Paul Hindemith as Director of the Yale Collegium Musicum
During the spring of 1946 posters announcing a concert of 14th and 15th century music for Monday, the 20th of May, appeared at various places on the Yale campus. The program was to be given in Sprague Memorial Hall by the "Students of Advanced Theory" under the directorship of Paul Hindemith with Helen Boatwright as soprano soloist. This was to be the second in a chronological series of annual performances intended to cover the earlier periods of Western music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque. The membership of the performing group was made up of Hindemith's students and a few selected members of the Yale community.
The most obviously remarkable aspect of this concert was the use of authentic historic instruments, most of them loaned by the Metropolitan Museum through Hindemith's friend, the curator, Emmanuel Winternitz. The instrumental ensemble consisted of harp, psaltery, rebec, vielle, lute, cornetto, krummhorn, bass recorder, natural trumpet, two sackbuts, two tromba marinas, organetto, drums, and cymbals. The trumpet and lute were from Yale's Steinert Collection of musical instruments. Hans Memling's painting of 1480, "Christ Surrounded by Angels," which depicts angels playing nine of the instruments listed above, served as a rough model for this orchestra.
Fig. la: Hans Memling, Christ Surrounded by Angels, left section.
Fig. 1b: Hans Memling, Christ Surrounded by Angels, middle section.
Fig. lc: Hans Memling, Christ Surrounded by Angels, right section.
Hindemith himself played the vielle. An imaginative touch was lent by the handsome low cardboard stands, specially made by him, enabling the audience to get a better view of the players with their instruments.
The program displayed an impressive variety of choral works for men's, women's, and mixed voices, interspersed with instrumental pieces and songs for solo voice accompanied by varying instruments. Charming ballades and rondeaus by Dufay, Binchois, and Hayne were sung with superb sense of style and impeccable musicianship by Helen Boatwright. Still vivid in the memory is her rendition of Oswald von Wolkenstein's song, "Froeleich Geschrai, so will wir machen," accompanied by psaltery, cornetto, vielle, trumpet, drums, and cymbals. Her authoritative and spirited delivery of the amusing Middle High German text, done with obvious relish, brought down the house. The audience was rewarded for its enthusiasm by a repeat performance. Closing the program were three instrumental dances in which all the instruments were brought into play for a rousing finale.
Between numbers and during intermission Hindemith's short, stocky figure would mingle amongst his students assembled on stage, helping them with rearranging and preparing for the next piece.
The big work on this program was the Mass, Se la Face ay Pale, by Dufay. Instead of the original Gloria of this Mass, however, the Gloria ad modum tubae by the same composer was substituted using two sackbuts and two tromba marinas. The audience was given a chance to participate in the music making. Sheets of music had been handed out for that purpose. After hearing two different versions by Dufay of the ballade, Se la Face, the audience was invited to join the chorus and instruments in performing the melody of the ballade, which had been supplied with an English text. Then followed the Kyrie of the Mass, which is based on this melody. After the performance of the Gloria the entire audience sang the upper melody of that piece in unison. The freshness and vitality of the canonic melody, just taken by itself, was already enough to invoke an enthusiastic response. Now, without further ado, Hindemith divided the audience into two sections, gave the starting pitch unaided by any instrument, and we sang the melody as a canon joining the performers on stage in a repetition of the entire piece. Later on two canons by Wolkenstein were sung by the audience as well.
Beginning in 1945 with the first of the chronological series of programs these concerts by the Yale Collegium Musicum, as this performing group ultimately became known, had become one of the outstanding annual events at Yale. People who had attended them looked forward with eager anticipation to the program for the following year.
Hindemith resumed his active involvement with early music, which had begun while teaching at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, not long after settling in America. Already in 1941, during his second summer of teaching at Tanglewood, he introduced his students to early music through actual performance. The boundless energy with which he plunged into this activity is clearly reflected in his letter to his friend and publisher, Willi Strecker of Schott's, written shortly afterwards.
"I had a lot of work with my composition class, but more still with a history course, in which my group of about 150 people wended its way singing and playing through the music of the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. It was a very fine effort, never done on this scale before, and it proved a very valuable experience for all concerned. Every Saturday (for six weeks) we had a concert in which all the participating groups performed what they had learnt during the week. The whole program comprised about two hundred pieces, of which most had never before (except at the time they were written) been sung or played. Each of the participants had a full score of all his pieces and, since you are more or less familiar with the process of manufacturing musical material, you can imagine how much preparatory work that meant for me, on top of the school and my own work. Beginning in March we copied and duplicated every note of it here [at Yale], and on the whole thing I spent no more than six hundred dollars. Can't you find me a job with Schott's sons doing something similar?"1
Olin Downes, the music critic of The New York Times, collaborated with Hindemith in presenting these programs of Medieval and Renaissance music at Tanglewood by providing background lectures. The Olin Downes Papers, housed at the University of Georgia, contain a very interesting record of letters and telegrams that passed between composer and critic concerning the planning of the programs. In one of his communications, in which Hindemith lists for Downes the pieces to be performed that particular week, he states, "Since I think the lecture is an important part of the performance, it has to be composed into the program like one of the pieces. Therefore, I hope you won't mind its wandering from one place to another!"2 Characteristically the program in question included a couple of numbers for audience participation.
The cryptic telegrams, short letters, and lists of programs sent to Downes by Hindemith reveal something about his character and personality. This becomes particularly evident when one compares them with the many letters sent to Downes by other well-known composers, conductors, and luminaries of the musical world, including such men as Bloch, Schoenberg, and Sibelius. Many of them were always ready, it seems, to pour out their souls to Mr. Downes, and in some cases a cordial relationship, if not lasting friendship, was formed. There are also touching requests for help and assistance. Occasionally Downes is taken to task for a critical review. Hindemith's communications on the other. hand dealt solely with the task at hand—the programs. They are brief and to the point. He is obviously extremely busy with teaching and rehearsing and does not have time for lengthy letters. "I have to rehearse and arrange things the whole morning." They are characteristically signed "Greetings rather Presto, Your Paul Hindemith," or "Yours PH, Prestissimo."3
The only expression of personal feelings is not about himself but about the music. "Everything is going well and everybody likes to study this beautiful music. I am looking forward to your next lecture," or "today's rehearsal made a good impression and we are looking forward to an even more exciting program than last week." One also would imagine that sending telegrams consisting of practically nothing but titles of chants, organa, and 13th century motets, etc., was a rather new experience for the Western Union operator. (See Fig. 2.)
Though the two men never collaborated again and never developed any close relationship, Downes, upon hearing of Hindemith's decision to leave Yale and settle in Switzerland, wrote him a letter, dated May 22, 1953, in which he pays moving tribute to the composer.
Dear Mr. Hindemith:
I read today of the remarkable Concert by the Collegium Musicum, which you gave last night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and write of this with a double regret. First, that I could not be present myself at this very interesting concert, as evidently it was. And second, that you are leaving America for an indefinite period. . . .
May I say, that although our personal acquaintance was slight, we have touched hands at a few points in the past in the way of musical communication, and I have had occasion to appreciate repeatedly the qualities that I always sensed you possessed, by the very effect which your music had upon me. Quite regardless of what is a matter of personal opinion whether I happened to like everything you composed or did not, which is entirely unimportant, I had the opportunity of discovering another one of those rare beings, namely, a man of incontrovertible honor and sincerity in all his work and his human relations, and an artist of the purest purpose and uncompromising idealism in service to his art. This is one of the [many] farewell communications that you will receive, and please don't feel that it requires any answer at all. But I am moved to write you these few words, because the things that you represent are so valuable to me, and also because they are living realities, whether you are in Yale, or in Zurich, or anywhere else on this planet—or not on this planet. . . . Sincerely yours, Olin Downes4
In 1941 a Yale Collegium Musicum was organized primarily as a reading group for the musicology students of Leo Schrade. Apparently no public performances were then contemplated. However, a program of early 17th century music took place on April 26, 1943 with the School of Music Chorus and the Bach Cantata Club directed by Marshall Bartholomew, Richard Donovan, and Luther Noss. Hindemith played the bassoon and the viola da gamba at that concert. He also had taken charge of preparing an orchestra of old instruments which included several that he, himself, had salvaged from the long neglected Steinert collection and had put back into playing condition.
Around the same time Hindemith was planning a performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo with his students. He had been preparing his own edition in which he attempted to reconstruct as faithfully as possible the original instrumentation and manner of performance in accordance with the instructions in the scores of 1609 and 1615 and what can be surmised about the original performance conditions in Mantua. When I met him for the first time in Chicago in February 1943, he mentioned to me his plans and even showed me a reprint of the original score for the opera, commenting about early Baroque bass lines and the problems of devising adequate realizations.
In a letter written in December of that year to Karl Bauer of Associated Music Publishers he discusses preliminary proof sheets for an eventual publication of his edition and mentions that a performance of the work at Yale might yet materialize.5 However, due to wartime conditions nothing came of this. Not until 1954 did Hindemith direct the first performance of his realization of Orfeo, not at Yale but in Vienna. Subsequent performances under his direction took place in May 1960 at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt a. M. and as late as October 1963 in Rome, two months before his death. [Ed. note: and later October in Perugia as attended by the Editor]
The first Yale Collegium concert with Hindemith as director took place on May 14, 1945. As the first of a chronological series of concerts it was devoted to French music of the 13th and 14th centuries. After an introductory speech by Schrade there followed the organum, Sederunt Principes, by Perotin, several 13th century motets, several plain chant hymns, a motet by Phillippe de Vitry, a composite Mass including the Kyrie and Credo by Machaut, two ballades, a rondeau and a hoquet by that composer, a chace and two instrumental dances. For the monophonic dances on this and the 1946 program Hindemith devised in Howard Boatwright's words "remarkable heterophonic parts with much written-out ornamentation of the line, according to the natural style of the instruments, the whole being punctuated tastefully by delicate percussion instruments (small drums, cymbals, bells)."6
The third concert of the series took place on March 22 and 23, 1947. The program was devoted to music of the latter half of the 15th century. It consisted of a composite Mass drawn from works by Compère, Finck, Obrecht, and Tinctoris, several shorter numbers for men's, women's, and mixed chorus including the delightful "Jolly Rutterkin" by William Cornish, Jr., as well as two songs from the Glogauer Liederbuch, Ockegehem's chanson "Ma bouche rit," and two Spanish songs, all sung by Helen Boatwright, and nine instrumental numbers. The audience participated in singing two canons, and instruments of the period were again very much in evidence. In Sprague Hall on the afternoon preceding the first performance of this program Schrade gave a background lecture about the late 15th century.
One of the participants recorded an amusing incident that took place at one instrumental rehearsal. "We were using an old trombone that had a dragon's head with a loose metal tongue hanging from its mouth. At one point the player moved the instrument suddenly causing an inappropriate clanging sound. Hindemith shouted at him, 'Young man, hold your tongue!'"7
That year Hindemith had made arrangements to sing the various pieces of the Ordinary that were included in the program during a Sunday Mass at St. Thomas More Chapel, which serves the Catholic community at Yale. This gave the Collegium members an opportunity to learn through first-hand experience how this music fit into the actual context for which it was intended. The choir loft of the chapel is located in the rear and the acoustics are very suitable for choral polyphony.
In the fall of 1947 I enrolled in Hindemith's "History of Theory" class. The membership of the Collegium was largely comprised of students in this class. The first semester was devoted to an introductory historical survey of music theory starting with the Greek theorists. During Hindemith's first years at Yale this class was largely restricted to his own theory and composition students. Apparently he made quite heavy demands as they were expected to follow up his lectures with projects involving such things as the study of manuscripts and early editions of treatises owned by Yale's excellent Music Library as well as the transcriptions of lute and organ tablatures into modern notation. By the time of my enrollment the Collegium had become so popular that he began to admit many other students besides his majors. As a result the course became much less demanding and more general in scope.
Hindemith based his lectures on abstracts of all the major treatises, which he had written on cards bound with notebook rings. He had a special knack for imbuing the thoughts and quotations of the ancient and medieval authors with a quality of contemporaneousness. Somehow their preoccupations and concerns acquired an urgency that made them credible and real. However, he always took care to sift the essential from the unessential and to highlight original contributions in favor over eclectic works. He also made extensive use of translations later included in "Source Readings in Music History" by Oliver Strunk, first published in 1950. One of Hindemith's favorite quotations was taken from the writings of St. John Chrysostom. He made a digest of Strunk's excerpt, pulling together the few sentences that seemed most relevant to him as a musician.8 He took special delight in quoting the spirited insults that Medieval and Renaissance theorists of contrary persuasion were wont to hurl at each other in their tracts.
He resorted to practical demonstrations as much as possible through singing as well as by means of the monochord, that indispensable tool of all early theorists. Miss E.G. O'Meara, the former librarian of the Yale School of Music, reports in this connection the following when Hindemith first came to Yale. "There was a monochord here made by Lotta van Buren which had been lying about for years and was coming to pieces. Hindemith took it home, repaired it and provided it with a scale. When he brought it back he had a screw and a screw driver in his pocket and put up a hook so that it could be hung up on the wall. When I thanked him he said, 'No thanks, you do for me, I do for you.'"9 In discussing tracts dealing with methods of improvising early organum or describing fauxbourdon, the class would as a matter of course be called upon to improvise singing some examples in accordance with the rules prescribed. Never, never would Hindemith resort to a mere demonstration at the keyboard, let alone to a recording illustrating the procedure.
Starting with the second semester the regular meeting times for this class were devoted to choral rehearsals for the Collegium concert that was to take place the following spring. The program for this year was to be devoted to the music of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. While Hindemith was in charge of making the final decisions concerning the program his own students were encouraged to make suggestions. A number of them would be assigned to search through various historical publications, collections, Denkmäler, and complete works of composers. For this particular concert no modern performing editions were used. As in previous years Hindemith did the lion's share of copying, editing, and scoring.
The choral portion for this 1948 concert consisted of a composite setting of the Ordinary by various composers, interspersed for the first time by the musical items of the Proper to be sung in plain chant, as well as of Josquin's Miserere and Le Chant des Oiseaux by Jannequin. The rest of the program offered a generous selection of German Lieder including a song involving the audience as well as a medley of French dances.
It just so happened that Hindemith was still looking for one more gamba player. I was told that one of the cellists originally slated to play gamba had intended to play the old instrument like a cello and Hindemith would have none of it. When he asked me to take over I explained that I had never touched a gamba in my life. "Good, this is just a perfect opportunity to learn," he retorted. George Hunter, now the director of the Collegium Musicum at the University of Illinois, gave me a ten minute lesson showing me the system of bowing, tuning, and fingering and then left me with the parts that I needed to practice.
Hindemith had arranged the medley of French dances for an instrumental group approximating what was presumed to have been a typical orchestra maintained by one of the wealthier 16th century European courts. It included a string choir of viole da braccio, viole da gamba, and lute and a group of winds consisting of recorders, shawms, krummhorns, bombard, and cornetto. A regal was also used for some of the Lieder and the cantus firmus of Josquin's Miserere was reinforced by cornetto, krummhorns, and bombard.
The Collegium rehearsals usually took place in one of the classrooms of Sprague Memorial Hall. Hindemith would sit on the front desk with a music stand in front of him. His approach to rehearsing was calm and methodical. He rarely raised his voice. At a first reading of a piece he would usually ask the chorus members to hold down the volume to piano or mezzo piano. Frequently he would exhort them to listen to each other. "If you can't hear all the other parts, you are singing too loud" was a favorite admonition. The first preliminary reading was followed by brief instructions regarding important entrances, what to bring out, where to keep down, where to give more accent, where to avoid it, where to sing legato or non-legato and so forth. Not until a later rehearsal when the singers had the music in their ears did Hindemith let them sing out with full voice where musically appropriate. This approach impressed upon them vividly the distribution of the dynamic and expressive climaxes in the composition being rehearsed. A clear bird's eye view of the basic structural outline of a work began to emerge.
Hindemith felt free to transpose polyphonic pieces that did not fit the typical ranges of a modern mixed chorus, in order to make them practicable for performance. If a part occasionally exceeded its normal range, a few voices from a neighboring part would be asked to help out, usually tenors to strengthen an alto line which went too low or altos to support a tenor line going too high. He also subscribed to the view that in Medieval and Renaissance music the musical dynamics were governed by the contour of the melodic line: ascending motion demanded a slight crescendo, descending motion a slight diminuendo. This principle naturally had to be adapted to the overall requirements of the musical ensemble and interpretation.
With his theoretical knowledge and keen sense of absolute pitch Hindemith was especially adept in handling intonation problems. He would select, when necessary, certain logical orientation points within the tonal structure of a piece, in relation to which the pitch of certain sensitive tones would have to be carefully adjusted. By such means he was able to prevent a flattening or sharpening of the overall pitch-level.
The high quality of the music selected for the 1948 program became apparent to us almost from the very start. Every one of the rehearsed works was memorable in its own way: the virility and dense canonic texture of the Kyrie by Pierre de la Rue; the gentle, deeply felt reverence of the Sanctus from the Mass, Alma Redemptoris Mater by Mouton; the exuberant vitality, brilliant counterpoint, and sheer power of inspiration of Senfl's Gloria from his Missa Paschalis and Isaac's Credo from his Missa de Assumptione; the seraphic echoes that conclude the Agnus Dei of Josquin's Missa l'Homme Armé Sexti Toni, where the canonic entrances occur only one beat apart. To maintain an unencumbered transparency of texture, Hindemith had us sing this whole section very lightly, making the intricate counterpoint seem to float on wings.
The piece by Isaac had been transcribed into modern notation from a manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Brussels by Schrade. In grandeur of conception and in brilliance of execution, this work must surely rank with the greatest Masses of the 15th and 16th centuries. During our first stage rehearsal in Sprague Hall its effect was so overwhelming that some of us were visibly moved. During the break that followed I saw Hindemith pacing back and forth on the stage musing to himself. I sensed that he too, though displaying no outward signs of emotion, had been deeply moved. Needing to express my own feeling, I walked up to him and said, "Ja, mit solch einer Musik lässt's sich leben" (With such music one can cope with life). Hindemith looked up almost startled and silently nodded his agreement. Then softly, as if talking to himself, "Verflucht, dass die Musik dies' verloren hat!" (Damn it, for music to have lost this!).
In the wake of the interest and enthusiasm that had been engendered that year a couple of Collegium members started a weekly bulletin entitled, "Commemoratio Brevis," after the 10th century tonary of that name. It included articles about the pieces to be rehearsed, biographical information on the composers represented, translations of texts, discussions of notation, descriptions of instruments included in the program, announcements concerning rehearsal schedules, allusions to humorous incidents and even some humorous sketches.
The Lieder settings included in the program were organized around four folk songs. For each song several settings were performed. Most of them were done with John Garris, a tenor from the Metropolitan Opera, singing the cantus firmus accompanied by instruments playing the other parts. He proved to be an ideal performer for these pieces. A countryman of Hindemith's, he conversed in Frankfurt dialect establishing an immediate rapport. His rendition, devoid of any operatic mannerisms, caught perfectly the touching simplicity and unsophisticated tenderness of these folk melodies. Interspersed for variety were settings played just by instruments or sung a cappella by a small mixed chorus.
One of the most revealing rehearsals of these Lieder took place one Sunday directly after a performance of the composite Mass at St. Thomas More Chapel. We rehearsed in a classroom and Hindemith sang the cantus firmus melodies as we played our parts to give us an idea of how the pieces sounded. His special affinity for this music became increasingly evident as the rehearsal progressed. After rehearsing a six-part Quodlibet by Senfl, arranged for tenor and five instruments, Hindemith, who rarely waxed rhapsodic, expressed his unreserved admiration for the contrapuntal skill and the "moving beauty" of the piece. We students marveled at the seemingly effortless way in which the composer had combined three different tunes. "Yes, and the three free parts make excellent melodic lines as well; not only that, but remember that these composers did not use a score but wrote out the parts only," Hindemith added. One may, of course, question the historical accuracy of this statement by assuming that the composers of the 15th and early 16th centuries very likely made makeshift scores, at least of intricate polyphonic pieces, on wax tablets, slates or some other material. To Hindemith, most likely, this plausible assumption would not necessarily have undermined the basic validity of his statement. Save for various preliminary sketches to serve him as a rough guideline, not only did he compose his own music largely in his head before writing it down, but on several occasions when he was pressed for time he wrote pieces of chamber music directly in the parts without bothering to make a score beforehand.
Of the six performed versions of Ich stund an einem Morgen a four-part setting by Senfl was played entirely by instruments. Collegium member Robert Gottlieb played the ornate obbligato-like alto line so splendidly on the viola da braccio that Hindemith pointed to him with a gesture of acknowledgment exclaiming, "Just like old Senfl himself." After we finished playing that composer's setting of Entlaubet ist der Walde, Hindemith characterized its subdued wistfulness as "wehmütig," an expressive word especially dear to Germans and one which they, therefore, presume to be untranslatable. When we came to Senfl's setting of Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal, Hindemith sang the cantus firmus with special pleasure, as if he were reminiscing about the good old days with a dear old friend whom he had not seen in a while. This is, of course, the cantus firmus melody for the first movement of his magnificent Schwanendreher concerto for viola and small orchestra. Yet during the rehearsal he never mentioned his own composition.
The 1948 program was given twice in Sprague Hall and then repeated in the Armor Hall of the Metropolitan Museum. The first half was devoted to the composite Mass. The Gregorian melodies for the Proper, taken from the Mass for Whitsunday, were sung by a small select group of men students. Hindemith's manner of conducting plain chant was quite free. He would step forward towards the singers, who would then form a half circle very close to him. Beating time or even bare hints of metrical patterns were studiously avoided. Rather, singing along as a member of a tightly-knit group, he would suggest the rhythmic shape of the music, its ebb and flow, with small gestures more apparent to the participants than the audience. With all due respect for the devoted labors and scholarship of the monks of Solesmes, he did not subscribe to their rhythmic interpretation of the chant, regarding even the flowing alternation of duple and triple units as too rigid and doctrinaire. He firmly believed that metrical incommensurability was the cardinal musical principle underlying the rhythm of the more elaborate Gregorian melodies.
Hindemith made it a point of having his theory and composition students learn to sightsing the chant from the plain-song notation even apart from any preparation for the Collegium concerts. He would assign one student to be prepared to lead a particular Gregorian mass during the next class, advising him that the rubrics and the instructions for interpreting the notation were to be found in the Liber Usualis. The last class day before Christmas he made it a custom to spend one of his morning classes singing the Gregorian Mass for Christmas Day with his students. However, he did not have the slightest intention of foisting on them a creed (I heard him once say to a Jewish student in this connection, "I am not a Catholic myself") only to acquaint them with a specially edifying and uplifting form of communal music making.
The extraordinary esprit de corps between Hindemith and the 1948 Collegium members was celebrated with a farewell Collegium dinner party on the occasion of which the Commemoratio Brevis issued the following letter from Hindemith to the members:
Dear Friends, Our three concerts have been musical events of a high rank. I received many flattering comments, both here and in New York. Our listeners—among them the most expert judges!—praised the quality of our singing, the musical approach evident in our production, the originality of the program, and the fact that original instruments of the sixteenth century could be heard. Although we have reason to be proud of our achievements, I feel that there is one factor of greater importance: we ought to be grateful for all the experience the last four months of choral work have gained for us. Already in our very first rehearsals we felt the creative power of two great composers, Senfl and Isaac, who had been nothing but mere names. We tapped an almost forgotten source of splendid contrapuntal artistry and moving beauty: the lieder, so magnificently sung by Mr. Garris. We tamed the obstinate old instruments. We learned to sing Gregorian Chant—and sing it well! We experienced how religious music of that time could be a part of the divine service. We participated in the performance of orchestras that would have been the pride of Emperor Maximilian or King Francis. And finally we were able to show what a group of devout musicians can achieve if they have the right spirit. This is more than all the wisdom that the mere reading of books and the listening to records can give.
I want to thank you for this interesting and rewarding experience, and I am profoundly satisfied that it was our privilege to celebrate with great devotion a beautiful service in the sanctuary of music.
Your fellow Collegiumster—Paul Hindemith10
To add a touch of humor he sketched a quaint looking bird on each side of his signature, one singing 8th notes and the other looking on amused and designated with the word "frech" (impudent).
The next Collegium concert was not given until the spring of 1951. Hindemith was on a sabbatical in Europe from October 1948 to March 1949 and the following year he was on a leave of absence from Yale to give a series of lectures at Harvard University under the auspices of the Charles Elliot Norton professorship. While at Harvard, however, he did not content himself with lecturing; and in March of 1950 he directed a concert of medieval music from Perotin to Dufay. Included in that program were two pieces from Willi Apel's collection, French Secular Music of the Late Fourteenth Century, published that very year by the Mediaeval Academy of America. Hindemith's brief foreword to this collection reveals not only his personal enthusiasm for its musical contents but also his fundamentally non-antiquarian orientation towards early music. For him these late medieval pieces, with their intricate rhythms couched in arcane notational symbols, were not an esoteric musical repertory of interest only to scholars and specialists. He regarded them rather as a "precious gift" from which the creative musician of today can derive much stimulation and enlightenment.
The modern musician's problems, of which there are so many, will lose some of their puzzling oppression if compared with those of our early predecessors, as they appear in this volume. It is rewarding to see those masters struggle successfully with technical devices similar to those that we have to reconquer after periods in which the appreciation of quantity, exaggeration, and search for originality in sound was the most important drive in the composer's mind.11
Hindemith pays no attention to the stereotyped labels which musicologists have hung on this music to render its countenance only more forbidding. Instead he evaluates it solely on the basis of his practical experience with performing it. "To the performers the immediate contingence with this music will open up new horizons." Far from regarding its composers as mannered or decadent, he hears them addressing their audience and satisfying their performers in an "unselfish and uninhibited way." He perceives in their works an "admirable balance of a composition's technical effort and its sensual appeal."12
The program for the Yale Collegium concert in May, 1951, featured music of the later 16th century. Its general format was based on that of the 1948 concert. The first half was devoted again to a composite setting of the Ordinary, selected from works by Byrd, De Monte, Palestrina, Andrea Gabrieli, and Jacob Handl. The Gregorian Propers were taken from the Mass for the Feast of Holy Trinity. The Agnus Dei by Handl and the Sanctus by A. Gabrieli called for two and three antiphonal choirs respectively. Chorus I remained on stage, Choruses II and III were located in the front left and right balconies of Sprague Hall. For the instrumentalists who supported the singers of the second and third chorus Hindemith made special cardboard stands which could be fastened to the railings.
The second portion of the program opened with Jacob Handl's motet, Mirabile Mysterium, followed by a Gesualdo madrigal, two fantasies for consort of viols by Byrd, two madrigals from di Lasso's Lagrime di San Pietro, a chanson by LeJeune, and a humorous German song by di Lasso. Two battaglias by Andrea Gabrieli, one instrumental, the other for voices with instruments, concluded the concert. As a quasi-obbligato to the second battaglia, Hindemith composed just a couple of days before the concert a special canon provided with suitable doggerel in English, to be sung by the audience simultaneously with the battaglia. For the copies of this canon, reproduced from his own hand, he also made a special cover drawing showing the title of the piece and an illustration of a Renaissance battle scene. (See Fig. 3.)
This program was repeated at the Cloisters in New York. In view of the large attendance that was expected there the concert was to be given in the courtyard, weather permitting. It turned out to be a very sultry day and the performance began under ominous skies. We sang the Mass with all the conviction we could muster to hold in check the forces of nature. The singing of the Credo by Palestrina was interrupted rather unceremoniously at the "Incarnatus est" by a violent cloudburst. Carrying stands, instruments and music we took precipitous flight with performers and audience crowded into the passage ways and between the colonnades of the cloister. The concert continued undeterred by the accompaniment of a steady downpour.
As to Hindemith's interpretation of the music for this program several notable points come to mind. In "Ah quanti gia felici in giovinezza" from di Lasso's Lagrime the deliberately vague tonality, with its center of gravity subtly hovering between the harmonic-tonal pillars of tonic, dominant, and subdominant triads, imparts to the world-weary rhetoric of the text an aura of haunting unearthliness. Hindemith's interpretation reflected his insight into this expressive quality as, for example, his delicate handling of the concluding "e stai piu che non voglio" with which the music fades away. In Handl's Mirabile Mysterium Hindemith asked the chorus to dramatize the precipitous downward skips on the words, "Deus homo factus est," with a deliberate portamento:
His wife, Gertrud, who was a faithful participant in all the Collegium concerts, objected. She was embarrassed by this departure from a purist approach, considering it to be in bad taste. A brief argument ensued, carried on in German between husband and wife, with Paul insisting on his way. Di Lasso's Im Lant zu Wirtemberg was rendered with utmost vigor and Hindemith saw to it that we made the most of the bouncy, metrically irregular imitations on the words, "Der suff sich voll" (He got drunk).
While Collegium rehearsals were usually quite harmonious, frayed nerves from the hectic class and rehearsal schedules would sometimes show as the concerts drew near. Hindemith would then occasionally lose his patience if he detected signs of lethargy or complacency. However, I can recall only one incident of a serious misunderstanding. Out of genuine interest as much as a desire to avoid schedule conflicts several students asked him whether there were any plans to perform the composite Mass at St. Thomas More Chapel that year. Hindemith, evidently disappointed by what he felt to be a lack of appreciation on the part of the priest, had decided against it. Suddenly at a Tuesday morning rehearsal he mentioned to the chorus that he had decided in favor of singing the Mass at St. Thomas More after all, if the members of the chorus were still in favor of the idea. He asked for a show of hands to see who could not sing for the service the following Sunday. A sizeable minority raised their hands. Visibly offended he quietly muttered, "In that case I'll have to call it off, since there are too many of you unwilling to make any sacrifice for the sake of music." Perhaps he was embarrassed because someone, possibly his wife, who was a devout Catholic, might have pleaded with him to continue the custom of singing at St. Thomas More. Some students on the other hand were annoyed by what they felt was a sudden, unfair, and arbitrary demand. Everyone felt the tension during the rest of the rehearsal. The late George Lam,13 one of Hindemith's most loyal followers at Yale, acted as peacemaker. On his own initiative he called a special meeting of the chorus, insisting that something would have to be done to end the misunderstanding. He prevailed upon the better natures of all of us to sign a petition addressed to Hindemith, expressing disappointment and regret if the planned performance at St. Thomas More were cancelled, and assuring him of our loyal and undivided support.
In the fall of 1951 Hindemith began his appointment at the University of Zürich. The plan was that he was to teach at Yale and Zürich in alternate years. The following Collegium concert, therefore, took place in the spring of 1953. It was to be Hindemith's farewell concert as he had decided to take up permanent residence in Switzerland. Its program, while incorporating works from the early 17th century as an expected continuation of the chronological series, also contained a retrospective note with Perotin's Organum, Alleluia Nativitas, the Kyrie from Dufay's Missa Ave Regina Caelorum and several songs from the Glogauer Liederbuch with Helen Boatwright as soloist. In planning the program several students suggested to Hindemith that he include some of his own music but he was not interested in the idea. Instead he asked, "Isn't it about time that we do some Bach?", then added with a boyish grin, "We'll show 'em how his music should be done." Chosen for this purpose was the motet for double chorus, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied. The rest of the program included madrigals by Weelkes and Gesualdo, Monteverdi's Sestina: Lagrimè d'amate al sepolcro dell'amata, a contrapunto for two lutes by Vincenzo Galilei, and four works, two vocal and two instrumental, from the Sacrae Symphoniae by Giovanni Gabrieli, including the Nunc dimittis and Virtute magna. The Gabrieli pieces were edited and scored by Hindemith from microfilm copies of a set of part books in Vienna.
This concert featured an abundance of memorable music and music making. There was Weelkes' madrigal, O Care Thou Wilt Despatch Me, with its poignant harmonic progressions, its smile through tears mood achieved by an almost Schubertian mixture of major and minor. Hindemith's sensitivity to the music's expressive subtlety was reflected among other things in his treatment of the fa la la refrains, which avoided the stereotyped lightheartedness normally so appropriate. Rather his approach was one of delicately subdued gaiety, which conveyed more a sense of wistfulness than of genuine mirth. There was Weelkes' Sparrow-Hawk Proud with its exuberant rendering of the hawk's reply. The two instrumental pieces by Gabrieli for two and three choirs of instruments respectively were colorfully scored for lutes, viole da braccio and da gamba including a great bass, as well as for a varied assortment of winds. The fervor and conviction with which the Virtute magna for three antiphonal choirs was sung and the enormous rhythmic vitality with which its overlapping dotted figures were put into relief was unforgettable. In Monteverdi's profoundly moving Sestina, it seemed that Hindemith strove, as if he had written the piece himself, to faithfully mirror from first note to last the overwhelming veracity of expression achieved by his colleague of over three centuries ago.
Hindemith's interpretation of the Bach motet was noteworthy in several respects. He transposed the piece down a whole step. His tempi were very brisk, especially for the vocally demanding opening section with its extended runs on the word "Reigen." The result was electrifying, a kind of Brandenburg Concerto for voices. In spite of the energy, vitality, and sheer exuberance of the performance and the somewhat unwieldy size of the chorus of 70 singers, the principal strands of the dense contrapuntal fabric, especially the entrances of the fugue subject, always emerged with exceptional clarity. There was never the slightest trace of heaviness. Indeed, this rendition imparted to the entire piece a kind of dance-like buoyancy rarely heard in other interpretations of Bach's choral works. During the antiphonal dialogue between the second chorus, which sings the successive phrases of the chorale verse expounding on the transitoriness of human life and God's everlasting mercy, and the first chorus, which interjects aria-like petitions and affirmations of the need for divine guidance, the contrast between the light and buoyant treatment of the interjections and the chorale, sung molto sostenuto, brought out tellingly the interaction of meaning between their underlying texts. During the final twenty-four bars of the concluding fugue, "Alles was Odem hat Lobe den Herren," Hindemith took the liberty of gradually slowing down the tempo, applying the brakes in successive stages. The quality of this music and the sentiments of its text were ideally suited to make it a fitting conclusion not only to this particular program but indeed to the entire series of Collegium concerts.
The most eloquent testimonial from a listener's point of view to the spirit and calibre of the music making that animated these concerts was probably given by Jay S. Harrison of The New York Herald Tribune in his review of the performance given at the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum on May 18, 1953.
The appearance of Paul Hindemith, conducting the Yale Collegium Musicum last night in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provided a radiant crown for the music season passed and faded. It was not, however, an occasion untouched by sorrow, for it heralded the end of Mr. Hindemith's tenure as Battell Professor of the Theory of Music at Yale, and his imminent departure for foreign lands. . . . Such glories as Mr. Hindemith has recently brought us, we can ill afford to lose.
Last night, for example, Mr. Hindemith conducted the most exquisite "old music" program to have graced this town in many a year. It was, moreover, impeccably performed. Soloists, chorus, instrumentalists—all who touched music made music. Not a phrase was mislaid nor a color blurred. It was eloquent, elegant, passionate rendering. It was serious, devout. And it served to remind us of an ideal in performance that is easily forgot in this day of last minute preparation and resultant mediocrity.
After a glowing description of some of the pieces heard that evening, the reviewer concludes that the entire program was performed with
fervor, power and directness. And it was conducted by a man to whom these elements are second nature. Indeed his program of the evening has left us with the season's brightest treasure.
With Hindemith's departure from Yale the Collegium as it had existed under his direction came to an end. However, on February 19, 1960, Hindemith, who was then on a concert tour of the U.S., was the guest conductor of a special Collegium concert given in Sprague Hall. The first half of the program was again devoted to early music with Buxtehude's chorale cantata, Herzlich Lieb hab ich dich, O Herr, and selections from Giovanni Gabrieli's Symphoniae Sacrae of 1597, edited and scored by Hindemith, including the Magnificat, for three choirs with instruments, the Canzon septimi et octavi toni, and the Omnes gentes, plaudite for four choirs with instruments. The second half of the program moved for the first time into the 20th century starting with six madrigals from a set of twelve for five-part chorus, composed by Hindemith in 1958 to texts by Josef Weinheber, and concluding with Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. Hindemith's program notes to his madrigals reveal the spirit and intent of these pieces and the profound impact of his practical experience with early music on his musical outlook. Beginning with the observation that "true madrigals have not been written since the decline of Italian madrigal art and its somewhat later English reflowering in the seventeenth century," the composer concludes,
since our harmonic, melodic and other expressive means are no longer the same for a cappella singing as they were then—the attempt at a new art of madrigal cannot content itself with a mere imitation of the earlier style. Yet, we must seek to recapture with the utmost dedication the spirit, dignity, and selfless bearing of this art in its relation to singer and listener.14
In the intervening years since his departure from Yale Hindemith had given up teaching in favor of his new career as conductor. Although for practical financial as well as personal reasons he had chosen Switzerland as his base of operations he had no intention of renouncing his American citizenship or his allegiance to this country. He seems to have envisaged his conducting as the means for maintaining his ties with America. He was bitterly disappointed when the offers to conduct over here amounted to barely a trickle. Moreover, his larger operatic and symphonic works were, barring a couple of exceptions, hardly ever performed in the U.S. His concerts abroad were being totally ignored by our cultural and diplomatic representatives. In view of the great services he had rendered his newly adopted country, these indications of indifference and neglect hurt him deeply. To understand his and Gertrud's extreme vulnerability in this regard one need only cite his Lilacs Requiem, probably the most profound and moving tribute ever paid to our nation by a creative artist of foreign birth.
This feeling of rejection by his American colleagues and compatriots also clouded Hindemith's relations with Yale. One of the participants at the 1960 concert related an incident which hints at this strained relationship. When the instrumentalists first began to rehearse their part of the program, they were solemnly forewarned that they had better be on their toes, since Hindemith was extremely touchy and had a mean temper. When he appeared for the final rehearsals with the instrumentalists they were all filled with apprehension. To everyone's surprise and amazement he was gentle as a lamb, seemed visibly pleased with the preparation, and did just a little touching up in regard to musical ensemble and interpretation.
Though the invitation to return to Yale to conduct a Collegium program had been late in coming, the clouds were dispelled by the successful concert. Paul and Gertrud's ruffled feelings were mollified by the warmth with which Yale had welcomed them back. In grateful acknowledgment Gertrud wrote to Luther and Osea Noss,15 "We had a glorious week in every respect—humanly, musically, spiritually, emotionally—and it was good to be back."16 True to one of Paul's most cherished ideals, a reconciliation had been achieved through music.
The weeks immediately preceding the Collegium concerts were always marked by a highly intensive schedule of final rehearsals. Thus all the performances were of uniformly high calibre, displaying the most thorough preparation and the most sensitive musicianship. However, as a choral conductor Hindemith was totally indifferent to any special techniques for improving tone quality, vocal blend, diction, breath control, and so forth. He never resorted to warm-ups, or other vocal and breathing exercises of any sort. Instead he could rely on a group of exceptionally intelligent participants who were able to respond quickly to his musical intentions. However, since his collegium members were not selected on the basis of their voice quality their vocal capabilities varied a great deal. They could hardly be expected to match the polished tone quality of a top-ranking professional chorus.
What then made these concerts such memorable and even overwhelming musical experiences for many of the participants and listeners? In part, perhaps, the attempt to perform the music as authentically as possible. After all, this was probably the first time that authentic instrumental ensembles of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries had ever been assembled in this country. It should not be forgotten that this provided a considerable impetus to the subsequent founding of collegia musica at other universities and music schools and to the growing general interest in performing early music. As Howard Boatwright put it to Geoffrey Skelton,
The Collegium Musicum concerts turned out to be more or less a fountainhead for the performance of old music in the United States. I don't know anyone who actually copies Hindemith's methods of performing the music, but the love for it, and a knowledge of the sources, and the sense of excitement one could get from the music—that certainly derived directly from Hindemith. The leading groups in the United States today nearly all contained at the start one or more people who were in the Collegium Musicum.17
Today the swelling ranks of students and experts in early performance practice, who gather at the mushrooming early music workshops, and sophisticated listeners accustomed to recordings of polished performances on authentic early instruments of all sorts might have found the pioneering attempts of the Yale Collegium a bit awkward and primitive in some respects. Except for recorders, good modern reproductions of old wind instruments were then not yet available. The specimens from the Metropolitan Museum were hardly in a pristine state. Much time had to be spent, therefore, on putting them in decent playing condition, finding suitable reeds, and learning to readjust embouchures. Boatwright in his article already quoted reports that the adjustment of the bridges on the two tromba marinas used for the Dufay Gloria ad modum tubae in the 1946 concert was particularly time-consuming. "The weight of the string over the bridge had to be adjusted so that one foot of the bridge was loose enough to vibrate against the soundboard, giving a snare effect. Time consuming though it was, Hindemith greatly enjoyed solving such problems."18 He also insisted that the string instruments be played in a manner appropriate to the style of the music. The sharp accented attacks so typical of modern bow articulation were to be avoided. However, while asking his players to refrain from the intense modern vibrato, he did not demand the total elimination of vibrato advocated by some misguided purists.
In contrast to his efforts at reviving the authentic instrumental sound, he made no attempt to have his singers recreate the presumed style of vocal tone production in earlier times, nor did he have any counter-tenors or male alto voices available to him. His Collegium, after all, did not purport to be a group of professional experts specializing solely in historically accurate performances of early music. Hindemith's aim rather was to get all of his students actively involved in this music as a vital part of their general musical education. To him the authentic performance of early music was not an end per se, but only a means to an end, namely to broaden the horizon of contemporary musicians by loosening the stranglehold of a musical outlook evolved from the musical styles and performance practices of the late 19th century. But he also saw the futility of replacing one outdated musical esthetic with one equally narrow and one-sided. In fact, he seems to have abhorred musical overspecialization of any sort.
In preparing the Collegium concerts he felt compelled, therefore, to strike a reasonable balance between a faithful recreation of early performance practices and his larger pedagogical aims. He certainly realized that the polyphonic sections of a Perotin organum were intended for soloists rather than several voices on each part, or that the masses, motets, and madrigals of the 15th and 16th centuries should be sung by small groups rather than by a chorus of 50 to 70 voices. He did, in fact, reduce his forces by half or more for the Weelkes and Gesualdo madrigals as well as for portions of Monteverdi's Sestina. He was well aware of the concept of the tactus but refused to be hidebound by a mechanically unvarying pulse. He also detested habitual metrical accentuations of the main beats. In spite of purists' objections he did not hesitate to make judicious use of expressive pauses, accelerandos, ritards, and subtler changes of tempos and even crescendos and diminuendos, in order to boldly articulate the phrase structure and larger divisions of the works he was conducting. For he saw in them living embodiments of grand designs whose original inspiring vision he sought to recapture as vividly as possible. This may account for the peculiar creative glow that radiated from these performances. Hindemith had an uncanny ability to grasp the form of any piece, not just its structural components and their syntactical relations, but also the kinetic character of its flow viewed as a totality. Whether teaching compositional technique or rehearsing a new work, he always addressed himself to the question, what do the constituent parts of a particular piece really do? What is the total dynamic effect of their interaction?
And so he lovingly designed each Collegium program as if it were a composition. Unlike many programs of early music they all had a clear focus. One never got the impression from them of just a random collection of many pieces, amusing for the performers but boring to the audience. In their unity and variety they somehow conjured up for listeners and participants a veritable panorama of a whole musical and cultural epoch. This was all the more remarkable since, as already mentioned, Hindemith had little sympathy for any kind of musical antiquarianism. Indeed the whole tenor of these programs was radically opposed to any form of preciousness or snob appeal.
On the contrary it was the low-brow streak in Hindemith's nature which partially explains his affinity for early music. Coming from a humble background, during his boy- and early manhood he performed extensively in Kaffeehouses, cinemas, resorts, military bands, and so forth. The evidence seems to indicate that he did this not only with gusto but also wrote suitable music for such settings. On the other hand he never seemed to feel totally at ease in the stiff and somewhat artificial atmosphere of a high-brow concert. There was something minstrel-like in the characteristically casual pose which he assumed when playing not only the vielle, but also the violin and viola. He felt, therefore, understandably drawn to the early dances, which demand a down-to-earth and improvisatory approach, and to the informal spirit of so much early music. But he was more than just a mere M u s i k a n t. On a profounder level what drew him to this music was a certain nobleness, particularly evident in, but by no means confined to, the sacred repertoire. It was this very quality which he strove with growing maturity to achieve in his own work, as is attested by his foreword to the second version of his song cycle, Marienleben, published in 1948, and can be perceived by any sensitive listener and performer attuned to his music.
The predominant impression conveyed by the Collegium concerts was that of a cooperative musical community welded together by a mutual devotion to music. This communal spirit bore witness to a musical ethos more in harmony with the music making of earlier times than with our modern professional concert life or present day forms of musical entertainment. The Collegium programs along with Hindemith's teaching and creative work can then be seen as a vital part of his life-long effort to bring about a re-awakening of that musical ethos in our own day. Each concert was really a reflection on what Hindemith himself once referred to as "the old, nay eternal verities of music making."19 It was the loss of faith in these verities, their betrayal, rather than the disappearance of the musical styles and idioms of olden times which he deplored. He had no desire to turn back the musical clock. But what the Collegium meant to him personally can perhaps be summarized best by his farewell letter to its members, included in the final issue of the Commemoratio Brevis, dated May 13, 1953.
Singers and Players of the Collegium, the period of our productive collaboration is reaching its end. We should be grateful for having been permitted to be a part of a musical community whose purpose it was to work not for artistical or financial success, or for the glory of performers, composers, and conductors, but only ad maiorem musicae gloriam. The true test of our efforts we have yet to stand: the concert on Thursday and its repetition in New York. Let us be good! Let us convey upon our listeners a touch of the stimulating spirit of music which even during the time of strenuous and confusing rehearsals appeared to us in the realization of the masters' great compositions. And, after we have done our present duty, let us, in humble devotion before the grandeur of musical creation, preserve the belief in this stimulating spirit throughout the course of our musical lives. Thank you for your help! Paul Hindemith20
On November 7th and 8th, 1964, a two-day commemoration celebration in homage to the recently deceased composer was held at Yale. Participating in the two days of ceremonies were many former members of the Yale Collegium Musicum. On the first day, an afternoon assembly to discuss plans for the Paul Hindemith collection at Yale was followed by a brief program presented by Helen Boatwright and five instrumentalists. The music performed was selected from the 1946, 1947 and 1953 Collegium programs and included five pieces from the Glogauer Liederbuch and compositions by Obrecht, Ockeghem and Binchois. A memorial High Mass was celebrated at St. Thomas More Chapel the following morning. The music for the Ordinary sung on that occasion was composed by Hindemith himself shortly before his death and premiered at his last public appearance, which took place at a liturgical Evening-Mass in the Piaristenkirche in Vienna the year before. Hearing it in this setting, fraught with so many memories, it impressed one as a final musical testament in which a heritage becomes an obligation.
1Geoffrey Skelton, Paul Hindemith—The Man Behind the Music (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1975), pp. 202-203.
2Olin Downes collection, The University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
5This letter is contained in the Paul Hindemith collection at Yale.
6Howard Boatwright, "Hindemith's Performance of Old Music," in Hindemith-Jahrbuch 1973/III (B. Schott's Söhne, Mainz), p. 53.
7This reminiscence is contained in the Hindemith collection at Yale.
8Even though the meaning of the words be unknown to you, teach your mouth to utter them meanwhile. For the tongue is made holy by the words when they are uttered with a ready and eager mind. . . . Nor will anyone, in such singing, be blamed if he be weakened by old age, or young, or have a harsh voice, or no knowledge at all of numbers. What is here sought for is a sober mind, an awakened intelligence, a contrite heart, sound reason, and clear conscience. If having these you have entered into God's sacred choir, you may stand beside David himself.
Here there is no need for the cithara, or for stretched strings, or for the plectrum, or for art, or for any instrument; but, if you like, you may yourself become a cithara, mortifying the members of the flesh and making a full harmony of mind and body. . . .
Here there is no need for art which is slowly perfected; there is need only for lofty purpose, and we become skilled in a brief decisive moment. Here there is no need for place or for season; in all places and at all seasons you may sing with the mind. . . . One may also sing without voice, the mind resounding inwardly. For we sing, not to men, but to God, who can hear our hearts and enter into the silences of our minds. . . .
Hindemith referred to this digest as one of the most beautiful statements ever made about music. See Oliver Strunk, Source Readings in Music History (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1950), pp. 69-70.
9This reminiscence is contained in the Paul Hindemith collection at Yale.
11Willi Apel, French Secular Music of the Late Fourteenth Century (Cambridge, Mass.: Mediaeval Academy of America), p. vii.
12Ibid. p. vii.
13A researcher in the Horace Walpole collection at Yale.
14See the program for the February 19, 1960 concert in the Hindemith collection at Yale.
15Luther Noss was Dean of the Yale School of Music at the time and is presently Curator of the Paul Hindemith collection at Yale.
16Skelton, Paul Hindemith, p. 282.
17Ibid., p. 208.
18Boatwright, "Hindemith's Performance of Old Music," p. 53.
19". . . die alten, ja ewigen Satzungen des Musikmachens." See Hindemith's preface to the German edition of his book A Composer's World, entitled "Komponist in seiner Welt" (Zürich: Atlantis Verlag, 1959), p. 13.
20In the Hindemith collection at Yale.
Eckhart Richter received his Bachelor and Master of Music degree at the Yale University School of Music and his Doctorate of Music at the Florida State University School of Music . His principal cello teacher, Luigi Silva introduced him to early cello music and his principal theory and composition teacher was Paul Hindemith. Five of his articles on this composer have been published in the Hindemith Jahrbuch and his article, "Paul Hindemith as Director of the Yale Collegium Musicum" in the Spring 1978 issue of College Music SYMPOSIUM. A former member of the Houston and National Symphony Orchestra, he has appeared as soloist and chamber music player on the U.S. Public Broadcasting and Educational Televisions Network and toured throughout the United States and Europe. For eleven summers he was a cello teacher, chamber music coach and Associate Musical Director at the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. He was on the music faculty of Converse College School of Music, Missisiippi State College for Women, the University of Georgia, Emory University where he directed the Emory Consort, and Georgia State University from where he retired in 1995. He has also been a member of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra and is still a member of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus since 1988.