Kammermusik Nr. 7

From Wind Repertory Project
Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith

This work bears the designation op. 46/2.

General Info

Year: 1927 / 1956
Duration: c. 17:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schott
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only (print) - €24.00


1. Nicht zu schnell (Not too fast) – 3:25
2. Sehr langsam und ganz ruhig (Very slowly and very calmly) – 6:30
3. Eighth note = 184 - 6:30


Full Score
C Piccolo
Solo Organ
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F
String Bass


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In 1927 the Südwestdeutsche Rundfunk AG commissioned Hindemith to write a concerto for the inauguration of a new organ in its broadcasting hall. For the radio this was a time of technological experimentation, for not all sounds were suited for trouble-free transmission; and so a radio newspaper warned prior to the premiere, “One is indeed eager to learn whether the Frankfurter Sender will succeed in getting around the great dangers of the organ in the microphone.” For some years Hindemith had occupied himself with the problems of radio transmission, surely also because his brother-in-law, Hans Flesch, was the artistic director of the Frankfurter Sender. After he then had also inspected the new organ, Hindemith wrote the Kammermusik No. 7 in November 1927. It was premiered on 8 January 1928 and transmitted live; Reinhold Merten was the organist, and the conductor was Ludwig Rottenberg, Hindemith’s father-in-law.

Hindemith dealt with the problems of radio transmission first by determining his choices for the instruments of the orchestra. He had eight woodwinds and three brass instruments join the organ, did without high strings, and used the cellos and double basses only to reinforce the low wind instruments without developing their parts independently. The treatment of the solo instrument was also adapted to the technological resources: even though Hindemith was composing for the inauguration of a new organ, he refrained from developing an impressive sound volume, instead leading the instruments in two or three parts of linear design.

The orchestral tutti opens the spirited first movement and introduces the theme, which is present until the end of the movement. It is initially taken up by the organ and then repeated in concerto style, though individual orchestral instruments also come into central focus in solo roles. After a strongly expressive solo opening the orchestral instruments enter in succession; after a dynamic high point they then gradually withdraw in decrescendo, and then Hindemith subsequently has the solo instrument fade away. In strong contrast to this, the trumpet opens the last movement with a theme of signal character that then is elaborated fugally. However, even in this movement of animated drive Hindemith reduces the motion of the orchestral parts when the organ enters and correspondingly has the solo instrument hold back, while the wind instruments develop the theme in concerto style.

Accordingly, the Kammermusik No. 7 is an audio document from the early years of radio transmission; it is dedicated to the Frankfurter Sender.

- Program Note by Luitgard Schader for liner notes of Ondine CD Kammermusik, Nos. 4-7


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer