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The Complete Hindemith Viola Music Vol. 2: Sonatas for Solo Viola

Album Summary

>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola, Op. 11/5
>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola, Op. 25/1
>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola, Op. 31/4
>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Lawrence Power, Britain's greatest living violist, continues his fascinating and acclaimed series of Hindemith's complete viola music. This second disc features the solo viola sonatas. These works were all written for Hindemith himself to perform and are thus of special significance - as near to a personal testament, an intimate soliloquy, as exists in his output. The shadow of Bach lies over any composer writing a solo string sonata. This is clear in the Passacaglia from the sonata Opus 11 No 5, where Hindemith's ultimate model is unmistakably Bach's famous D minor Chaconne. This movement is the first example of a form that was to be one of Hindemith's trademarks throughout his career and it makes the work something of a personal manifesto of artistic ambition.

"Fortuantely, each of these works is quite fine, so the soloist has plenty of opportunities to show his prowess. I'm sure that the fact that Hindemith wrote these for himself to perform gave him an extra incentive to make sure that they were of top quality...I was soon struck by the great breadth of tone color and nuance that Power employs in these readings. I started to make a list of passages where I thought he distinguished himself with an exceptional nuance, use of color, or insight into the music's structure, but I soon had to give up - there were far too many...Power's readings have an emotional range and dramatic character that far outclass Rhodes' and Hindemith's readings. He actually makes better sense of the music than Hindemith does. Every violist and lover of viola music must hear this. In fact, every string player should hear it for imaginative examples of how to place one's technical resources at the service of interpretation. Power really knocked this one out of the park." - American Record Guide

'Power's performances - characterised by his trademark tonal richness and easy, almost nonchalant technical brilliance - leave no doubt about the weighty seriousness of the music, and its significance for Hindemith' (The Guardian)

'Power's warmly rounded tone and searching interpretations cast the most favourable possible light on this wonderful if sometimes astringent music ... Though such fine players as Nobuko Imai and Kim Kashkashian have made important Hindemith discs, Power's series - soon to progress into a third and final volume with the works for viola and orchestra - is the most comprehensive and satisfying' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Aided and abetted by Hyperion's close, lifelike recording quality, Power gives an absolutely stunning demonstration of viola playing, with no concessions to Hindemith's daunting demands' (The Strad)

'Paul Hindemith, himself a major viola player, left one of the most important of 20th-century legacies for his own instrument, including the four solo sonatas recorded here. They make a protean collection ... Op 25 No 1, written in 1922 when Hindemith was at his most radical, includes a movement marked "Wild. Tonal beauty is of minor importance." Lawrence Power easily encompasses the many moods. He has a giant sound at his command - he can make the instrument sound as if it's being played by a man striding with seven league boots - and he makes every moment gripping' (The Irish Times)

'L'équilibre trouvé par l'altiste Lawrence Power ... est tout simplement parfait. Paul Hindemith gagne beaucoup à être fréquenté par de tels talents' (Classica, France)

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (2009-02-20_2009-02-21&2009-).



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Works Details

>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola, Op. 11/5
  • Performer: Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (2009-02-20_2009-02-21&2009-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919

>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola, Op. 25/1
  • Performer: Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (2009-02-20_2009-02-21&2009-)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1922

>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola, Op. 31/4
  • Performer: Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (2009-02-20_2009-02-21&2009-)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1923

>Hindemith, Paul : Sonata for solo viola
  • Performer: Lawrence Power (Viola)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (2009-02-20_2009-02-21&2009-)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937