Hindemith: Mathis der Maler; Concerto for Wind, Harp and Orchestra; Konzertmusik for Brass and Strings

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COMPOSERS: Hindemith
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Mathis der Maler; Concerto for Wind, Harp and Orchestra; Konzertmusik for Brass and Strings
PERFORMER: Czech PO/Jirí Belohlávek
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9457
Last year’s Hindemith centenary was reasonably well marked by the record companies, though few seemed interested in exploring beyond the few well-known orchestral works. So this new Chandos disc is especially welcome for a rare recording of the Concerto for Winds, Harp and Orchestra, composed in 1949 soon after Hindemith had taken US citizenship. It’s a delightfully-scored modern concerto grosso, with solo flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon set against an orchestra of strings and brass; in the last of three short movements the clarinet plays Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’ throughout, seemingly untroubled by the contrapuntal chaos all around. The Concert Music for Brass and Strings is equally energetic in a rather less subversive kind of way, whilst the famous Mathis der Maler Symphony receives an impressively sonorous performance. I can’t imagine this repertoire is especially familiar to the Czech Philharmonic, yet they play with great authority for Belohlávek: the charismatic woodwind principals make themselves noticed throughout, and the long, noble string lines in the Concert Music are also deeply felt. Stephen Maddock

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