Antoine Tamestit Performs Hindemith

This release spans the breadth of Paul Hindemith’s writings for the viola, from solo sonata  through music for viola and orchestra. Hindemith was a violist himself, and his compositions fully realize the instrument’s potential. Violist Antoine Tamestit fully understands these works and their creator, as his interview printed in the booklet shows — as do his performances.

Tamestit notes that there is a lot of humor in Hindemith’s music, and he brings it out in all of these works. Still, I’d have to characterize the orchestral works here as ones of mournful beauty. “Der Schwanendreher” is a reworking of folk songs relating to isolation and loss, composed when Hindemith was being force out of musical life by the Nazis. Tamestit subtly brings out those emotions, making the music sound wistful rather than maudlin.

“Trauermusik” explores similar themes. Hindemith’s thickly-textured harmonies provide a melancholy accompaniment to the yearning melody of the viola. Paavo Jarvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra perform with a warm, blended sound that’s ideally suited to these works.

Tamestit’s performance of the solo sonata Op. 25, No. 1 is a wonderful balance of emotional expression and tasteful restraint. The structural elements are all clearly delineated, and the motives are carefully phrased to help the listener connect them as the work goes along. And yet there’s a fiery passion continually roiling under the music, straining to break free.

Hindemith’s sonata for viola and piano, Op. 11, No. 4 is a beautiful collaboration between Tamestit and pianist Markus Hadulla. At times the music seems to have a sweetness to it that’s quite charming. As with the best chamber music performances, one has a sense of eavesdropping on a conversation. In this case, one between two good friends.

Paul Hindemith; Sonata Op. 11  No. 4 for viola and piano; sonata Op. 25, No. 1 for solo viola; Der Schwanendreher; Trauermusik
Antoine Tamestit, viola; Markus Hadulla, piano; Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Paavo Jarvi, conductor

More Recent Posts

  • The Way Things Go for O’Connor and Kampmeier

    For flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, “The Way Things Go” is a labor of love. As she explains in the liner notes, she and pianist Margaret Kampmeier have taken several years to record the selections on this release. Five of the works were commissioned by O’Connor,the rest were compositions by the duo’s favorite composers. Perhaps because […]

  • Gustav Helsted – Decet, post-romantic goodness

    Just how progressive was Danish composer Gustav Helsted? Well, he founded a musical society that was playing Bruckner and Mahler symphonies in 1896. And while he studied with Niels Gade, Helsted was vitally interested pushing beyond Gade’s concept of romanticism — as his heroes Bruckner and Mahler had. Helsted’s Decet, Op. 18 for flute, oboe, […]

  • Carnatic Violin on Radio Tropicale, Oct 26

    Shivani Nathan and McKenzie Cromerwill, members of SPICMACAY at UVA, will stop by WTJU this Wednesday afternoon, October 26. around 1 (edt) during Radio Tropicale.  They will share a few recorded pieces from award winning Carnatic violinist Kamalakiran Vinjamuri, who will be at C’Ville Coffee this Friday evening, October 28, for a concert presented by […]

  • Joe K. Walsh & Sweet Loam visit WTJU, Oct 27

    Joe K. Walsh & Sweet Loam will stop by WTJU this Thursday afternoon, October 27, around 1:30 (edt) for live session out in the lounge.  Later that afternoon and evening, they will be putting a workshop and concert at The Front Porch (details). Joe K. Walsh has long contributed his tasteful approach to melodic playing […]

  • Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds visit WTJU, Oct 30

    Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds will stop by WTJU‘s Lambeth Lounge for a visit this Sunday, October 30, at 12 (edt) for a live session out in the lounge.  Rumor is Grammy nominated Trout Fishing In America might even share a tune or two, as both groups will be in the area for a […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 10/21/2016

    New Jazz Adds – 10/21/2016 Eric Alexander – Second Impression (HighNote): Veteran tenor player / composer Eric Alexander offers a “second impression” of his hard bop playing in a classic quartet that features Harold Mabern (piano, Fender Rhodes), Bob Crenshaw (bass), and Joe Farnsworth (drums). Alexander is an energetic player and the group is totally […]