"Britten: Sinfonietta, Hindemith "Octet" (Vinyl)
Two unknown (by me) works for the motley crew of strings and winds by two of the early 20th century's most important composers. What could go wrong?
Considering that I spent a short time last year learning Martinu's 'Nonet' for mixed string and wind ensemble I was interested to hear what these two composers would be exploring with the unusual mixture of timbre and texture.
Thus far through this listening my impression of Hindemith hasn't changed much: I liken his music to an earthworm crawling chromatically along the ground in canon with itself. I understand the language he uses, but I think some days I prefer a multitude of composers to him. That being said, this is an interesting piece.
That being said, I feel it's overshadowed by Britten's "Sinfonietta," his first published work (at the age of nineteen.) I hear a composer jumping out of the womb fully developed, eager, with something to say. It would be fun to work on this piece some day.
Unlike the photo, I own a mono pressing. I can't find a date of production, but it's some point after 1958, when Hindemith finished his "Octet." The musicians' performances are, of course, superb. I've heard decent things about this Vienna Philharmonic...