Bloch & Hindemith: Works for Viola and Piano
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL450     Release Date: 2011-03-15

Yizhak Schotten, viola; Katherine Collier, piano

Ernest Bloch's Suite for Viola and Piano won first prize in the Berkshire Chamber Music Competition in 1919, and had its first performance at the Berkshire Festival with Louis Bailly, violist, and Harold Bauer, pianist. The following is an analysis made by Bloch at that time:

“First of all, my Suite does not belong to my so-called 'Jewish works,' although perhaps, in spite of myself, one may perceive here and there in a few places a certain Jewish inspiration. It is rather a vision of the Far East that inspired me: Java, Sumatra, Borneo — those wonderful countries I so often dreamed of, though never was fortunate enough to visit in any other way than through my imagination. I first intended to give more explicit — or picturesque — titles to the four movements of the work, as: (1) In the Jungle; (2) Grotesques; (3) Nocturne; (4) The Land of the Sun. But those titles seemed rather incomplete and unsatisfactory to me. Therefore, I prefer to leave the imagination of the hearer completely unfettered, rather than tie it to a definite programme...

Paul Hindemith's Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 25, No. 4, was completed in November 1922. With his colleague and patron, Emma Lübbecke-Job, Hindemith gave the work its premiere performance on January 10, 1923. Several additional performances followed in the next few years, but between the mid-1920's and the mid-1970's, it dropped from view, possibly because of some confusion with the Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 11 and/or the Sonata for Unaccompanied Viola, Op. 15, No. 1. It was not until it first appeared in print, in the Hindemith Complete Works Edition published by B. Schott's Söhne in 1976, that renewed attention was focused upon this work.

Stylistically, Op. 25, No. 4 may be seen to resemble such earlier works as the Marienleben in the expressive lyricism of its brief central slow movement, while the outer movements display the vitality of later works such as the Kammermusik, Op. 36. The spareness of the viola part, utilizing few double and triple stops, belies Hindemith's own virtuosity on this instrument. Whatever the reasons for this sonata's half-century of obscurity, violists and all who know the music of Hindemith will welcome the work's re- entry into the repertoire.

 

This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

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Yizhak Schotten

Bloch & Hindemith: Works for Viola and Piano

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Suite for Viola and Piano: I. Lento - Allegro - Moderato
Ernest Bloch
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Suite for Viola and Piano: II. Allegro ironico
Ernest Bloch
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Suite for Viola and Piano: III. Lento
Ernest Bloch
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Suite for Viola and Piano: IV. Molto vivo
Ernest Bloch
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Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 25, No. 4: I. Sehr lebhaft. Markiert und kraftvoll
Paul Hindemith
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Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 25, No. 4: II. Sehr langsame Viertel
Paul Hindemith
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Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 25, No. 4: III. Finale. Lebhafte Viertel
Paul Hindemith
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