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Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik / Valerius Ensemble

Hindemith / Valerius Ensemble
Release Date: 08/27/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 9447   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Jan HarshagenOtis KlöberSabine de GrooteAndré Kerver,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valerius Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Paul Hindemith, considered the foremost German composer of his generation, believed in a strong link between music and social needs, and regarded the composer as a craftsman; someone who could provide for those needs.

His chamber music is renowned for being unconventional and eclectic; the composer often experimented with a variety of styles and combinations of instruments. The Trio Op.47 uses the heckelphone, a baritone oboe used in several of the works of Richard Strauss. Op.47 is particularly notable for the atmospheric Arioso for this rare instrument. Unusual instrumentation is also found in the Clarinet Quintet, thanks to the appearance of the E flat clarinet in the central movement, leading the ensemble through a series
Read more of waltzes and a fugue of considerable length. The Kleinerkammermusik Op.24 No.2 is one of the composer's best-loved works, showcasing his humorous side through the use of playful dissonance. Our collection ends with the lyrical beauty of his famous Sonata for Trumpet and Piano.

The Valerius Ensemble enjoys a successful calendar of performances in concert halls and for radio and television, having toured throughout the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil. With a special interest in contemporary music, the ensemble has had several works written especially for it, by composers such as Carlos Míchans and Leo Samama.

Other information:
- In celebration of the Hindemith-year 2013 (50 years after his death in 1963) this recording presents a generous selection of his chamber music output. Written for a wide variety of instruments (heckelphone, flute, horn, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, violin, viola, piano) it represents Hindemith's eclectic, witty and vibrant style, in which neo-classical, expressionistic and jazzy elements fuse together in a very personal way.
- High calibre performances by Netherland's best instrumentalists, evidently enjoying this fascinating and intriguing music.
- Booklet contains extensive liner notes on works and artists.

R E V I E W: 3731590.az_HINDEMITH_Kleine_Kammermusik.html

HINDEMITH Kleine Kammermusik . Clarinet Quintet. Heckelphone Trio , op. 47 . Trumpet Sonata Valerius Ens BRILLIANT 944 (62: 32)

This is a wild, fanciful performance of Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik , one of the great wind quintets (along with the Nielsen and the Ligeti Six Bagatelles ). The piece usually receives deadly accurate, buttoned-down performances—which suit it perfectly—but these five virtuosos (Sabine de Groote, flute; Ernest Rombout, oboe; André Kerver, clarinet; Otis Klöber, bassoon; Jan Harshagen, horn) play with it, varying the tempos and spotlighting individual lines. It’s lots of fun and a refreshing alternative, but there are losses, too: there is so little sense of ensemble that one is barely aware that this is a wind quintet, so the comparatively serious Finale, which is more ensemble- than solo-oriented, fails to come off.

Late in life, Hindemith revised several of his early works; the originals, with their youthful energy and vivid imagination, are generally preferable to the conservative revisions. The opera Cardillac is the clearest case; its revision drains all the excitement from the drama. For this 1954 version of the 1923 Clarinet Quintet, the notes say “a thorough revision, its original sharp edges softened.” But the young radical of 1923 was more interesting than the mature master of 1954; that he wrote no new music that year, merely revisions, suggests a falling off of inspiration. Each movement has been recast; the second movement, Ruhig (still, quiet, calm) has been tightened up and now opens with a lovely cello solo, but the ethereal beauty of what was a long, meandering movement has been lost. The wild central Ländler has been tamed, for better or for worse. Kerver’s colorful clarinet is smooth as silk, and his Valerius cohorts play well; a Nonesuch recording is more vivid, but its Arioso movement is not as lovely. Both versions of the Quintet are worth knowing; Ulf Rodenhäuser plays the original with Ensemble Villa Musica on MDG 304 0447-2.

The heckelphone is a bass oboe (here described as baritone) developed for Wagner and employed by Strauss in Salome, its colors darker than those of an English horn. Its powerful tones make it a fine match for a piano, and Hindemith wrote a gem of a trio for them, with the reticent viola tagging along. Oboist Rombout has mastered the heckelphone, and this aggressive yet subtle, always well-balanced performance is stunning. Inge Luofs is the superb pianist.

The trumpet has always been a celebratory instrument, but Hindemith wrote a very serious Sonata, its Trauermusik Finale is longer than the previous two movements together. This has not kept it from becoming an oft-played favorite of the trumpet repertoire. Ido Jan Stalman is the ideal trumpeter, and Luofs again sparkles at the piano.

These recordings were made a decade ago in the Netherlands; they are clear and natural, full without excess reverberance. The disc is heartily recommended for fine performances of some of Hindemith’s most intoxicating chamber music, but you must have a tighter performance of the Kleine Kammermusik , preferably Chailly and the Concertgebouw’s spectacular two-CD Decca set of the seven Kammermusiken and the Kleine Kammermusik.

FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

Kleine Kammermusik for Wind Quintet, Op. 24 no 2 by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Jan Harshagen (French Horn), Otis Klöber (Bassoon), Sabine de Groote (Flute),
André Kerver (Clarinet), Ernest Rombout (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valerius Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; Germany 
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, Op. 30 by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Michele Sidener (Viola), René Geesing (Cello), Joan Dillon (Violin),
Robert Windak (Violin), André Kerver (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valerius Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; Germany 
Trio for Piano, Viola and Heckelphone, Op. 47 by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Sven-Arne Tepl (Viola), Ernest Rombout (Heckelphone), Inge Lulofs (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valerius Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Germany 
Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Paul Hindemith
Performer:  Inge Lulofs (Piano), Ido Jan Stalman (Trumpet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valerius Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; Switzerland 

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