Beethoven, Ludwig Van; Hindemith, Paul / Op. 131 String Quartet; Hérodiade
Album: Op. 131 String Quartet; Hérodiade   Collection:Classical
Artist:Beethoven, Ludwig Van; Hindemith, Paul   Added:Jun 2014
Label:Sono Luminus  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2014-06-27 Pull Date: 2014-08-29 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Aug 17
Airplays: 1

Recent Airplay
1. Aug 16, 2014: Music Casserole
Hindemith: Hérodiade (20:36)

Album Review
Reviewed 2014-06-26
Hindemith’s Hérodiade (composed June 1944 for dancer Martha Graham) is based on Mallarmé’s poem, a dialogue between Hérodias (mother of Salome) and her nurse. It consists of 11 mvmts, performed without major breaks, scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano and strings. The strings accompany the nurse’s text, the other instruments the high-strung, symbolistic lines of Hérodias. The music is neoclassical, mildly dissonant, sinuous, dramatic, sensual, excited, following the rhythms and emotional content of the poem.
Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 131 is his only work to begin with a fugue, a construction evoking formal debate. Some regard it as the pinnacle of his works; it is his penultimate composition and is said to have been his favorite quartet. Mvmt 1 is intense, poignant, profoundly expressive, melancholy but calm. Mvmt 2 shifts from C# minor to D major, a bright resonant key for strings. Light is emitted and dance enters, albeit with interruptions. Mvt 3 is a brief recitative, bridging to the heart of the quartet. Mvmt 4 is a kaleidoscope, a set of 6 ornate, fanciful variations conveying vulnerability via lightened downbeats in each measure. Mvmt 5: a scherzo, a manic whirl embodying the joy of play. Mvmt 6: a yearning, mournful lament. Mvmt 7: abrupt return to C# minor and the work’s 1st theme, with pitches slightly shuffled to lean toward noble resignation rather than striving. The 2nd theme evokes heaven beyond. Wagner called mvmt 7, “surely the saddest thing ever said in notes.”

Track Listing
1. Hindemith: Hérodiade (20:36)   5. Beethoven, Op. 131. Andante Ma Non Troppor E Molto Cantabile (12:52)
2. Beethoven: String Quartet, Op. 131. Adagio Ma Non Troppo E Molto Espressivo (6:2   6. Beethoven, Op. 131. Presto (5:04)
3. Beethoven, Op. 131. Allegro Molto Vivace (2:55)   7. Beethoven, Op. 131. Adagio Quasie Un Poco Andante (1:45)
4. Beethoven, Op. 131. Allegro Moderato (0:44)   8. Beethoven, Op. 131. Allegro (6:47)