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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Hindemith recordings?”

October 13, 2009


Dear Michael,

My question is, why the omission of Paul Hindemith in your article Organ Music for Good Listening? His output is small (the three sonatas, the Kammermusik concerto for organ and chamber orchestra, and the Organ Concerto) but sublime, in my opinion. Is this omission an oversight, or does it reflect a critical judgment about his work? Can you recommend a recording of his sonatas? I've got Piet Kee’s, which is wonderful, but would love to hear other takes.
Another question: could you point me to a primer on organ construction, registration, and stops?

David

 

David,

Totally oversight on my part I should update that article, written years ago. Hindemith is a favorite of mine, and I play two of the three sonatas (or played them, when I practiced).
As for recordings, Heiller’s at Memorial Church, Harvard, are elegant (from OHS Catalog online), and Peter Hurford’s and Kevin Bowyer’s are fine, too (Bowyer also includes three BACH Fugues by Ernst Pepping, which are rather interesting). I don't think there are any bad recordings of the Hindemith.
Check online at HaydnHouse.com in their Organ Loft for a CD version of Biggs on the Harvard Flentrop.
As for primers on organ construction, check the OHS Catalog online, and perhaps email them for suggestions.

 

jmb

 

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