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Hindemith conducts Hindemith (The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon) Box set

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: Paul Hindemith
  • Composer: Paul Hindemith
  • Audio CD (11 Aug. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: AAD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: DG
  • ASIN: B0000U1NHE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,488 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Mit Kraft, massig schnelle Viertel
2. Sehr schnelle Halbe
3. Marsch fur Holzblaser. Nicht zu langsame Viertel
4. Basso ostinato, Schnelle Viertel
5. Ruhig Gehende Viertel
6. Lebhaft
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Langsam
2. Lebhaft
3. Massig bewegt, mit Kraft
4. Thema: Moderato - Allegro assai - Moderato
5. Variation II: Sanguinisch. Walzer
Disc: 3
1. Langsam
2. Lebhaft
3. Sehr Langsam
4. Massig bewegt, mit Kraft
5. Ballet Overture 'Amor und Psyche'
6. Musica Instrumentalis: Breit
See all 9 tracks on this disc

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr Caligari on 24 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Considering these recordings were made in the 1950s the sound quality and clarity are spectacularly good.
It is also a rare treat to hear a composer conducting one of the finest orchestras playing his own works and as a result the tempos and dynamics being as the composer intended them to be.

Despite having produced a large output most of the recordings of Hindemith's works tend to duplicate the same few compositions (Mathis der Maler, Symphonic Metamorphoses etc.). It is refresshing that this set includes some of his less recorded works such as the splended Concert music for piano, brass and 2 harps.

A magnificent set of recordings at a bargain price. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. A. French on 23 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An absolutely tremendous product! Who am I to criticize the recording when it has been conducted as the composer himself intended? Just imagine if there was a recording of Mozart conducting Mozart or Beethoven conducting Beethoven.

I was initially put off by the fact these records where done in the 1950s. Seriously, you wouldn’t guess it. I don’t know what the boys at DG have done, but the sound quality is quite phenomenal.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 April 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm thinking that Hindemith was decidedly a man of his time, when Strauss was a great romantic and the Second Viennese School remain inaccessible to most, the one thing holding Hindemith back is his pragmatism. This is reflected in the strict, no-nonsense conducting authority, as audible as it is reported in the booklet note. He knows where he's going. But who's going with him? It helps to have a wide-ranging interest in German music, going back to the Reformation, in order to sense the sublimation and celebration of history which is expressed in these compact and sometimes terse pieces.

Despite their age the sound is very good, the atmosphere intense, and the presence of plenty of lesser known compositions decidedly welcome. What I'm loving is the cosmopolitanism, the (pre)echoes of Shostakovich and Britten, resonances with Stravinsky, flashes of Les Six, German polyphony, chorale tunes, you name it. Try the remarkable Konzertmusik Op.49, for Piano/Brass/Harps. Monique Haas in das haus: all sorts going on. That comes after a sparkling Concerto for Orchestra, like a series of entr'actes, a more successful condensing of Hindemith's theatrical experience than Die Harmonie der Welt (Disc 3), something which is just too dry.

This Berlin Philharmonic is the one Karajan inherited from Furtwangler, and these recordings mark the transitional period. Furtwangler, as is well known, fought some sort of battle over Hindemith's Mathis Der Maler. In the end it was Karajan who recorded the symphony, for EMI, a year or two after the composer's version, again with the Berliners.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nick Jarrett on 4 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection is an essential for lovers of Hindemith's music - his own peformance and at a bargain price.
The Mathis Der Mahler symphony has been performed at the Proms this year (2010)and is his most frequently performed work. This is the quintessential performance and the dynamics and phrasing are superb.
Other works included in this 3 disc collection demonstrate his development as a composer through his life and especially reflect the traumas of his persecution by the Nazis and subsequent period in the USA. Inspiring - Fantastic!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Phenomenal performances 7 Mar. 2006
By Victor A. Grauer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hindemith may not have been a Schoenberg or Stravinsky, but at his most inspired he was certainly way up there near the top of the heap, among the greatest composers of the late lamented 20th Century. What these recordings tell us, however, and to me this comes as something of a shock, is that he was also a truly great conductor. All the performances in this set are in my opinion truly extraordinary, among the very best orchestral performances I've ever heard -- of any music by any composer of any period.

Everything one would expect of a superlative performance is here, the tempi, the balances, the shadings, accents, nuance, intonation, attention to detail, attention to overall structure, sweep, authority, intensity, even expressiveness (YES, expressiveness!) and passion (yes, passion too).

To get a sense of how remarkable a conductor Hindemith is, listen carefully to the slow movement of Mathis. With tempi this slow (and this is the slowest I've heard for this piece, extremely slow), it's very difficult to maintain interest, not to mention control. However, in the hands of Hindemith and this remarkable orchestra, with whom he's obviously established an extraordinary rapport, the tempo works beautifully and the piece takes on an almost Mahlerian intensity I'd never heard before.

As if this weren't enough, the set contains one of the most remarkable pianistic performances I've ever heard, from Hindemith's composition student, Hans Otte. The "Four Temperaments" begins in typical middle period Hindemithian style, with a statement of the rather steady, bland and predictable theme, but with the entry of the piano for the first variation, all is transformed -- and suddenly we are back in the world of early Hindemith, one of the most inventive and masterful composers since Bach himself. The pianism is simply beyond belief here, just stunning in its verve, precision, virtuosity, nuance and phrasing. With the entry of the piano the piece just takes off, soars into the stratosphere, thanks to composer and pianist both. Otte was hand picked by Hindemith for this performance so possibly what we hear is at least in part due to careful coaching. But it's hard to understand how mere coaching could produce such marvels of nuance and such complete control of the instrument and total musical involvement in passage after passage. If you ever want to inspire a young performer with the possibilities of his art, you would do well to play your student this recording.

As for the more mundane details, even they are all good. The sonics are fantastic for a recording of this vintage, clear, even vibrant, with lots of body and power when called for. The orchestra itself is superb and in perfect rapport with its director. Even the piano selected for these recordings is a marvel, simply one of the finest instruments of its kind I've ever heard.

I know, it's easy to be skeptical in the face of all these superlatives, but I assure you I'm not usually this enthusiastic. These recordings truly are gems, trust me. HAH!
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Lean, clean and unadorned, as Hindemith intended 4 Feb. 2006
By S. J. Snyder - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Hindemith jumped at the chance to record his major works with Deutsche Grammophon when it was offered in the early 1950s.

First, was his theory of conducting. He felt the conductor should, as much as possible, be "transparent" and not add anything to the music, i.e., through not gesticulating (especially wildly), etc.

Second, he had seen and heard conductors do just that to his works. And he had heard this result in what he considered overconducting.

Now, that doesn't mean that Hindemith wanted some "native" style of conducting, or even people conducting his works as sight-reading exercises. He expected a piece to be properly understood so that such overconducting was unnecessary.

The result is to be heard here. Now, by "lean and clean," we're not not talking Boulez. But, compared to his day and age, to the Furtwaenglers and others, we are talking something almost that spare.

When you hear these CDs, you'll immediately understand why Hindemith thought that other composers made his music sound too muddy.

These are mono recordings, but in studio in the early and mid 1950s with the Berlin Philharmonic, the baseline sound quality was quite good and the CDs have been well-engineered.

This is an outstanding buy of a great 20th-century composer.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Hindemith Himself 23 Feb. 2005
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"Hindemith Conducts Hindemith: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon" is another essential release in Universal's "Original Masters" series. This 3CD set features the composer himself conducting some of his best known works, including his two Symphonies, Symphonic Metamorphosis, Concerto for Orchestra, and Konzertmusik with Monique Haas on piano. All of the recordings hail from 1954-57 and while they are in mono, the DG sound is clear as a bell. Previously I owned a dozen or so CDs featuring various Hindemith works (performed by conductors Abbado, Bernstein, Blomstedt, Goossens, Kletzki, Kubelik, Szell, etc.), but only one with Hindemith himself conducting his own music (the Violin Concerto with David Oistrakh -- see my review). Well if you like a composer and have the ability to hear them conduct their own music, then you should do it, whatever the cost. I mean what would you give to have the opportunity to hear Beethoven or Mozart perform! Luckily in this case you don't have to fantasize, you just have to buy this affordable, budget-priced box set.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Hindemith conducts Hindemith 10 Nov. 2006
By Eckhart H. Richter - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The musician's musician, the most versatile, skilled and knowledgeable composer of the 20th Century can be heard with delight in this excellently remastered Deutsche Grammophon recording of him conducting the Berlin Phiharmonic Orchestra in definitive renditions of some of his own masterpieces. Hindemith by and large was the best interpreter of his own works. Under his direction pure, unadulterated, joyfull music-making of great vitality prevails, thoroughly unpedantic, yet devoid of vanity, pretentious display or exaggeration. The rendition of the Mathis Symphony is, of course, definitive and the nowadays most frequently perfomed Symphonic Metamorphosis is done with gusto. But we would like to call special attention to such an inexplicably neglected masterpiece as the thoroughly delightful, but substantial Symphonic Dances and the unique and profound Konzermusik for piano, brass & harp. What neo-Baroque, roaring twenties exhuberance displayed in the Concerto for Orchestra and what a gem of human insight "The Four Temperaments",

here definitively rendered! ER
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
As good a conductor as a composer 24 May 2011
By MildCritter - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hindemith will always be known as one of the 20th Century's great composers and musical innovators. He also should be known as a superb conductor, at least of his own works. This recording of his works with the Berlin Philharmonic is a true masterwork, indicative of the composer and the orchestra both at their best. Unlike many florid interpretations of his work, Hindemith's conducting is sparse and unadorned, bringing out clarity that other conductors often miss.

Even though these recordings are relatively old, the quality is excellent. Combined with Hindemith's compositional and presentational genius and one of the great orchestras of all times, this represents the definitive versions of the works included. I wondered if these CDs would live up to my expectation. They far exceeded them.
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