Canal March

Longing for the past: Hindemith and Bach

Miguel Ituarte, harpsichord and piano

Johann Sebastian Bach: "Invention in A major", "Symphony in F major" and "Symphony in D major", from Inventions and Symphonies. Paul Hindemith: "Interlude: allegro pesante" and "Fugue in C", from Ludus Tonalis.

This video reveals some of the extraordinary similarities between Bach and Hindemith. In rhetoric, inventio (“invention”) is the process allowing speakers to find and compose the arguments that are most appropriate to a given situation, a process analogous to that which Bach developed in his Inventions and Sinfonias for the keyboard, works in two- and three-part counterpart originally composed for his students. In his Ludus tonalis from 1942, Paul Hindemith defended Bach’s legacy and his expertise in counterpoint. This great work consists of 12 three-part fugues, beginning with a “Praeludium” and ending with a “Postludium”, separated by 11 interludes. Hindemith’s “longing for the past” led to his use of procedures identical to Bach’s, but with a renewed musical language based on the use of “tonal centres” instead of tonalities. Listening to both of these works interspersed at the harpsichord and at the piano reveals how close they are in spirit, despite being composed two centuries apart.

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