Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hindemirth Day

Following on my previous post, I'm now three days beyond Hindemith's actual birthday (Nov. 16) and a day past my own, but a friend's Facebook greeting inspired me to add to my slowly growing series of "Happy Birthday" settings. Just wish I'd thought to do it on Saturday.

This post will be brief because this is a very simple setting, though I'm pleased with how well it works. The accompaniment is simply the opening four measures of the exhausting and brutal piano part to Hindemith's trombone sonata. It's a work which I played a few times back in the day and which, to be honest, had a lot to do with my own negative attitudes about the composer, although I've softened a bit on that. Anyway, I simply replaced the original trombone part with the more familiar birthday tune, added a final F Major chord, and there you have it. The piano's dotted rhythms work well, there are some pitch connections that make sense, and there's something satisfying about the piano left hand arriving at m.4 as the birthday tune is held before its final phrase.

This is already more Hindemith content on the blog than I'd have ever anticipated, but maybe it will lead to more. After all, a little less than two years ago, I finished up an unexpected series of encounters with Barber.

Here are links to more re-imaginings of the famous tune. [YouTube Playlist]

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