Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hindemith from the Recording Horn

Happy May Day! Some fifteen months ago, when I uploaded the Los Angeles Wind Quintet's recording of Hindemith's delightful Kleine Kammermusik, I expressed the hope that I might someday be able to hear the work's first recording, an acoustical version by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Quintet, anachronistic as that may seem. (It was one of Polydor's very last acoustical recordings.) Well, my wish has been granted, for a copy has recently come my way, and you, my loyal audience, get to hear it too:

Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2
The Leipzig Gewandhaus Wind Quintet
Recorded c. 1925
Polydor 66376 and 66377, two 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC file, 43.10 MB)
Link (MP3 file, 26.09 MB)

The performance is very good, especially considering that the work was written (and published) a mere three years before this recording was made, and its idiom would have been equally new to the Leipzig players - who, Jolyon tells us (in connection with his very welcome upload of their recording of August Klughardt's Quintet), were Carl Bartuzat, flute; Walter Heinze, oboe; Willi Schreinicke, clarinet; Gunther Weigelt, bassoon; and Richard Schaller, horn. Only Bartuzat's year of birth is known for sure, and he was thirteen years older than the composer. This was the first recording of a work by Hindemith in which the composer himself didn't actually perform, and the playing, like Hindemith's own, is spirited and in certain spots a bit rough-and-ready. Enjoy!


  1. Alternate links:



  2. Thanks a lot for sharing, Bryan!

  3. This is just wonderful - thank you so much, and well done for finding a copy! Not even Susan Nelson has the matrices of this set. It's a charming piece, a fine performance - and, as usual, even more enjoyable in your excellent transfer and generously scrupulous presentation. You're a boon to us all! Best wishes, Grumpy

  4. Thank you so much for this treasure! It's a lovely performance. I've only listened once, but they don't seem to pick the tempo back up much at the "Wieder lustig" at the end of the first movement...very different from more recent performances.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this transfer last year: it's been fascinating studying it. On 17 May, a group of us will be giving a wind quintet concert 'inspired' by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Quintet's 1920s recordings, including this piece, the Klughardt Quintet, and some Mozart. All will be performed on early-20th century German instruments, in a style based on the recordings. Details of the (Free) concert are at the link below, in case anyone fancies a really nerdy evening out!