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Hyperion Records

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Mountains in Winter (1919) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA68006
Recording details: December 2012
City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Produced by Michael George
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: December 2013
Total duration: 17 minutes 45 seconds

'The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra audibly relish the challenges of each work and turn in immaculate performances of each, caught in superb sound by Mike Clements' (Gramophone)

'This fine album from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC SSO … illustrates in the Symphonic Metamorphosis and the Konzertmusik for brass and strings that Hindemith could be both warmly entertaining and bracingly intellectual at the same time' (The Observer)

'This fine orchestral programme … Brabbins and co relish the contrast between abrasive, declaratory brass and singing, soaring strings in the Konzertmusik … the Mathis is entirely worthy of this oft-recorded masterpiece, but the Weber Metamorphosis is the highlight, one of Hindemith's most attractive works, delivered with rhythmic bite and colouristic flair' (The Sunday Times)

'Hindemith's three orchestral scores in ideally gutsy persuasive accounts from Brabbins and his crack team. When a disc like this is presented with such panache, warmly detailed sound and persuasive sleevenotes, there really is no reason not to buy or download' (Classical Music)

'The Konzertmusik for brass and strings is fabulous—neatly constructed and beautifully written, as you'd expect from a composer who could play every orchestral instrument with some competence. Wise listeners will be drawn to experience its pleasures again and again, marvelling at the clever details, like the strings' opening chorale reprised on massed horns at the close of the first part, or the jaunty tuba line accompanying the second movement's subsidiary theme. The rush of adrenalin in the closing minutes is so uplifting, so positive … Martyn Brabbins's hardworking BBC Scottish players cope brilliantly with Hindemith's demands, also turning in a neat, poised reading of the three-movement symphony the composer drew from the opera Mathis der Maler. Hindemith's busy counterpoint seldom sounds dry, and Brabbins glories in the little moments of rapture—the first movement's sonorous coda, and the ecstatic brass Alleluias which close the piece. There's also the crowd-pleasing Symphonic Metamorphosis, gleefully transmuting Weber's small-scale piano duet themes into a unexpectedly entertaining showpiece. Bernstein's Israel Philharmonic recording remains the brassiest and punchiest, but Brabbins's performance has loads to commend it—fabulous percussion in the Turandot scherzo, and an elegant solo flute in the Andantino. A wonderful album, and the perfect introduction to a still under-appreciated composer' (TheArtsDesk.com)

Konzertmusik for brass and strings, Op 50
composer
1930; commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Other recordings available for download
London Brass Virtuosi, Philharmonia Orchestra, David Honeyball (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Konzertmusik for brass and strings, Op 50, was commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It is the final piece in a triptych of similarly titled works from 1929–30, which offer perspicuity while preserving harmonic and structural sophistication. Like the earlier Kammermusik, they recall the concertino and ripieno groups of the Baroque concerto grosso, here applied to two departments of the orchestra. In the first part—itself comprising two sections—the brass states a bold chorale-like theme against energetic string counterpoint. Hindemith continues to make a virtue of the timbral differences between the two instrumental groups, not least in the fugue that dominates the second part of the work. The busy chatter of the exposition is the strings’ domain, while the brass provides three-chord punctuation. The viola, Hindemith’s instrument, leads the middle section, as yearning as the fugue was determined, before the counterpoint kicks in once more.

from notes by Gavin Plumley © 2013


Other albums featuring this work
'Royal Eurostar' (CDA66870)
Royal Eurostar

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