classical music ROBERT MAYCOCK
Friday 13 January 1995
You can probably blame the mafiosi of the Stravinsky and Schoenberg camps for bad-mouthing a rival. Like those other Aunt Sallies of mid-century music, Martinu and Milhaud, Hindemith's (below) reputation for turning out machine-made music by the yard always seems wrong for the piece you've just heard. And like them too, from this end of the century he looks to be sitting bang in the middle of the mainstream after all. All of which sets up these concerts' unknown quantities very nicely.
Most intriguing of them are the three short operas that figure in each of the evening sessions from one of the BBC orchestras. Subjects - since you mention not being boring - are murder, castration and the sexual undercurrents of life in a nunnery. Sharing the concerts are some of the best orchestral works: music you are more likely to have come across on disc, such as Nobilissima Visione and the Violin and Cello Concertos as well as the favourite Weber Metamorphoses. Earlier events include smaller-scal e concerts, dipping into the Kammermusik and other series, including choral music at lunchtime on Friday. Students play sonatas, community groups present the fruits of the BBC Symphony Orchestra's current education programmes, and Radio 3 - which carries all the main concerts - will add a few events of its own to the Composer of the Week series which has been running throughout this week. Sounds more like Hindemith the Irresistible.
Sat 7.30pm, Sun 5pm & 8pm, Barbican Hall,EC2 (071-638 8891)
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