Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 22:13:52 -0700
From: Ted McIrvine <>
Subject: Re: Hindemith Sonate

Not meaning to brag --- but I'm only one step removed from the source.

Two of my composition teachers were students of Paul Hindemith:  Bernhard Heiden at Indiana University and Samuel Adler at Eastman.  Professor Heiden actually fled Germany with Hindemith in 1939 --- the year Hindemith wrote the trumpet sonata.

This sonata has always been a very personal composition for me.  I'm aware of how the Hindemith Sonata reflects Lutheran humanism and is a reaction to the horror of Nazism.  More recently this understanding has deepened after meeting my wife's family full of holocaust survivors.

My very personal and hermeneutic reading of the sonata is that it is similar to a four movement sonata consisting of I. Allegro tempo Sonata form  II.  Scherzo  III.  Adagio --- but missing the fast finale.  Why?

I hate to commit the fallacy of ascribing compositional intent, but I think that the normal structure is suspended and ends with the chorale "Alle Menschen mussen sterben" [All men must die by Ahle] precisely because the world as Hindemith knew it had ended and indeed, all men were dying.


Alley, G. SFC BAND wrote:
> Let me echo Ted, in agreeing that this is a good question.
> It would be an excellent thesis.
> The number of people with some first hand knowledge of this
> piece is dwindling fast.  Move on it now, and you may be richly rewarded in
> your research.
> -Gregor