Описание CD

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  Исполнитель(и) :
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  Наименование CD :
   Kammermusik 1-7



Год издания : 1992

Компания звукозаписи : Decca

Время звучания : 2:18:04

К-во CD : 2

Код CD : Decca 433 816-2 (London 433816)

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Modern Classics)      

Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam Orchestra, conductor Riccardo Chailly

For those of you who missed this remarkable set the first time around, I offer this Brief History of Hindemith's Kammermusik 1-7 on CD. First, back in ancient times, there was a terrific set of LPs (on what then was Deutsche Harmonia Mundi) featuring performances by Ensemble 13 Baden-Baden. It was never released on CD-despite the fact that it has by far the best sounding siren at the conclusion of Kammermusik 1-and it always was very difficult to find in any but the most hard-core classical shops. It was not until the 1990s that the new technology caught up with these inventive, witty, caustic, and always entertaining works with the release of all seven, variously performed by Ensemble Modern (RCA), Concerto Amsterdam (Teldec), and the present set on Decca. Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic followed a bit later with two single discs issued by a seemingly embarrassed EMI with as little fanfare as humanly possible.

Now this being modern music, and these being "major" labels, it goes without saying that these recordings had a shelf-life of about 15 minutes, assuming that they were ever made available here in the USA. Riccardo Chailly's set was, and by general consent it is considered to be the finest of the lot. Of course it helps to have the likes of pianist Ronald Brautigam, cellist Lynn Harrell, violinist Konstanty Kulka, and violist Kim Kashkashian to do the solo turns; but the real stars of the show are the wonderfully gifted and cultured musicians of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, who make Hindemith's most gawky counterpoint and acerbic harmony sound inevitable, graceful, and fluent.

Now they are back (at least as an import) at bargain price, and if you haven't heard these outstanding performances, you have perhaps another 15 minutes to correct that mistake before they disappear into oblivion once again. Doubtless the Abbado set, which also is quite good, will appear shortly as a "twofer" as well, but if you miss your chance with Chailly, don't say that I didn't warn you!

[8/30/2003]

-David Hurwitz

========= from the cover ==========

Paul Hindemith - Kammermusik

The seven works which Paul Hindemith entitled Kammermusik are creations of the 1920s: of his own first artistic maturity, and of a post-war musical era which was in reaction from the emotional excesses of late Romanticism and Expressionism -trying to find a way back, instead, to the ideals of formal clarity and a modest pride in craftsmanship which seemed to be represented by the Baroque. Hindemith's early works had flirted with Regeresque chromaticism, the cult of the bizarre, even (in the opera Sancta Susanna) with Expressionistic emotional overkill. Yet his instincts had always been towards the 'objective' musical values of strong polyphonic interest, firm structure, a Baroque stability of motion. In the Kammermusik series he brought these aspects of his musical personality to full fruition, and defined at the same time an influential Neo-classical impulse in contemporary German music, just as Igor Stravinsky in Paris was issuing the rallying-cry of 'Back to Bach!'. Indeed, in one sense, Hindemith's seven Kammermusik compositions - the first of them a suite for twelve instruments, the others concertos for a variety of solo instruments, with orchestras of different sizes and constitutions - is a kind of twentieth century equivalent of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.

They were composed in three batches, not entirely corresponding to the three separate opus numbers under which they were published. Kammermusik No. 7 was written in 1921, and grouped in op.24 along with a piece for wind quintet - the five-movement Kleine Kammermusik. This Kleine Kammermusik is included in the present recording, although it is not usually considered part of the series. The first three of the op.36 concertos followed in 1924-25; while the last of op.36, and the two concertos of op.47, were all written in 1927. Hindemith, a viola player of international calibre, was himself the soloist in the premieres of the concertos for viola {Kammermusik No.5) and for viola d'amore (Kammermusik No.6). But his capacities as a practical, versatile all-round musician and performer are embodied most impressively throughout the various works; and demonstrated by his claim that, in the whole of the op.36 concertos, he had composed no instrumental part he personally could not have played, with a little practice!

Kammermusik: the word means 'chamber music', yet most if not all of these compositions are written for an ensemble that can appropriately be termed an orchestra, though of moderate size. However, their instrumental demands are certainly 'chamber-sized' in comparison to the extravagant orchestras of the pre-1914 repertoire: and the series had its inception in connection with the first festival of 'Chamber music performances for the Promotion of Contemporary Music' held in 1921 at Donaueschingen in South Germany. Hindemith was involved in the running of this annual festival from 1921 to 1930, under the patronage of Prince Max Egon zu Furstenburg - to whom Kammermusik No. 1, a work as it were celebrating the new spirit of the times, is dedicated. An important feature of the ensemble writing, in this and throughout the Kammermusik series, is that each player is treated as a soloist - at least to the extent that the members of, for example, a string quartet are soloists. And the ensemble in each work is differently constituted, its weight and tone-color carefully chosen for balance and contrast with the highlighted solo instrument.

Nevertheless Kammermusik No. 1, op.24 no.1, is a somewhat different conception from its successors. Its twelve players (whom Hindemith rather unrealistically hoped would be concealed from the audience) dispose of flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, accordion, piano, xylophone, string quintet and a percussion battery that includes such exotica as a siren and a tin can filled with sand. This cheerful, irreverent suite manifests clear reference to Hindemith's early experience performing in dance bands and musical comedy orchestras in and around Frankfurt. Strong rhythms, sparkling instrumentation, and incorrigible impudence are the work's distinguishing features. Its first three movements are a boisterously dissonant prelude, a frivolous march, and a pastoral 'quartet' (so designated) for the three woodwind instruments and a single note on a glockenspiel. The finale Hindemith entitled '192V, apparently in homage to the foundation of the Donaueschingen concerts, and it unleashes the whole ensemble in an obstreperous display of anarchic humor. The climax comes with the quotation, by the trumpet, of a contemporary foxtrot in G major (by the popular light-music composer Wilm Wilm), accompanied by scales in all the other 11 major keys, and the end is a manic stretto worthy of any great comedy of the silent screen.

Kammermusik No.2, op.36 no.2 is a concerto for piano and twelve instruments -not the same twelve as in Kammermusik No. 1 but a more standard 'chamber-orchestral' line-up of flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, string trio and double bass. The dedicatee was the pianist Emma Lubbecke-Job, who gave the premiere in Frankfurt (under the baton of Clemens Krauss) in October 1924. Something of the anarchic spirit of the preceding work still survives here - notably in the cheeky 'Little Potpourri' which Hindemith inserts between the slow movement and finale - but in general this work has more the character of an athletic, neo-Baroque concerto, each movement carried forward irresistibly by a basic pulse. The piano writing is almost continuously contrapuntal and highly rhythmic, most of all in the toccata-like first movement with its busy motonc figuration. The slow movement is built on a very Bachian model: in its outer sections the piano spins elaborate melodic variations above an ostinato bass theme, with the central section a lyrical two-part dialogue for the solo instrumental one. After the 'Potpourri', with its tart instrumental juxtapositions, which has the function of a tiny scherzo, the finale resumes the energetic style of the first movement, but with dancing cross-rhythms and greater variety of texture.

The third Kammermusik, op.36 no.2, is perhaps the best-known of the series: a miniature cello concerto written for Hindemith's brother Rudolf, with an accompanying ensemble of only ten instruments (the same line-up as Kammermusik No.2, minus bass clarinet and viola). The succession of four movements, slow-fast-slow-fast, recalls the example of the Baroque sonata, and the introductory first movement, opening with a nobly expressive cello solo, is rhapsodic and lyrical in its appeal. The second movement is a brilliant scherzo in fast dance-measure, owing much to the cumulative effect of the cello's ostinato rhythms: Hindemith here achieves a remarkably full, truly 'orchestral' sound from his small number of players. The third movement, by far the longest in the work, is also its expressive heart. The impassioned melodic style and serious, elegiac intensity are an eloquent demonstration of the fact that the Kammermusik idiom did not preclude the expression of deep feeling After this marvelous movement the quick finale, a short movement of Haydnesque aplomb and wit, brings a lightening of heart, until the various instruments evaporate out of the picture, leaving the cello to end the work alone on a single pizzicato.

Kammermusik No.4, op.36 no.3, is a violin concerto written for Hindemith's friend Licco Amar, leader of the Amar Quartet, in which Hindemith was the violist. In some ways this is the most ambitious concerto of the series, laid out in five movements; and unlike its two predecessors, where the solo instrument is often at most primus inter pares, the violin is treated here rather more like a traditional concertante soloist. The accompanying ensemble, now designated a 'large chamber orchestra' is heavily weighted towards the wind instruments (the woodwind includes 2 piccolos and E flat and bass clarinets, while the brass includes a cornet and a bass tuba), and the string body has no violins at all; Hindemith also calls for the small drums - like tambourines without jingles - which were in use in contemporary jazz bands.

Not that the musical language is particularly jazz-influenced: indeed this is for the most part a strenuous, serious work, as is immediately clear from the brief opening tutti movement which Hindemith entitles 'Signal'. This is followed by an athletic, hard-driven first movement corresponding more to a typical concerto first movement in the range and thoroughness of its development. The central slow movement is a 'Night piece', which if anything intensifies the mood of troubled meditation. The violin part, mainly in high register, maintains and develops a spirit of lyrical protest. In these first three movements Hindemith's concerto invites comparison with the equally serious Concerto for violin and wind orchestra by Kurt Weill, written one year earlier (in 1924). The last two movements are lighter, making up a kind of bipartite finale. The fourth movement is a brilliant invention upon a raffish march-tune in the cornet, while the fifth, a kind of concluding stretto, is a strange inspiration calling for the utmost virtuosity. Here the violin keeps up a continual moto-perpetuo figuration against almost surreally tuneful comments from the other instruments.

The orchestra for the viola concerto, Kammermusik No.5, op.36 no.4, contains an even larger woodwind and brass component than Kammermusik No.4, while the strings are reduced to a handful of cellos and basses. This is probably the next best-known Kammermusik after the cello concerto, and in its formal balance and mature blending of the gay and serious it points unmistakably towards the larger concertos Hindemith was to write in the 1930s and 40s. The first movement is another busy, fast-moving neo-Baroque structure, but it is succeeded by a broad and deeply-felt slow movement (Langsam)in which the viola is pitted in melancholy monologue against the rich dark timbres of the wind instruments. The third movement is a deft polyphonic scherzo; and the finale rounds off the proceedings in uproarious style - being a series of bravura variations on a joyously vulgar Bavarian military march, whose scoring reveals the need for so many wind instruments.

Kammermusik No.6, op.46 no.1, is a concerto for the viola d'amore, that warm and delicate Baroque instrument with numerous sympathetic strings - which had almost completely fallen out of use, but for which Hindemith had a special affection. Since the viola d'amore still has few exponents, this concerto remains probably the least performed of the Kammermusik series; yet it is one of the richest in thought, and perhaps the most concentrated. The chamber orchestra has shrunk again to thirteen players, and is a slimmed-down version of the ensemble used in the viola concerto, with fewer wind instruments but also fewer cellos and basses.

The tone of the viola d'amore adds a special plangency to this, the most intimate in expression of the seven works. The busy yet songful first movement, with its boldly striding opening theme, gives way to a beautiful slow movement, dominated by the solo instrument's florid cantabile line, which occupies much of the length of the work. There follows a meditative series of variations in the manner of a long accompanied cadenza, recalling previously-heard thematic elements, and the concerto concludes with a brief finale that is itself a quicker, brisker variation of the music of the opening movement.

The last of the series, Kammermusik No.7, op.46 no.2, is a concerto for organ and eleven wind instruments, plus a few cellos and a double bass. Hindemith composed it to inaugurate the new organ of Frankfurt Radio, the organization (then headed by his brother-in-law Hans Flesch) to which the work is dedicated. The radio station broadcast the first performance in January 1928, with Reinhold Merten as soloist. The grandest and most festive of all the concertos, it is also the only one in the conventional three movements; and Hindemith makes good use of all the polyphonic possibilities offered by the nature of the solo instrument. The first movement is a good-humoured, at times comically self-important march; but it is succeeded by a large and deeply expressive slow movement, opening with a long, ruminative organ solo. As the music develops into spacious polyphonic fantasy the orchestral textures and almost religious atmosphere of meditation seem to anticipate parts of Hindemith's great opera Mathis der Mafer. The finale is an excitable fast fugue, its upwardly-aspiring subject announced by solo trumpet. The organ soon steers the discourse into areas of grandeur, and the contrapuntal contest varies between light and serious before the final series of stretti brings the concerto to a close in a mood of muscular festivity.

- Calum MacDonald (1992)


  Соисполнители :

Kim Kashkashian (Viola)
Konstantly Kulka (Violin)
Leo Van Doeselaar (Organ)
Norbert Blume (Viola)
Ronald Brautigam (Piano)


№ п/п

Наименование трека

Текст

Длительность

Комментарий
   1 01 I Sehr Schnell Und Wild         0:01:06 Kammermusik No.1, Op.24 No.1 - Ronald Brautigam / Lynn Harrell / Konstanty Kulka / Kim Kashkashian / Norbert Blume / Leo Van Doeselaar
   1 02 II Mabig Schnell Halbe         0:03:29 -"-
   1 03 III Quartett: Sehr Langsam Und Mit Ausdruck         0:04:27 -"-
   1 04 IV Finale 1921: Lebhaft         0:06:19 -"-
   1 05 Kleine Kammermusik - I Lustig. Mabig Schnell Viertel         0:02:56 Kleine Kammermusik, Op.24 No.2 - Paul Verhey / Jan Spronk / Piet Honingh / Brian Pollard / Julia Studebaker
   1 06 II Walzer. Durchweg Sehr Leise         0:01:56 -"-
   1 07 III Ruhig Und Einfach         0:04:54 -"-
   1 08 IV Schnelle Viertel         0:00:50 -"-
   1 09 V Sehr Lebhaft         0:02:54 -"-
   1 10 I Sehr Lebhafte Achtel         0:03:25 Kammermusik No.2, Op.36 No.1 - Ronald Brautigam
   1 11 II Sehr Langsame Achtel         0:08:15 -"-
   1 12 III Kleines Potpurri: Sehr Lebhafte Viertel         0:01:31 -"-
   1 13 IV Finale: Schnelle Viertel         0:05:52 -"-
   1 14 I Majestatisch Und Stark. Mabig Schnelle Achtel         0:02:16 Kammermusik No.3, Op.36 No.2 - Lynn Harrell
   1 15 II Lebhaft Und Lustig         0:04:23 -"-
   1 16 III Sehr Ruhige Und Gemessen Schreitende Viertel         0:07:32 -"-
   1 17 IV Mabig Bewegte Halbe. Munter, Aber Immer Germachlich         0:03:15 -"-
   2 01 I Signal: Breite, Majestatische Halbe         0:01:54 Kammermusik No.4, Op.36 No.3 - Konstanty Kulka
   2 02 II Sehr Lebhaft         0:05:33 -"-
   2 03 III Nachstuck: Mabig Schnelle Achtel         0:07:20 -"-
   2 04 IV Lebhafte Viertel         0:03:13 -"-
   2 05 V So Schnell Wie Moglich         0:02:20 -"-
   2 06 Kammermusik No 5 - I Schnelle Halbe         0:04:02 Kammermuski No.5, Op.36 No.4 - Kim Kashkashian
   2 07 II Langsam         0:08:09 -"-
   2 08 III Mabig Schnell         0:03:30 -"-
   2 09 IV Variante Eines Militarmarsches         0:03:31 -"-
   2 10 Mabig Schnell, Majestatisch         0:03:37 Kammermusik No.6, Op.46 No.1 - Norbert Blume
   2 11 Langsam         0:06:46 -"-
   2 12 Variationen         0:04:18 -"-
   2 13 Lebhaft, Wie Fruher         0:01:34 -"-
   2 14 I Nicht Zu Schnell         0:03:26 Kammermusik No.7, Op.46 No.2 - Leo Van Doeselaar
   2 15 II Sehr Langsam Und Ganz Ruhig         0:06:57 -"-
   2 16 III (Achtel Bis 184)         0:06:31 -"-

      Обозначения:

 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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