Hyperion Records

Piano Sonata No 3 in B flat major
July to 20 August 1936; first performed in Washington by Jesús María Sanromá in April 1937

'Hindemith: Piano Sonatas' (CDA67977)
Hindemith: Piano Sonatas
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67977  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Movement 1: Ruhig bewegt
Movement 2: Sehr lebhaft
Movement 3: Mässig schnell
Movement 4: Fuge: Lebhaft

Piano Sonata No 3 in B flat major
The Piano Sonata No 3 in B flat major was composed immediately after the other two (from July to 20 August); it is on a larger scale than No 2, though structurally extremely taut, with nothing of No 1’s poetic expansiveness. Like No 1, though, it is an ambitious work, obviously written with a virtuoso performer in mind. Of Hindemith’s three sonatas No 3 approximates most closely to the classical sonata ideal—indeed to the Beethovenian four-movement archetype which had inspired generations of composers throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—and its material is perhaps the most distinctive and resourcefully developed.

Yet again, however, Hindemith avoids a strenuous opening movement with competing themes in sonata style. The third sonata opens instead with a lyrical, calmly flowing movement of almost pastoral character—which incidentally looks forward towards the serenely exalted idiom of Nobilissima visione, the ballet on the life of St Francis of Assisi which he was to compose in 1937. There follows an energetic scherzo and trio, and then a movement in moderate tempo which, after a quietly tramping introduction, develops into a lithe, conversational fugato. This fugal writing foreshadows the finale, which crowns the sonata with a granitic and determined double fugue. The first subject is wiry and athletic; the second is derived by variation from the fugato subject in the previous movement. At the climax both themes are combined, and the sonata ends in a mood of hard-won triumph, the final bars a monumental confirmation of the home key. The pianist Walter Gieseking, who saw each sonata in manuscript as soon as it was written, considered this sonata the finest of the three.

from notes by Malcolm MacDonald © 2013

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA67977 track 13
Fuge: Lebhaft
Recording date
12 December 2012
Recording venue
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Jeremy Hayes
Recording engineer
Ben Connellan
Hyperion usage
  1. Hindemith: Piano Sonatas (CDA67977)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: November 2013
   English   Français   Deutsch