Wednesday, November 16, 2005
today is paul hindemith's birthday
According to my computer's "Day in History" dashboard widget, today is Hindemith's birthday. I don't hear a whole lot about Hindemith these days; it's almost as if he faded into obscurity. Yes, the concept of Gebrauchsmusik may have fallen into disrepute (or so I'm told). But that shouldn't invalidate the underlying music. While I've never warmed up to what is perhaps his best known work, the Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, I've always been wild about his Violin Concerto, Third String Quartet, Kammermusik #1, Mathis der Maler, Piano Sonatas, and his Organ Sonatas. I'm probably leaving out a few things as well that will occur to me later (oh yeah, there's also his stuff for solo violin that is really great to listen to).
Hindemith didn't have a method as best I'm aware. He just wrote what he felt like writing, and that was to his credit. I can't say why I like his music, any more than I can for any other composer whose work I like. But I feel as if he's becoming somewhat neglected. Not as badly as Dallapicolla, Ruggles, John Becker and a few others. But still at least somewhat neglected.
Anyone else have any thoughts, positive or negative, on Hindemith? Is he losing his relevance? Is there any relevance left to lose, and if so, should it matter?