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Review: Yale in New York Concert Champions the Legacy of Paul Hindemith

I Care If You Listen
By Rob Wendt

Despite this concert having been anticipated in The Wall Street Journal and The Jewish Week (as well as in these pages), it was not particularly well attended, with the lion’s share of seats empty. Indeed, Paul Hindemith remains unknown even among some who consider themselves classical music fans. A reappraisal of his work and influence is thus always welcome, and this well-curated program shed new light on the composer, his pedagogy, his protégés, and even his personality. Yale School of Music brought faculty, students, and alumni to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on November 22, 2013, to forge a direct musical link to this master of theory, melody, form, and fugue.

Composer Paul Hindemith (photo credit: hindemith.info)

In Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2, the composer captured the frenetic pace of industrial growth that characterized the inter-war years. No one would call this musical language atonal, but it contains humor alongside a tongue-in-cheek dark, dissociative pensiveness and sense of disturbance not usually found in the romantic tradition. At the same time, there is something very primal and peasant-like in the bouncy tough rhythms. MORE

Published December 2, 2013
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