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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2014

For Hindemith fans, this…collection of the composer’s complete works featuring a solo piano in combination with various instrumental ensembles will make an excellent addition to your collection, even if you already have some of these works on other recordings. For Hindemith novices and the curious, at Naxos’s bargain prices, this new two-disc set offers much very attractive and enjoyable music in excellent performances, and it may just inspire you to explore more of Hindemith’s output. Recommended. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Ryan Vigil
American Record Guide, March 2014

These are highly worthy works, quite deserving of the thoughtful and refined treatment they are given here.

…the sound is warm and resonant, the recording quality quite high. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Lawrence Schenbeck
PS Tracks, January 2014

…we encounter another landmark release, this from pianist Idil Biret and the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Toshiyuki Shimada conducting…

…this recording…provides us with a panoramic view of Hindemith’s compositional development.

It’s lovely music, engaging in spite of its somehow instant familiarity. © 2013 PS Tracks Read complete review

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, January 2014

Idil Biret, who has dispelled the murmurs of the doubters and is now correctly recognised as a great artist, does sterling service to the memory of Paul Hindemith, as do both orchestra and conductor. This set should be explored by anybody who has not heard these works before. They will be pleasantly surprised by the wealth of enjoyment that is to be had in them. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, January 2014

Idil Biret has a complete edition devoted to her many and masterly recordings and produced under the aegis of Naxos. Here she embarks on a completely new project and does so with great virtuosic skill and sensitivity. She is partnered by the Yale SO under Toshiyuki Shimada’s tutelage.

Hindemith’s piano concertos are here most effectively and affectingly put across.

…justice is done to these works by Biret and her collaborating musicians from Yale. All credit to her and to them for recording such an unexpected genre within the Hindemith catalogue and for making of it something that fascinates… © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Colin Clarke
International Piano, January 2014

The idea of putting all of Hindemith’s works for piano and orchestra together as a concerto set is appealing…Idil Biret seems the perfect choice as soloist. She displays iron finger strength and yet is capable of mesmeric beauty in the slow movements; her Hindemith bows to no one. © 2014 International Piano

Anthony Tommasini
The New York Times, December 2013

Paul Hindemith…wrote several unusual pieces for piano and various orchestral ensembles, including the novel Concert Music for Piano, Brass and Two Harps (1930), “The Four Temperaments” (a 1940 ballet score), Piano Music With Orchestra for Left Hand (1923), and the wild Chamber Music No 2 for Piano, Quartet and Brass. The impressive Turkish pianist Idil Biret plays them all on this fascinating two-disc album, with the Yale Symphony Orchestra. © 2013 The New York Times Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2013

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Review Records of the Year, 2013

I decided it was time to start picking my records of the year for the majority of genres I cover. Here are the three that belong in the Modern Classical category.

Best Modern Classical Album, New Music: Frances White, In the Library of Dreams (Pogus) See review, June 18, 2013.

Best Modern Classical Album, Repertoire:Hindemith, The Complete Piano Concertos, Idil Biret, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Toshiyuki Shimada (Naxos) See review, November 8, 2013.

Best Modern Classical Album, Wild Card: Terje Rypdal, Melodic Warrior (ECM) See review, September 9, 2013. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Richard Haskell
The WholeNote, November 2013

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Paul Hindemith…Naxos has released a double-disc anthology of his works for piano and orchestra in performances by the Turkish-born pianist and frequent Naxos collaborator Idil Biret and the student ensembles of Yale University under the direction of Professor Toshiyuki Shimada.

Perhaps it is time to once again grant this grand old lion his due and acknowledge the power, nobility and impeccable craftsmanship of his music; this anthology would be a good place to start. © 2013 The WholeNote Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2013

All of these works are first-rate Hindemith…A big surprise is the undergraduate Yale Symphony Orchestra under Shimada. They play their parts as if they were born to them, with the needed elan that a Hindemith performance stands or falls upon. Their youthful zeal comes through wonderfully. Clearly they are confirmed Hindemithians!

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is the Piano Music with Orchestra (for Piano Left Hand)…it is something new to me (and no doubt many others), a beautiful work.

Then too all of this is excellent, a righteous melding of the right scores with the right performers. It is a treasure-trove of Hindemith at his best, something someone new to the composer will find an excellent introduction, and the confirmed Hindemithian will greet with no small amount of joy. That’s how I feel. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Michael Johnson
Facts & Arts, November 2013

Nothing excites music lovers more than the discovery of a previously unknown composition by a dead master. Such stories are even better if the score has been unearthed from detritus in some isolated farmhouse almost ready for the torch.

All this actually happened 11 years ago when a marvelous piano concerto by Paul Hindemith was rescued from oblivion.

The concerto, Opus 29, is written for the left hand and is now being resurrected in live performances and new recordings, the latest of which is a captivating CD by one of the grandes dames of the piano, Idil Biret, and the Yale University Orchestra under the direction of Toshiyuki Shimada…

Also in this two-CD collection, “Hindemith: The Complete Piano Concertos”, are Hindemith’s “Concert Music for Piano, Brass and Two Harps”, his “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1945) and his “Chamber Music No. 2 for Piano, Quartet and Brass, Opus 36 No 1 (1924). And finally there is the “Theme With Four Variations (The Four Temperaments) for Piano and Strings (1940). © 2013 Facts & Arts Read complete review

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, November 2013

This collection does present, in one very well-presented package, [Hindemith’s] piano and orchestra repertory. I think each of these works, covering a period in his life from 1923 to 1945, is quite interesting in their own right.

…this is an essential addition for those who want these important works. The performances are superb. Soloist Idil Biret has made the Hindemith repertory a bit of a signature and the Yale Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Shimada is a superb ensemble. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review, November 2013

Four variations, representing the four temperaments…make up Paul Hindemith’s Theme with Four Variations for Piano and Strings…Written as a ballet, the piece gets a rhythmically sure and very well-played performance from pianist Idil Biret and the Yale Symphony Orchestra under Toshiyuki Shimada on a fascinating two-CD Naxos release…Hindemith labeled only one work as a piano concerto, a 1945 piece with a particularly interesting finale that contains five distinct sections…Biret handles the work masterfully…The most famous of these works is Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand. Concert Music for Piano, Brass and Two Harps…is sonically interesting…employing four horns, three trumpets, two trombones and tuba as well as the two harps and piano. This Hindemith compilation gives a multifaceted view of a composer whose popularity has never been much more than modest—and it showcases the skill with which Biret…can handle pieces of the 20th century, giving each its unique character and providing all of them with as much virtuosity as they require. © 2013 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2013

Though appearing under many titles, the present release offers the complete ‘piano concertos’ by Paul Hindemith performed by the Turkish-born pianist, Idil Biret. The earliest work is the Piano Music with Orchestra dating from 1923…Quite a short work in four movements, it comes from that period in Hindemith’s life when he was still following a career as a performing musician. The following year, at the instigation of the conductor, Hermann Scherchen, he wrote the second Kammermusik (Chamber Music) scored for piano and twelve solo instruments. That was to prove a much more characterful piece, its opening movement a happy romp, before a more serious mode invades the second and most extensive movement. We return to the opening’s vivacious brilliance to conclude the score. Six years later the Concert Music for Piano, Brass and Two Harps was commissioned by an American patron of the arts and first performed in Chicago. We have now moved into Hindemith’s version of atonality, the piano set in direct contrast to the brass in the opening movement; complementing one another in the following Lebhaft (Lively); the piano and harps shimmering in the third movement, with a listener-friendly jazzy finale that ends in a feeling of resignation. The Second World War was in the offing when the Theme and Variations (The Four Temperaments) was completed…its five extended movements always pleasing the ear…Forward five years to the Piano Concerto, and an even more audience pleasing score that stylistically takes us two steps forward from Rachmaninov. The student orchestra offer enthusiastic support; Biret obviously enjoys the music, and the sound quality is reliable and well balanced. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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