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Monday, July 14, 2014

Paul Hindemith, Bratsche!, Tamestit, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Paavo Jarvi

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), as many will know, was an accomplished violist. He wrote a fair number of works which were designed to showcase his abilities and presence on the instrument while exemplifying his compositional style in a concert setting. Violist Antoine Tamestit, with pianist Markus Hadulla and Paavo Jarvi conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, have gathered together some very exemplary Hindemith works for viola in the CD program Bratsche! (Naive 5329).

Four works are featured, the "Sonata op. 25 no. 1 for Solo Viola", the "Sonata op. 11 no. 4 for Viola and Piano", and with the Frankfurt Symphony, "Der Schwanendreher" and "Trauermusik".

A key here certainly is the excellent playing of Tamestit, who is especially good in these works, combining exceptional technique, singing tone and and committed enthusiasm. Markus Hadulla sounds right in his execution of the piano part for the "Sonata op. 11". Jarvi and the Frankfurt Orchestra give us a beautiful reading of the orchestral parts.

The music covers Hindemith's pre-US period, 1919-1936, with the two orchestral works showing remarkable poise in the face of persecution by the Nazi government.

All of these works are some of Hindemith's very finest. Hearing them played so well by Tamestit and company goes a long way toward realizing the Hindemith viola parts the way he might have played them at his peak, but also confirms rousingly what a brilliant composer the man was.

This seems a perfect match-up. A beautiful set of performances that are highly recommended!

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