German Wind Band Classics - Hindemith, Hartmann, Et Al

Release Date: 4/25/2000
Label: Chandos
Catalog Number: CHAN 9805
Performer: Murray Greig
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

Notes and Editorial Reviews
A crackingly well-played programme of wind-orchestral works featuring premiere recordings of [piece] pieces by Ernst Toch and Boris Blacher, as well as Schoenberg's rarely heard Theme and Variations

Hindemith's 1951 Symphony for wind band is a lively and appealing score, which grew from an initial request for a march from the US Army Band. It's a true symphony, with sonata-form first movement, serious central march enclosing a fleet Scherzo, and fugal finale. The composer himself led the way in the recording studio with the Philharmonia in 1958 for EMI (2/91 - nla) ; the 1959 Berlin RSO performance on Orfeo is from a concert given a year later. Reynish does not quite rise to the composer's massiveness of sound, but his is a fine and very welcome new version with excellent ensemble and solo playing caught in Chandos's bright, warm sound.

Hartmann's Fifth Symphony (1950, but originating in a much-altered trumpet concerto from 1932) inhabits a Hindemithian sound world. The present version is better played and recorded than the Bavarian RSO account under Kubelik (Wergo), and is a match for Metzmacher and Bamberg (EMI).

Schoenberg's Theme and Variations (1943) should not to be confused with the brilliant Op 31 set. For a start, Op 43 is tonal, one of several such works Schoenberg wrote during his American exile to 'soften his image'. A fine piece, the seven variations and finale are very diverse in character. If not a major utterance, it is of more moment than either the Toch or Blacher novelties that frame it. Toch's Spiel (1926) is energetic, but its resonances of popular musics have a trivial edge. Blacher's Divertimento sounds almost trite but, bizarrely, was commissioned in 1936 for a Luftwaffe band that employed 'degenerate' saxophones. The performances are exemplary, beautifully phrased and balanced, and the sound is rich.

-- Guy Rickards, Gramophone [6/2000]
Works on This Recording
1. Symphony for Concert Band in B flat major by Paul Hindemith
Conductor: Timothy Reynish
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1951 ; USA
2. Spiel, Op. 39 by Ernst Toch
Conductor: Timothy Reynish
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1926 ; Germany
3. Symphony no 5 "Symphonie Concertante" by Karl Amadeus Hartmann
Performer: Murray Greig (Trumpet)
Conductor: Clark Rundell
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1950 ; Germany
4. Theme and Variations for Band, Op. 43a by Arnold Schoenberg
Conductor: Timothy Reynish
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1943 ; USA
5. Divertimento for Winds, Op. 7 by Boris Blacher
Conductor: Timothy Reynish
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1936 ; Germany
Customer Reviews