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16 review for Paul Hindemith: The Man Behind the Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Al Maki

    A biography of a 20th century German composer which I find interesting as a lense into the social history of the twentieth century up to the "swinging sixties" as they were known at the time. Hindemith came from a working class family with no previous musical background. His talent, and that of his brother Rudolph, were recognized early and with some financial assistance he entered a Frankfurt conservatory at a young age. He was concert master of the Frankfurt orchestra by age 21 but was drafted A biography of a 20th century German composer which I find interesting as a lense into the social history of the twentieth century up to the "swinging sixties" as they were known at the time. Hindemith came from a working class family with no previous musical background. His talent, and that of his brother Rudolph, were recognized early and with some financial assistance he entered a Frankfurt conservatory at a young age. He was concert master of the Frankfurt orchestra by age 21 but was drafted into WWI. Like all his German contemporaries the experience and the subsequent disorder in Germany affected him profoundly. As a youth he had studied and played Beethoven and such but by 1917 he had written a song that ended with a scream. After a period of writing Expressionist music he became interested in writing more useful music, with an emphasis on music that that could be played by children and by non-professionals. He built a successful career and then his second catastrophe, Nazi totalitarianism struck. Because his music moved out of the mold of past German greatness he was regarded as a degenerate and the force of the Nazi party and the state turned against him and the performance of his music. He fled to the US where he taught and performed until after the war. He was deeply suspicious of the academic approach to music and believed that the best way to learn about it was to play it and write it. After the war he settled in Switzerland and conducted and composed until his death. Hindemith went against much of the orthodoxy around the 20th century music. He thought serial music was misguided. He wrote music for children and nonprofessional musicians as well as for the concert hall, believing music was for making not for consumption. He had a rough sense of humour. He composed quickly. For example he turned out the requiem piece Trauermusik in four hours, but it is good enough to still be played today. He once said that he knew how to write music so he didn't see why it should take him a long time. He seems to have been a reversion to the pre-genius era of music - the time of Bach, Haydn and Mozart who wrote great music because it was wanted not to express their personal depths.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cory Winters

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edgardo Cambon

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joy Kerr

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Paige

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tutak

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  12. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maria Gavrilova Ananyeva

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hanna Inui

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eugene Eayuss

  16. 4 out of 5

    Javiera

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