Claudio Abbado

Hindemith: Kammermusik 1-7; Der Schwanendreher

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The first flush of the digital era brought about a boatload of unexpected recordings, including this set of Hindemith's Kammermusik by Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Prior to Abbado's, there had already been two superlative recordings in the digital era: Riccardo Chailly and the Concertgebouw Orchestra's propulsive and virtuosic 1990 Decca recording and Markus Stenz and the Ensemble Modern's angular and aggressive 1993 RCA recording. But Abbado was a big fan of the composer, and he had the perfect orchestra for the job in the virtuosic Berliner Philharmoniker; their performances are as well played as Chailly's, but less driven and more musical than Stenz's. With first-class soloists drawn mostly from the orchestra, plus Lars Vogt as a spectacular pianist in Kammermusik No. 2, all parts are superbly covered. And as is almost always the case with Abbado, the conducting is alert, alive, and energetic with complete commitment to the details, the long line, and the big climax. Coupled with violist Tabea Zimmermann's dedicated and determined 1989 recording of Hindemith's Der Schwandenreher with David Shelton leading the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, these vivid 1996 and 1999 recordings are a clear first choice for these odd but engaging works.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Kammermusik No.1, for 12 instruments, Op. 24/1
1 01:07 Amazon
2 03:03 Amazon
3 03:56 Amazon
4 06:07 Amazon
Kammermusik No.2, for piano & 12 instruments, Op. 36/1
5 03:10 Amazon
6 08:36 Amazon
7 01:37 Amazon
8 05:39 Amazon
Kammermusik No.3, for cello and 10 instruments, Op. 36/2
9 02:19 Amazon
10 04:14 Amazon
11 07:16 Amazon
12 02:51 Amazon
Kammermusik No.4, for concerto for violin & chamber orchestra, Op. 36/3
13 02:07 Amazon
14 05:41 Amazon
15 07:54 Amazon
16 03:25 Amazon
17 02:03 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick