus 32 (1923).

There are four movements:

I. Lebhafte Halbe
II. Sehr langsam, aber immer fließend
III. Kleiner Marsch. Vivace, sempre crescendo
IV. Passacaglia - Fugato (so schnell wie möglich)

It was played by the Amar Quartet:

Anna Brunner (Violin)
Igor Keller (Violin)
Hannes Bärtschi (Viola)
Peter Somodari (Cello)



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Sixth string quartet, in E flat (1943):

There are four movements:

I. Sehr ruhig und ausdrucksvoll
II. Lebhaft und sehr energisch
III. Ruhig. Variationen
IV. Finale. Breit und energisch

It was played by the Danish Quartet:



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Seventh string quartet, also in E flat (1945):

There are four movements:

I. Schnell
II. Ruhig. Scherzando
III. Langsam - Schnell - Langsam
IV. Kanon, mäßig schnell - heiter

It was played by the Amar Quartet:

Anna Brunner (Violin)
Igor Keller (Violin)
Hannes Bärtschi (Viola)
Peter Somodari (Cello)



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