Storioni Ensemble | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Storioni Ensemble 

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For much of his career and for a long period after his death in 1963 Paul Hindemith was dismissed by the avant-garde as an archconservative who wrote dry, mechanical, and, worse yet, tonal music that paid homage to older styles. Now that the pendulum of musical taste has swung the other way, Hindemith may yet become fashionable. Certainly the lucidity, grandeur, vitality, and subdued lyricism of his music are to be savored, along with the meticulous craftsmanship whose principles he summarized in the indispensable primers he wrote while teaching at Yale and conservatories in his native Germany. The Storioni Ensemble, a chamber orchestra based at Northwestern University, pays tribute to Hindemith with a program featuring two works the composer wrote before his wartime emigration to the U.S. Though influenced by Richard Strauss and Bachian polyphony, both are filled with elegant melodic and formal ideas that are entirely Hindemith's. The Five Pieces (only number four will be performed) were intended for amateur players, yet they're never didactic; Trauermusik ("Mourning Music") was dashed off as a eulogy for King George V of England, but its tone--especially in the viola solo--is serenely noble rather than sentimental. The remainder of the program consists of Beethoven's String Quartet no. 16 and Shostakovich's Concerto no. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, and Strings. Victor Yampolsky, the group's founder and himself a distinguished violinist, conducts. Performers include Boris Berman, the renowned Russian keyboard virtuoso. Wednesday, 7:30 PM, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 1977 South Campus Dr., Evanston; 708-467-4000.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Stuart-Rodgers Ltd..

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