Hindemith: Sonata for Althorn and Piano; Sonata for Cello and Piano; Sonata for Trombone and Piano; Sonata for Violin and Piano; Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

Reviewed on Wed 15 Apr, 2015

It seems that the reputation of the music by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) is somewhat in the doldrums at present, a far cry from the exalted position it (and he) used to enjoy. Here was a composer, teacher, instrumentalist (skilled on numerous apparatuses, the viola especially) and conductor who was so highly regarded. Even such chips as these sonatas – all with piano – featuring the tenor horn (the player of it, and the accompanist, both required to speak!), cello, trombone, violin and trumpet. Throughout, whether in slow melody, speedy dexterity or witty asides, each of the sixteen movements is inimitably by Hindemith, and not through sameness, but fecundity. Alexander Melnikov is the pianistic glue, and all of his colleagues also play superbly. This is music not only of proficiency but of character and interest. Continuing over 71 minutes, the active variety and the sheer quality of the ideas make for a nourishing recital.
–Colin Anderson