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  Наименование CD :
   Sonatas For Viola. Piano And Viola Alone



Год издания : 1988

Компания звукозаписи : ECM

Время звучания : 2:07:40

К-во CD : 2

Код CD : ECM New Series 833309

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

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

Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin

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

Was he a revolutionary? In some ways this was the posture he assumed. In some ways his later, more austere approach had deep roots. In no sense was he an innovator like Kurt Schwitters or Raoul Hausmann - although this comparison has occasionally been made. The inventor of Men and the i-poem sought a fundamentally original art; and the author of the first phonetic poem also envisioned the new and nothing but the new. Nor was Hindemith a systematist like Arnold Schoenberg, whose attempt to knit expressive atonalities into such an ingenious construct as twelve tone music would have been inconceivable for Hindemith.

Glenn Gould, whose unconventional critical judgements are only now beginning to be appreciated, could not place Hindemith within any of the constellations he formulated. "I simply have no idea where I should place him", Gould said. A German pragmatist? A German idealist? Neither one. So Gould set up a comparative chart between Webern and Hindemith in which surprising confrontations emerge. Under "Harmonic Bearing" he has "non-tonal" for Webern and "quasitonal" for Hindemith. Under "Contrapuntal Bearing": Webern, "canons preferred"; Hindemith, "fugues preferred". And the profiles, based on contemporary critics, are "low" for Webern and "high" for Hindemith. The resulting "Influence" is "incalculable" for Webern and "negligible" for Hindemith.

Such playful distinctions show how hard it is to form a judgement of Hindemith, and the many opinions of his work are equally difficult to reconcile. "For Hindemith, however," Gould concludes, "and by his own admission, the ritual of craft preceded the vision of the creative idea. In this regard, it's perhaps instructive to think of Hindemith as the obverse of Scriabin, a composer for whom reason was the by-product of ecstatic experience. And Hindemith, like other composers with similar priorities - Sweelinck, Telemann, Reger, Miaskovsky - will, I suspect, be the subject of many revivals and attempts at re-evaluation. Whatever the verdicts of future generations, they will have to reckon with a composer of prodigious gifts."

With Gould's thoughts in mind, it is pernaps more revealing not to construct chronological groupings or to focus on specific characteristics of his works. Better to simply plunge in head first and say: the movement in op. 25/1 entitled "Raging tempo. Wild. Beauty of tone is of secondary importance" is a masterpiece on its own terms and only in its own terms. If one compares Schoenberg's piano works op. 19/1 or op. 23, one discovers that for Schoenberg a cohesive "group character" is more dominant; each separate piece can only be differentiated and recognized in the context of the entire opus number, and the compositional plan can be recognized only through the interaction of its parts. Even innovation is a matter of planning and becoming absorbed in the plan.

Hindemith, in comparison, writes sonatas in the conventional style, with detached and contrasting movements. For me, the first movement of the sonata op. 25/1, simply labelled "Broad", lacks the special quality of a masterpiece which the fourth movement has. And if I had to give reasons, I would say that in the first movement Hindemith is still searching for the potentials of his tonal language, he is still compiling, so to speak, the syntax of his compositional method, and therefore his unhesitating powerful grasp of the movement that begins with "Raging tempo" eludes him. Of course, that instruction "Raging tempo. Wild. Beauty of tone is of secondary importance" has an almost comic ring to our ears today. This is the time-bound aspect, the posture, the exposure of the revolutionary, of the different. All the more astonishing that such a masterful work should have resulted.

Much has been said and written about Hindemith's orientation toward Johann Sebastian Bach, and his choice of solo instrument, the viola (from the older family of viols in distinction to that of the violins) brings to mind Bach's compositions for solo violin and solo cello. In the sonata op. 11/5 there is an immediate parallel. The fourth movement, entitled A Passacaglia in Form and Tempo, is constructed to follow the design of the Chaconne from Bach's Second Partita for Solo Violin. In older linguistic usage, Passacaglia and Chaconne overlap, they were not clearly separated. But what does Hindemith do? He does not "parody" Bach. (Here one is obliged to insert a digression on Hindemith's use of parody, because he never simply parodies. And when he occasionally snatches up a popular song or foxtrot melody he does not, unlike the older Charles Ives, go all the way and use the whole melody. Nor does he disperse the melody like Schoenberg in his adaptations of Johann Strauss. Instead, he takes pains to reveal and cultivate the "art" of the parody, until it becomes something different, something of its own.

Rather, in the Passacaglia from the Sonata op. 11/5 he tackles the character of Bach's Chaconne from the outside, so to speak. How does one do that? Again and again in these sonatas it is evident that the melodic lines are not completed, let alone constructively linked and, as in Bach, unified in an inexhaustible architectural form. Rather Hindemith shortens his melodies to a greater or lesser extent. He handles them almost like riffs in jazz. He joins them together, devides them, runs them parallel, contrasts them etc. These are some of his compositional tools. His variations, as in the Sonata op. 11/4 or in the third movement of the Sonata op. 31/4, consist of these riff-like themes, out of which he develops his concept of variation-form. Another concept entirely is used in the "Phantasie", and I would call this first movement of the Sonata op. 11/4 just as much a masterpiece as the fourth movement of op. 25/1.

In his survey of "The Music of the Twentieth Century", Hermann Danuser says: "In a treatise on the theory of musical reproduction published in 1919, Ludwig Rottenberg, the concert master of Frankfurt and later Hindemith's father-in-law, advocated the concept of 'continuity of motion' as the composer's highest priority, giving it prominence over the emphasis on maximum differentiation and nuance. And in several movements composed in this period, Hindemith found a musical continuity that so markedly renounces differentiation that a connection to Rottenberg is likely." This continuity of motion favors the ease of playing. It attempts, in a sense, to save and protect the fresh and precise tone of the instrument from the written compositional fabric. In this attempt, Hindemith approaches the uniqueness of the instrument. What I have been trying to describe with the expression 'riff has its basis in the ease of playing the instrument. The instruction "Beauty of tone is of secondary importance" turns into its opposite, because the less beautiful tone called for is in fact the natural "beauty" of the instrument itself. Hindemith fulfilled this aspect of composition as did no other composer of the twentieth century.

When I was asked to write a brief, personal introduction to this recording, I was in the process of listening, systematically, to Bach's work for solo violin and solo cello. In comparing the older and newer recordings, I was struck by the increasing souve-reignty of the instrument. If the older recordings show a division between the joy of playing and a regard for the intention of the composer - often along with marked mannerisms and shortcomings - later, the sound becomes progressively more faithful and the flow of the playing always freer. It was as though the instrument, with the passage of time, had to free itself from a weight it carried - the weight not only of the objective composition, but also the weight of the accumulated listening habits.

There is an underlying historical process at work.

But with Hindemith it's competely different. His compositions approach the instrument, his instrument, the viola, with the expectation of the highest possible fulfillment of his demands: it is heard in the tension from note to note, the fulfillment of one note in the next.

The specifications of each movement belong to the spirit of the music. They are almost its literary expression. "Utmost liveliness". "Song - quiet, with little expression". "Broad". "Very fresh and taut". "Raging tempo. Wild. Beauty of tone is of secondary importance". "Slowly, with much expression". "Lively but not hurried". "Moderately fast, with great warmth". "Very lively, marked and powerful". "Very slow crotchets". "Finale, lively crotchets". "Broad, with power". "Very lively". When one reads this, one either has the impression of something typically German or one takes it seriously and tries to listen the way it was obviously intended, directly, naturally and without circumlocution.

-Helmut Heissenbuttel


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Наименование трека

Текст

Длительность

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   1 01 Ausserst Lebhaft         0:03:18 Sonata For Viola Solo, Op. 31/4
   1 02 Lied - Ruhig, Mit Wenig Ausdruck         0:04:11 -"-
   1 03 Thema Mit Variationen: Schnelle Viertel - Langsam - Ziemlich Lebhaft         0:10:45 -"-
   1 04 Breit Sehr Frisch Und Straff         0:03:47 Sonata For Viola Solo, Op. 25/1
   1 05 Sehr Langsam         0:05:55 -"-
   1 06 Rasendes Zeitmass. Wild. Tonschonheit Ist Nebensache         0:01:32 -"-
   1 07 Langsam, Mit Viel Ausdruck         0:05:15 -"-
   1 08 Lebhafte Helbe         0:04:02 Sonata For Viola Solo 1937
   1 09 Langsame Viertel - Lebhaft (Pizzicato)         0:07:20 -"-
   1 10 Massig Schnelle Viertel         0:04:41 -"-
   1 11 Lebhaft, Aber Nicht Geeillt         0:03:02 Sonata For Viola Solo, Op. 11/5
   1 12 Massig Schnell, Mit Viel Warme Vorgetagen         0:04:17 -"-
   1 13 Scherzo         0:03:33 -"-
   1 14 In Form Und Zeitmass Einer Passacaglia         0:10:59 -"-
   2 01 Phantasie         0:03:05 Sonata For Viola & Piano In F Major, Op. 11/4
   2 02 Thema Mit Variationen         0:04:05 -"-
   2 03 Finale Mit Variationen         0:10:17 -"-
   2 04 Sehr Lebhaft, Markiert Und Kraftvoll         0:04:57 Sonata For Viola & Piano, Op. 25/4
   2 05 Langsame Viertel         0:04:01 -"-
   2 06 Finale, Lebhafte Viertel         0:05:24 -"-
   2 07 Breit, Mit Kraft         0:07:09 Sonata For Viola & Piano In C Major 1939
   2 08 Sehr Lebhaft         0:04:41 -"-
   2 09 Phantasie         0:03:57 -"-
   2 10 Finale         0:07:26 -"-

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