Hindemith, Hindemith, Hindemith!!!!!
Franz Escobar | Smithtown, New York United States | 05/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, this box set is phenomenal. First off, HIndemith is one of the most underappreciated and underrated composers of the 20th century. In my opinion he is definetly in the top 5 along with Stravinsky, Schoenberg, etc. This box set is simply amazing. Whether it is the sound quality, or the works themselves, they will provide you with hours and hours of great music. Although Hindemith was a 20th century composer, his works are EXTREMELY ACCESSIBLE and have a chromatic-romantic feeling to them. I am a music teacher and I have a huge classical collection and this box set is played more than most else. Also, I would recommend the other two volumes by CPO, they are just as good as this set."
Great performances of a great composer
Michael Suh | 08/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While Hindemith will never be known for changing the way the world hears music, he will always be recognized as composing well-crafted minor masterpieces, even if they can be a little formulaic and his sense of melody was a little warped. All six discs in this set have gems that should be heard more often in the concert halls and recorded more. In particular, the Concerto for Orchestra on Disc 6 is fantastic -- with its addictive and fun themes and transparent structure, it was the only work I listened to for about a month. Of the rarer works recorded here, his Symphony Serena on Disc 5 is a little tougher to like, but is really quite good, while his Symphony in E flat on Disc 4 is nothing short of amazing. The Philharmonic Concerto, a set of variations on a strange but catchy theme that only Hindemith could write, also really shines in this set.
Of his more well known -- if you can call any Hindemith "well known" -- works, the recordings are a mixed bag. His Concert Music for Strings and Brass on Disc 3 have a wonderful fullness in the lower brass that I haven't heard in other performances. But the Mathis der Maler Symphony and Nobilissima Visione are both so-so and a little dull. And the performance of Symphonic Metamorphosis here is just outright terrible and a big disappointment, full of mistakes and uneven tempos.
But that's ok. Because you can get good recordings of his better-known works elsewhere. But because his lesser works are presented here in such convincing performances, this set is a must buy for anyone exploring Hindemith! The other 2 box sets on CPO that round out his complete orchestral works are just as good, if not even better. All are highly recommended."