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Hindemith: String Quartets Vol 2 / Amar Quartet

Hindemith / Amar Quartet
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572164   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Paul Hindemith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amar String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This second volume in Naxos’ series of the complete Hindemith quartets contains two of the composer’s largest and best works in the medium. The Fifth Quartet (1923) represents an apotheosis of the composer’s early, experimental phase. The music is chromatic and relentlessly contrapuntal, but also brilliant and even fun (in its third movement). It culminates in an imposing passacaglia that, like the opening double fugue, is remarkably easy to follow while at the same time sounding amazingly modern.

The Sixth Quartet dates from 20 years later, but like its predecessor it can be said to summarize the more lyrical, tonal, mature idiom of the composer’s American period. Sample the
Read more gorgeous theme of the work’s third-movement variations (sound clip), one of Hindemith’s most captivating inspirations. The brief Seventh Quartet is altogether lighter, a diverting work written for the composer to play with his wife and students. Surely its premiere performance wasn’t as fine as this one.

As with the previous releases in this series, the performances are all outstanding. The Amar Quartet, named after Hindemith’s own ensemble of the early 20th century, plays this music with a proprietary gusto worthy of the name. All of these pieces are, as already noted, highly contrapuntal—even the genial Seventh Quartet ends with a canon; but the playing here never sounds dry or mechanical, and the sonics are first rate. Connoisseurs of chamber music will find this disc an endless source of pleasure.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings [no 7] in E flat major by Paul Hindemith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amar String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; Germany 
Quartet for Strings [no 6] in E flat major by Paul Hindemith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amar String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Quartet for Strings [no 5], Op. 32 by Paul Hindemith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amar String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 This is in part a repetition of the review of the August 25, 2015 By Donald Mintz (Trumansburg, NY) See All My Reviews "If one tends to think of Hindemith as a master of lots and lots and lots of often dull counterpoint, think again. These quartets are astonishing in their range of emotion and at the same time impressively contrapuntal. They are a revelation. The performance is beyond compare, seeking out the genuinely moving as well as the genuinely amusing. And a small secret here: they use more portamento than do most players today and probably approach the style of the original Amar Quartet of the 1920s, the quartet in which Hindemith played viola. Donald Mintz Prof emeritus, music history,Montclair State University" Report Abuse
 Always satisfying May 4, 2013 By Dr. Mitchell Gurk (Spencer, MA) See All My Reviews "Consummate modernist, reminds of Berg and Carter and Bernstein. This quartet has lovely sound." Report Abuse
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