Hindemith, Paul. (1895–1963)

"In Praise of Music" – Signed Song Sheet

"Song sheet" for In Praise of Music (English version of Frau Musica on a text by Martin Luther; text underlay in English and German) signed by the eminent German-born composer, violist and teacher.  New York: Associated Music Publishers, 1945.  Quarto.  1 p. (verso blank).  PN A.S. 1944380.  Two copyright dates: 1928 (for the original version) and 1945 (for the revised version).  10.5 x 7 inches (26.5 x 17.5 cm).  Horizontal fold; upper edge frayed; else fine. 

The above is inserted in a program booklet of a choral-orchestral concert by the Cathedral Choral Society of Washington, D.C., at Washington Cathedral on December 29, 1947.  The rather long program, which also included Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and the premiere of Douglas Allenbrook's Te Deum, among other works, ended with Hindemith's In Praise of Music, an "Ode for Chorus, Instruments, and the Congregation," under the composer's direction.  


Hindemith originally styled In Praise of Music (known as Frau Musica in German) a "Sing- und Spielmusik für Liebhaber und Musikfreunde" (music to play and sing for amateurs and friends of music).  It asks the audience ("congregation") to join in in the opening and final choruses; for this purpose, the present "song sheet" was required.  Even though musical literary was more widespread in 1947 than it is now, the polyphonic two-part singing of the of "Women's Voices" and "Men's Voices" in the final chorus must have been challenging.  Active participation of the audience was a recurring pedagogical element in Hindemith's music. (23083)


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