Hindemith Violin Concerto; Symphony

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Hindemith Violin Concerto; Symphony

  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
  • Symphony

I have never understood why Hindemith's Violin Concerto—that in C sharp written in 1939 rather than the 1925 Kammermusik No. 4 is not as well known as Bartok's Second, yet the latter has more than three times the number of available recordings listed in the current GramophoneClassical Catalogue. Hindemith's is just as approachable a work, full of good tunes and bears little trace of the troubles of the times that were to flavour the E flat Symphony of the following year.
Fuchs and Goossens made this, the concerto's first recording, in October 1958. It is a very fine performance, comparing well with Oistrakh's 1962 account under the composer's direction (not to be confused with that made in 1964 with Rozhdestvensky, issued on a Chant du Monde LP—nla) and better characterized than Gertler and Ancerl. The orchestral detail shows up better on Everest and Decca than on Supraphon, but this last's coupling (the 1940 Cello Concerto with Paul Tortelier and Hartmann's Concerto funebre) may well prove the deciding factor.
I was pleased to see Boult's account of the magisterial E flat Symphony restored to the catalogue. His 1958 performance (through which I first got to know the work) has its rough edges, and the balance is not perfect, but Boult, like Yan Pascal Tortelier on Chandos, had the measure of the piece (the Frenchman must remain first choice).'

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