William Steinberg made only three recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and his Hindemith recordings, authoritative, sumptuously recorded and pulsating with energy, are among the most invaluable in the Hindemith discography. Barenboim’s coupling of ‘Der Schwanendreher’ is no less welcome, offering what is substantially an important 20th-century viola concerto and being a viola player himself, Hindemith’s writing for the instrument is unimpeachable.
Symphony: ‘Mathis der Maler’
Concert Music for Strings & Brass
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Benyamini, viola
Orchestre de Paris
‘This disc … belongs in every serious classical music collection’
‘Steinberg plays [Mathis der Maler] very ‘straight’, not letting emotional passages become sentimental but still sending a thrill down the spine at the glorious climax of the ‘Three angels’ tune and the hair-raising final ‘Alleluja’; and the Boston strings are wonderfully precise in their enormously busy and exacting lines… The Concert Music, composed four years before Mathis for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary, similarly bustles with energy: it makes a particularly interesting coupling because thematically it contains foreshadowings of Mathis. Benyamini is a splendidly rich-toned soloist in the ‘concerto on folksongs’, Der Schwanendreher, which is excellently recorded’ Gramophone