Mathis the Painter, Opera in seven scenes, 3 CD`s and 88page booklet
choir: Kölner Rundfunkchor
choir: Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
conductor: Gerd Albrecht
-Victor von Halem
composer: Paul Hindemith
"...Ancient folksongs, battlesongs from the time of the Reformation, and Gregorian chant, these provide the fertile soil from which the music in 'Mathis' grows, which hopefully spreads at least a faint reflection of the light under whose warming rays it was able to bloom: the spirit of one of the greatest artists we have ever seen."(Hindemith,1938) Hindemith's opera "Mathis der Maler" was written between the years 1933 and 1935. The relevance of the material, especially the problem of combining artistic activity and politics, was immediately recognized. For Hindemith- as he mentioned himself several times - the period of artistic noncommitment was over; the works to be created would have to be of a different kind, a music emphasizing more than mere virtuosity or entertainment; he became aware at this time that the artist holds a position of high responsibility toward humanity as well as for art and the defence of art. Hindemith shares this attitude towards art with Mathis, who- at the beginning of the 16th century- experienced the dawn of a new age with its inevitable destruction of the perceptions which until then had held sway, and who also chose to concentrate in his work on the unfolding of tradition. The opera "Mathis der Maler" is the first document of this new position; it is a work that seeks to cause everything personal and temporal, if not to be forgotten, at least to recede into the background.