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Paul Hindemith - Minimax (1990)

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Paul Hindemith - Minimax (1990)

Repertory for Military Music for String Quartet

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1 Armeemarsch 606 2:49
2 Overtüre zu »«Wasserdichter und Vogelbauer« 5:32
3 Ein Abend an der Donau-Quelle 5:07
4 Löwenzähnchen an Bachesrand 5:03
5 Die beiden lustigen Mistfinken 2:30
6 Alte Karbonaden 1:49 

Streichquartett der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin:
Egon Morbitzer (first violin)
Wilhelm Martens (second violin)
Werner Buchholz (viola)
Bernhard Günther (cello)


Hindemith wrote "Minimax" for a private gathering of friends and supporters – a party piece. The title Minimax puns on a well-known fire extinguisher and on the names of the von Fürstenbegs, Max and Wilhelmine (Minzi), the "protectors" of Hindemith's Donaueschingen Festival. Every movement title puns on something. For example, the second movement – "Ouvertüre zu 'Wasserdichter und Vogelbauer" (water-tight – or water-closet – and birdcage) – refers to von Suppé's "Poet and Peasant" (Dichter und Bauer) Overture. Unfortunately, the titles are more interesting than the music itself, which could have been written by any competent composer of the period. Significantly, Hindemith never published it and asked that his unpublished works never be played after his death. It does nothing for his currently low reputation and isn't fair to the "real" music he wrote during the same year, like the Fourth String Quartet and Das Marienleben. He should have destroyed it, rather than rely on good will. ---Steve Schwartz, classical.net

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