PAUL HINDEMITH: Nobilissima Visione; Mathis Der Maler; Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of von Weber – Sao Paulo Sym./ John Neschling – BIS

by | Nov 13, 2011 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

PAUL HINDEMITH: Nobilissima Visione (ballet suite); Mathis Der Maler (symphony); Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber – Sao Paulo Sym. Orch./ John Neschling – BIS multichannel SACD-1730, 72:41 [Distr. by Qualiton] ****:
This is the only multichannel version of the delightful Symphonic Metamorphosen on Weber Themes.  It was issued as a stereo Telarc Soundstream SACD conducted by Robert Shaw, and very well done indeed. However, Neschling does a good job on all three works here, and the surround sonics are excellent, though these tapes probably sat around for a while and may be originally just 44.K/24-bit.  Neschling was doing well with the Sao Paul Symphony and had some interesting plans, but had some sort of altercation with the symphony’s board and was let go.
All three works are in the neoclassical style; Hindemith’s model was usually Bach during this period.  The composer’s Mathis the Painter symphony actually was created before his opera of the same name.  The life and paintings of the Renaissance artist Mathias Grünwald were the inspiration for both works.  In 1938 Hindemith had the premiere of a new ballet, Nobilssima Visione, in London, and he later extracted this suite from the ballet. (He waited until 1940 to get out of Germany and emigrate to the U.S., where he taught at Yale.)
Since he was a respected conductor himself, Hindemith put on discs his own recordings of some of these works for posterity.  The remastered CDs are available, and Neschling comes fairly close to Hindemith’s own approach—quite Germanic-sounding.  Some may prefer the more impactful recordings of the works by Herbert Blomstedt on London/Decca but I think the fine concert hall sense of this SACD in surround mode makes it a good audiophile choice.
—John Sunier

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