The Modern Age

twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz


Paul Hindemith



Born near Frankfort, the prolific composer Paul Hindemith studied at the Frankfurt Conservatoire, where he proved himself a versatile instrumentalist, demonstrating proficiency on the violin, viola, piano, and clarinet. At the age of 19 he became leader of the Frankfurt Opera orchestra, and also second violin in the Rebner String Quartet. Work at the opera was interrupted by a period of military service between 1917 and 1919, during which Hindemith played in a regimental band and an army string quartet.

Hindemith's early works attracted immediate attention and even notoriety: their sensational elements included violence and sexuality in the one-act operas Morder (Murder), of 1919, and Sancta Susanna, of 1921; and jazz and sleazy nightclub music in the piano suite 1922 and the Kammermusik No. 1, whose instrumentation includes a siren. Despite its air of boisterous parody, the Kammermusik was the first of many works by Hindemith to use Baroque models such as Bach's Brandenburg concertos for form, texture, and rhythmic drive.

In 1923 the success of the Amar Quartet, in which Hindemith was now violist, enabled him to relinquish his Frankfurt Opera post. He abandoned his musical shock tactics, and moved towards a style distinguished by its energy and objectivity. The opera Cardillac, for example, deals with a goldsmith who murders his customers, but the horrific aspects of the story are mitigated by the formal structure and unemotional clarity of the music.

Hindemith next turned increasingly to the composition of works for amateurs, such as the Lehrstikk of 1929 with texts by Bertolt Brecht, which encouraged directness and simplicity of expression in his works. The Trauermusik for viola and strings emphasized Hindemith's desire for immediacy in his music. It was composed the day after the death in 1936 of the English king, George V, and premiered the day after that.

A much larger-scale summing-up of Hindemith's ideas had come earlier in the 1930s with the completion of the opera Mathis der Maler (Mathis the Artist) and the symphony based on it. The German painter Matthias Grunewald symbolized for Hindemith the dilemma of all artists caught up in political upheavals: Hindemith had himself been attacked by the Nazis, and in 1937 was forced to leave Germany. The three movements of the symphony Mathis der Maler each represent one of the panels of Grunewald's altarpiece at Isenheim, and the warmth and humanity of the work show the composer coming to terms with his Classical and Romantic heritage, and with his innate respect for tradition.

Hindemith found refuge from the Nazis in America, where he taught at Yale University and took United States citizenship in 1946. A series of orchestral commissions included the Symphonic metamorphosis on themes of Carl Maria von Weber, whose wordy title conceals a work of the most deft and delightful humour, an antidote to the common view of the mature Hindemith as a composer of unbending Teutonic seriousness. In 1953 he moved to Switzerland, and there, in his last years, completed Die Harmonic der Welt (The Harmony of the World), a mystical opera about the astronomer Johan Kepler.

Hindemith is today recognized as the leading German composer of his generation, whose music, carefully formulated philosophy, and dynamism as a performer were an inspiration to his contemporaries.


Paul Hindemith



Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)



Symphonic Metamorphoses
Berne Union Bands

Sonata for Clarinet & piano in B flat

Gary Dranch

Sonate for Flute and Piano
Emily M. Mitchell
Heiter bewegt
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Pablo Picasso


















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