Hindemith conducts When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd
Hindemith - When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd - A Requiem "For those we love" On the poem by Walt Whitman (1946) - Louise Parker, Contralto / George London, Bass-baritone / The Schola Cantorum of New York (Dir. Hugh Ross) / New York Philharmonic / Paul Hindemith
(As requested, here is a new upload of the previous one...)
@ dulman: many thanks for your comments. It's always good to have some feedback. However, the links you wanted to give me didn't appear. Maybe you could type them in instead of copy / paste? I'd be very interested in checking them out.
Also - (and this is addressed to anyone else reading this) if you could say exactly what you'd like to see uploaded again, this would help. There are some previous uploads I want to do again which I think could be improved (time allowing). I also periodically remove uploads due to the space limitations of my computer. No matter, though - I'm always more than glad to replace something someone wants. (Plus - I have a list of future uploads in my head which is very difficult to see the end of...).
In a way, my "career" here started when I was a teenager (this was around 1964-65). I wanted to be a "classical DJ" and have my own radio program - and even got my broadcasting license for the purpose. But since there was a war going on (not unlike the ones we have now), it was necessary to attend university instead. So, the ambitions of passing on great music to others got put aside. Until recently, that is. And in spite of the occasional difficulties and frustrations of transferring and restoring the material - this is finally one of the most rewarding things I've ever done (if not THE most rewarding).
From the notes for this recording:
"It has become an axiom of the arts that a composer seldom lives in a world where his work is evaluated accurately. Adding to this belief in volume if not substance, are commentaries on music that bulge with legends of ignored genius and vastly overrated talent, shaking more than slightly our faith in just deserts.
For Paul Hindemith, the music world's greatest disservice has been of displaced emphasis. At the time of his death in 1963, many minds continued in identifying him more closely with a catchword summation of an aesthetic than with the most significant portion of his music. Hindemith himself was acutely aware of the fallacy, at which (in "A Composer's World") he levelled his mischievious and occasionally scathing wit:
'A quarter of a century ago, in a discussion with German choral conductors, I pointed out the danger of an esoteric isolationism in music by using the term Gebrauchsmusik. Apart from the ugliness of the word - in German it is as hideous as its English equivalents: workaday music, music for use, utility music, and similar verbal beauties - nobody found anything remarkable in it. [...] whatever else I had written or said at that time remained deservedly unknown, and of my music very few pieces had reached this country [i.e., the USA]; but that ugly term showed a power of penetration and vigor that would be desirable for worthier formulations. Some busybody had written a report on that totally unimportant discussion, and when, years after, I first came to this country, I felt like the sorcerer's apprentice who had become the victim of his own conjurations. The slogan Gebrauchsmusik hit me wherever I went, it had grown to be as abundant, useless, and disturbing as thousands of dandelions in a lawn. [...] Up to this day it has been impossible to kill the silly term and the unscrupulous classification that goes with it.'
Despite the composer's good-natured censure, there is hardly a word written about him that does not allow the word Gebrauchsmusik to creep in, bringing with it its various misconceptions. It was not the mere 'utility' but the sharing of music as a common experience that concerned him the most. Whereas much of 20th-century musical thought has been directed at the future, Hindemith thought in terms of the present. Judged solely by his musical attitudes, Hindemith has emerged as the principal musical humanist and democrat of his day."
With the exception of the last three sentences, none of the above - as fitting as it is for the case of Hindemith - touches directly upon the profundity of the music offered here. A Requiem "For Those we love", commissioned by the choral director Robert Shaw following the events of World War II, was finished in 1946. But since Hindemith's vision was always focussed upon the present - and since history has the unfortunate habit of repeating itself - this great work belongs in equal measure to the present moment as to the generation it was expressly written for.
Digitally remastered material originally issued 1964 (CBS / Sony). Includes notes (English, German, French); English vocal texts.