Symphony in B flat by Paul Hindemith
The opening movement is ternary in form, the outer sections themselves
containing three ideas. The first is a wide sweeping melody; the second is an extended passage built on a short figure and set exclusively for woodwind, and the third, preceded by a long unison woodwind passage, is
an impressive chorale-like melody announced by the horns and building up in the brass to a triumphant climax.
The short middle section is concerned with a jerky fugato and its
characteristic episodes. As this reaches a new climax the original second subject is announced fortissimo in majestic augmen-
tation and leads directly to the recapitulation in which the first and second subjects are played together. The heavy brass remains silent throughout this section and is reserved for the mighty third theme which returns regularly as before.
The Andantino is largely concerned with a dialogue between the alto saxophone
and cornet on a quiet but oddly cheerful little tune. The scherzo, which is afterwards joined by it in combination, is a rapid, bustling affair given entirely to woodwind and tam- bourine.
The Symphony ends boisterously with a fugue. The fugue works its subject in an
energetic exposition followed by a further exposition in stretto. In due course it collapses into a quieter middle section and a graceful new theme 1s worked out at length. It is beginning to droop when tne fugue
subject returns suddenly in full force to combine with it. When this is in full swing the broad opening theme of the first movement is additionally thundered out by trumpets and trombones, the three themes making
splendid counterpoint. Eventually the two subjects of the fugue drop out and the symphony ends with a tremendous final statement of the melody with which it began.
Norman Del Mar