As nicely as being one of many twentieth century’s main neoclassical composers, Paul Hindemith was additionally an excellent instrumentalist, first as a violinist and later as a viola participant of worldwide renown. His versatility was such that apparently he may play every of the usual orchestral devices to skilled commonplace, and he utilised that hands-on information within the sonatas (26 altogether) that he composed for all of them.
The wind sonatas are maybe one of the best identified, and few woodwind and horn gamers won’t have learnt the related Hindemith work during their careers. Partnered by the pianist Eric Le Sage, the members of the quintet Les Vents Français, all of them front-rank soloists in their very own proper, give fabulously fluent performances of items that they’ve most likely identified since they have been college students. There are the sonatas for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, modestly proportioned works, none of which lasts longer than 16 minutes, and all composed within the late Thirties. However, as a substitute of the 1938 Horn Sonata, Radovan Vlatković opts for the sonata for tenor horn, which Hindemith wrote in 1942, however which is usually now performed on the French horn.
There’s heaps to admire in Emmanuel Pahud’s efficiency of the Flute Sonata and François Leleux’s account of the oboe work, each easy and suave, the epitome of French woodwind enjoying, and within the agility of clarinettist Paul Meyer and bassoonist Gilbert Audin. However it’s the four-movement Tenor Horn Sonata that’s the true treasure right here. Vlatković reveals it to be a piece of sudden magnificence and depth, with a spoken dialogue between the horn-player and the pianist, which Hindemith inserted as a preface to the finale, including to its enigmatic allure.
This week’s different decide
The primary of the 2 discs in Good Classics’ survey of Hindemith’s Full Sonatas for Wind Devices and Piano principally duplicates the Warner Classics recording, besides that, as a substitute of the sonata for tenor horn, we get the unique 1938 Horn Sonata. Alongside the much less usually heard works for trumpet, English horn, trombone and tuba, the second disc does embrace the Tenor Horn Sonata, in a model for alto saxophone, but it surely’s the work for tuba, with the brass instrument’s galumphing phrases set towards the piano’s hyperactivity that’s essentially the most putting of them.
The recordings, made in Assisi with Italian soloists and the pianist Filippo Farinelli as their widespread denominator, appear nearer, extra involving than these within the Warner Classics assortment; the performances are maybe spikier, much less suave than their French equivalents, however equally completed. It’s price mentioning, too, that the 2 Good discs value considerably lower than the only Warner one.