Christian Seibert

Hindemith: Piano Works

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Maybe not the greatest recording of Hindemith piano music ever released -- either Ivo Janssen's vigorous and virtuosic 1990 recording of Ludus Tonalis or Glenn Gould's eccentric but compelling 1966 and 1973 recordings of the three sonatas surely claim that award -- Christian Seibert's 2005 recording of Tanzstücke, In einer Nacht, and Third Sonata is nevertheless a fine supplement to the short shelf of great Hindemith piano recordings. Seibert has the steely fingered technique, the finely honed tone, and the acutely intellectual agility to articulate Hindemith's hard-edged counterpoint and sharply pointed irony. The five movements of his Tanzstücke are alert and infectious, particularly the racy "Pantomime"; the 15 movements of his In einer Nacht are sarcastic and romantic, especially his grindhouse "Foxtrott"; and the four movements of his sonata are flamboyantly severe, above all the concluding Fugue that climaxes with one of the most powerful strettos since Bach. Although not for fans of Schubert or Schoenberg, Hindemith's piano music deserves to be heard by anyone who enjoys modernist music, and Seibert's disc is both a splendid introduction and a wonderful addition. CPO's sound is vivid and immediate, but a shade on the cool, dry side.

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