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"Geschwindmarsch": Beethoven & Hindemith

August 7, 2010

Beethoven's Geschwindmarsch and Hindemith's paraphrase of the same piece were featured last year as part of an UMWO program. Hindemith's paraphrase was part of a larger piece known as his Symphonia Serena, and both are well-known pieces that have become part of the standard wind repertoire. Program notes and audio links for both pieces are below.


Ludwig van Beethoven, Geschwindmarsch (Two Marches for Military Band - No 1, March in F Major, WoO 18

 

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote the Geschwindmarsch in its original form in 1809 for the Archduke Anton. Later that year Beethoven altered the title to March of the Bohemian Militia. The composer rescored the march in 1810, and two years later added a trio and entitled the work Tattoo No. 1. The work eventually became popular under the title of York March, or Yorkscher March.

 

Paul Hindemith: Symphonia Seria, Mvt. 2, Paraphrase of Beethoven's Geschwindmarsch

Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

 

Paul Hindemith composed his Symphonia Serena in 1946. The four-movement symphonic work was written for Antal Dorati and the Dallas Symphony. The second movement of the piece is entitled Geschwindmarsch, and is written solely for orchestra wind section (an idea that was re-invented by Vaughan-Williams in the scherzo of his 8th Symphony.) For his Geschwindmarsch, Hindemith paraphrases Beethoven’s Geschwindmarsch of 1809, and the themes of Beethoven’s Tattoo can be heard throughout the piece. Geschwindmarsch exploits the sonorities of wind instruments and their various groupings in an ingenious fashion — an identifiable trait in much of Hindemith’s music.

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