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Sonatas Nos.1-3; Suite "1922"

Paul Hindemith




“David Korevaar is a distinguished pianist... [his] understanding of Hindemith’s music is evident from his in-depth program notes to this disc, as well as in these thoughtful yet vibrant performances.”
James H. North, Fanfare [July/August 2015]
[ * * * * * ] “Ecstatic Hindemith worth every penny... [The Sonatas] are terrific works well worth anyone’s time... David Korevaar is a pianist of ample technical facility and an enormous range of color... The [recorded] sound here is excellent, very warm and enveloping, and this suits the temperament of the performances perfectly, which are direct and highly communicative and intimate. Superb work all the way around, and few recordings are so easily recommendable.”
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [June 2015]
“[Hindemith's] Neo-Classical instrumental pieces can seem a little square, though not when this excellent American pianist, a Hindemith champion, plays them. His welcome new recording offers the Piano Sonatas No. 1 to 3… In these vibrant performances these works come across as abounding in character and craft… Korevaar also includes Hindemith’s brash, impish Suite for Piano “1922” [which] Hindemith disavowed… He was wrong: Just listen to Mr. Korevaar’s compelling performance.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times [May 2015]
“I and others have praised Korevaar’s many gifts, among them a prodigious technique, a seemingly limitless range of tonal color, and— especially useful in Hindemith—a great facility with polyphonic textures. I’ve heard two other recordings of Hindemith’s sonatas: Glenn Gould’s on Sony and Siegfried Mauser’s on Wergo (easily superseded by Korevaar)… Korevaar is scrupulously faithful to Hindemith’s markings and tempos; and Hindemith, a consummate performer himself, probably knew very well what he wanted. The sound is excellent. This release is an important one for Hindemith lovers everywhere.”
Haskins, American Record Guide [May/June 2015]
“[Paul Hindemith's Piano Sonatas] form a masterful body of work that helped set the pace last century, and they are works of considerable worth and drama… A new recording of his three sonatas 1936 plus his piano "Suite 1922" gives you all the music as interpreted by the talented and very sympathetic pianist David Korevaar. This is music that is by no means easy to play properly, but David is fully equipped and beautifully interpretive, and so is able to breathe genuine life into the works... I have not heard better performances of these works. They are milestones in Hindemith's output and Korevaar understands them completely. They will give the Hindemith aficionado plenty of joy and they will serve to introduce his music to those unfamiliar in the basking illumination of sympathetic interpretation. They are works that should be heard by anybody interested in the modern movement, and the performances are exemplary.”
Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Review [May 2015]
“The three sonatas have had champions, including Glenn Gould from yesteryear and Markus Becker in more recent times. Now we have these performances by American pianist David Korevaar (b. 1962). I haven't heard Becker but have familiarity with Gould and I can say that Korevaar compares very favorably with him. In fact, if you owned only this MSR disc of the sonatas, you would probably need no other... Korevaar brilliantly captures the melancholic stateliness that launches the First Sonata in a fairly brisk but well argued tempo... He imparts a crispness and muscularity to capture the quirky nervosity and agitation in the ensuing panel. His phrasing here and in the remaining movements is always sensitive and intelligent... Korevaar delivers an equally incisive account of the smaller-scaled Second Sonata… Korevaar captures just about the maximum expressive yield in this short but deftly conceived sonata... His Third Sonata is also totally convincing: try his breathless account of the second movement, with its wide range of dynamics and digital clarity in the racing tempos… His finale shortchanges no part of this challenging fugal music in bringing it to life with utter effervescence and subtlety... Korevaar makes about the best case imaginable for [the 1922 Suite], in a sense achieving the logically impossible: he seems to make the music sound better than it is! Excellent sound by MSR and insightful notes by Korevaar. Strongly recommended”
Robert Cummings, ClassicalNet [April 2015]
“I found the piano sonatas on this set to be both well constructed technically and warm in feeling and scope. Perhaps this comes from pianist Korevaar’s wonderfully lyrical reading, full of nuance and played in a singing style... The second-movement scherzo in this Third Sonata is particularly playful for Hindemith, and Korevaar has its full measure... this is a fine recording, particularly of the sonatas.”
Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare [May/June 2015]
“those seeking a particularly appealing recording of [Hindemith’s piano sonatas ] will very much enjoy David Korevaar’s performances on MSR Classics... The second sonata, which Hindemith considered closer to a sonatina, is the slightest of the three, but there is a fair degree of drama in its three movements – and Korevaar brings this out to especially fine effect.... harmonic tension [of No.3] is considerable and is a key to its effective interpretation, and Korevaar brings it out with a sure hand (actually two sure hands).”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [March 2015]
“David Korevaar often is a colorful, stimulating, and provocative pianist… there’s much [here] to admire, even in the rarely heard and frankly dour First Sonata. For instance, the pianist’s attention to voicing in the finale minimizes the music’s square-cut rhythmic regularity. [In the Second Sonata] the central Lebhaft lilts with an appropriately light touch. His Third Sonata fugal finale is playful and supple … Compared alongside Anna Gourari’s recent ECM recording [of '1922'], Korevaar judges the Marsch’s ornaments to more humorous cakewalking effect and brings out the Shimmy’s dance rhythms more idiomatically.”
Jed Distler, Classics Today [February 2015]
Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) was one of the most prolific, versatile and thoughtful musicians of the 20th century. Not just a composer, Hindemith performed as a violinist and as a violist, as well as on the piano. Trained in the traditions of Romantic music before World War I, he was profoundly interested in the question of where music was headed, and explored different avenues—eventually formulating his own theory of pitch relationships in The Craft of Musical Composition. Until he ran afoul of the Nazi regime in the mid-1930s, he was the rising star of German composition, with his operas, symphonic works and chamber music a staple of concerts and radio. By 1935, though, Hindemith’s future in Germany was clouded by his failure to toe the regime’s musical and political lines.

The three piano sonatas of 1936 came shortly after the completion of his operatic masterpiece Mathis der Maler and at a time when his relations with the Nazi regime were rapidly deteriorating. While Hindemith (somewhat disingenuously) protested that his music was not political, the scenario of Mathis—dealing with an artist and his conscience against authority, and including a book burning—was undeniably provocative. While the Symphony pre-derived from the opera had been a great success, the opera itself could not be performed in Germany. Around this time, Walter  Gieseking was forbidden by the regime to premiere the First Piano Sonata. There was evidently  some concern that the concert would provide an opportunity for the public to show its support of a composer who was out of favor with the authorities. The Sonata could be heard as a purely abstract work, but for Hindemith’s quiet acknowledgement in the score of inspiration from Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem Der Main, which includes the lines:

“ To you, perhaps, you islands! still one day a homeless singer shall come, who must wander
from stranger to stranger; and Earth, the free, sadly! must serve him in place of a homeland
as long as he lives and when he dies—but I will never forget you, as far as I may wander,
beautiful Main, and your well-favored banks.”

For Hindemith, whose younger years had been spent at Frankfurt-am-Main, Hölderlin’s lines, penned in the last years of the 18th century, surely resonated as he contemplated permanent exile from his life in Berlin—and while he was actually in Turkey helping to establish a national music school in Ankara at the invitation of the Turkish government. There are audible echoes of  Beethoven’s well-known “Lebewohl” (“farewell”) motif (from his Piano Sonata No.26 in E-flat major, Op.81a) throughout Hindemith’s Sonata.

Pianist David Korevaar, whose playing has been called a “musical epiphany” by Gramophone, performs a wide range of repertoire, from Bach to the present. He balances his active career as a soloist and chamber musician with teaching at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is the Peter and Helen Weil Professor of Piano.

Since his New York debut at Town Hall in 1985, Korevaar has performed throughout the USA,
including concerts in Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati and San Diego, as well as on tours in Europe and Asia. He has been heard at major venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Merkin Concert Hall, and frequently performs in his home state of Colorado. International performances have included appearances in Australia, Japan, Korea, Abu Dhabi and Europe. Korevaar gave his London debut at Wigmore Hall and his German recital debut at the Heidelberg Spring Festival. He also performed and taught in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan as a cultural envoy under the sponsorship of the United States Department of State.

Korevaar’s numerous critically acclaimed recordings encompass solo and ensemble literature from Johann Sebastian Bach, Beethoven and Brahms to contemporary composers David Carlson and Lowell Liebermann. A strong proponent of the music of Hindemith, he has recorded the composer’s Sonatas for Brass Instruments and Piano and has a forthcoming recording of his Sonatas for Viola and Piano. [ www.davidkorevaar.com ]
PAUL HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Ruhig bewegte Viertel
Im Zeitmaß eines sehr langsamen Marsches
Ruhig bewegte Viertel, wie im ersten Teil

Mäßig schnell
Sehr langsam—Rondo: Bewegt

Ruhig bewegt
Sehr lebhaft
Mäßig schnell
Fuge: Lebhaft

SUITE “1922”, OP.26

MSR Classics








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Le Tombeau De Couperin
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