Hindemith: Three Viola Sonatas; Meditation

COMPOSERS: Hindemith
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: Three Viola Sonatas; Meditation
PERFORMER: Nobuko Imai (viola) Roland Pöntinen (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CD-651 DDD
Hindemith was himself a viola virtuoso, and his writing for the instrument is full of nuance, shifts of mood and momentum that call for the most fine-tuned performance. To have all three sonatas together is welcome. But Imai’s bowing is often too long, and the able Pöntinen confuses assertion with bombast – the composer’s markings are consistently misunderstood or overdone. The music feels unassimilated, the phrasing negligible and the sound is not much kinder. Roderic Dunnett

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