HINDEMITH, PAUL. (1895-1963). German composer and one of the outstanding figures in 20th-century music theory and composition. AMusQS. (“Paul Hindemith”). 1p. 8vo. Maehrisch-Ostrau, November, 1931. A three-measure quotation from the solo viola’s entrance in the first movement of his Konzertmusik for Viola and Large Chamber Orchestra, Op. 48 inscribed in German “in friendly remembrance.”
Hindemith performed frequently as a violist and violinist, but by the mid-1920s he was well-known in the Frankfurt music scene for his compositional skills, well on his way to becoming the leading composer-performer of his generation. Rejecting Arnold Schoenberg’s 12-tone system, Hindemith created his own harmonic theory, which employed the principles of traditional tonality. His masterworks include Kammermusik, Symphonic Metamorphoses on a Theme by Weber, Sinfonia Serena, and Die Harmonie der Welt. Composed in 1930, Hindemith’s Konzertmusik, dedicated to French composer Darius Milhaud and his wife, was performed on November 6, 1931 in the Czech city of Ostrau, the occasion on which he penned our quotation.
Called “the foremost German composer of his generation,” Hindemith promoted his musical theories through various academic posts as well as his compositions, (The New Grove Dictionary). After the Nazis banned his opera Mathis der Maler in the early 1930s, Hindemith left his post as professor of composition at the Berlin Academy of Music and taught at several other European universities. Politics and financial difficulties eventually led him to Yale where he taught from 1940 to 1953.
Neatly penned in black ink on an album page. with some age toning and light staining. Irregular left edge caused by the page being removed from an album. Very slight ink offsetting around the quotation; otherwise in fine condition. Accompanied by a reproduction of the program in Ostrau where this piece was performed.