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SONATA

SONATA

 
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Printed Edition
Composer:Hindemith, Paul (1895-1963)
Instrumentation:bn. pft.
Publisher Ref:ED3686
A two movement sonata by a leading composer of the first half of the twentieth century who evolved his own system of tonality.

Price: £14.99
Qty
Skill Level:D
Publisher:Schott & Co.
Year of Issue:1939
ISMN:M001044042
ISBN:none specified
Because his parents opposed his plans for a career in music, Paul Hindemith left home at the age of 11 and earned a living playing violin in cafés and dance bands in nearby Frankfurt. Somehow he attended the city's conservatory and became skilled enough to lead the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra between 1915 and 1923, interrupted in 1917 by conscripted World War I service as a bass drummer in a military band. During the 1920s, as the viola player of the widely recognized Amar-Hindemith Quartet, Hindemith's compositions found favour with the International Society for Contemporary Music.

His style recognized the 'Neue Sachlichkeit' or 'New Objectivity' of his contemporaries in experimenting with the technical innovations of the time and, at first, drawing on a variety of influences. But he had a leaning towards a more contrapuntal style and in pursuing a 'linear' tendency, Hindemith moved away from conventional tonality of a system of chords tied to the diatonic scale to a tonality of his own based on a chromatic scale whose notes have been fixed by the laws of acoustics and where the 'quality' of intervals is of particular importance.

But none of this is immediately evident in the bassoon part of Hindemith's sonata which is dated 1938, shortly after he had fled from Germany to Switzerland and then to the USA, to escape a confused and contradictory boycott of his work by the Nazis. The first of its two movements marked 'Leicht bewegt' - 'with slight movement' is tuneful, lyrical even wistful. The absence of a key signature implies C Major or A minor but the plethora of accidentals in both parts suggests a shifting key centre that generates some unresolved tension. The second movement is in three distinct sections, the first marked 'Langsam' - Slow, looks and sounds harmonically simpler than the first movement and gives the soloist an attractive 3/4 melody set against a rippling accompaniment. It 'segues' into a 2/2 'Marsch' which does as its name suggests until a more melodious and thoughtful Trio is reached, after which the march theme returns in the piano and solo and accompaniment proceed with variations on it until the finale is reached. This is marked 'Beschluss, Pastorale-Ruhig' - Decisive (?), Pastoral-Calm and starts with a 10 bar (6/8) piano introduction to the bassoon's entry with the same lilting melody to bring the sonata to a peaceful conclusion.

  • I Leicht bewegt
  • II Langsam - Marsch - Beschluss, Pastorale-Ruhig


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