Yale University Library


OHAM: Howard Boatwright on Hindemith


Howard Boatwright

with Caitriona Bolster

Fayetteville, New York

December 16, 1976



Cassette Side a:                                                                                            pp. 1-21

Boatwright's early career--Putnam Aldrich--The Craft of Musical Composition--

early musical training--meeting with Jascha Heifetz--violin instruction--winner

of competition--debut--theory training--teacher at University of Texas--Donald

Grout--familiarity with Hindemith's music--first hearing of Mathis der Maler--

decision to study at Yale with Hindemith--interview with Hindemith in Sprague Hall--Bruce Simonds at Norfolk--student at Yale--Hindemith as teacher--John Cowell-how Hindemith taught composition--first performed piece--Dover Beach--Hindemith's attitude toward students--contrast with Boulanger--Hindemith writing as the speed of improvisation--Hindemith's rewriting of students' compositions--treatment of students in class--David Kraehenbuehl--role of intellect and feeling--problem of composing too easily--technique vs. inspiration--practical aspect--sketching process--Composer's World--Concertino for violin--inventing themes.

Cassette Side b:                                                                                           pp. 21-43

Orchestration--Sibelius--simple media--surface sound--linear comes first--

Hindemith-composer in the German line--text setting--When Lilacs Last in the

Dooryard Bloom'd--Virgil Thomson-rhythm--Elementary Training for Musicians--Walter Piston--Barber--discussion of his own works in class--Stravinsky--Bartók--influence of Stravinsky ballets--relationship to Stravinsky--St. John Passion--Robert Shaw--Collegium Musicum newsletter--viola d'amore--Hindemith singing along--Hindemith's theory--misunderstanding of the relation of his theory to compositional process--change in ideas--disagreements in class--David Kraehenbuehl--Leonard Sarason--criticism of Boatwright's theory book--opinion of Hindemith'-s theory--tonal chromaticism--Wozzeck--Mahler--Bruckner--Strauss and Wagner influence--listening to music in U.S.--concerts and opera--record collection--Bartók--Harvey Stevens--closeness to Hindemith outside of classroom--walks and talks--Boatwright's association as colleague--Hindemith's early attempts at composition--Mendelssohn--Seckles--Hindemith's family.

Cassette Side c:                                                                                            pp. 43-63

Hindemith lecture--luncheon at Cheriani's--circumstances of his birth--Hindemith's father--first violin-- first exercises--brother Rudolf's cello--color-coding of strings--sister Toni--family trio--violin teacher--Hoch's Conservatorium--family pressure to become violin virtuoso--viola--new possibilities of the stringed instrument--admiration for "war horses" of violin literature--rift with Rudolf--death of sister--closeness to his mother--his joy in producing music compared to Mozart--continuous flow of music despite circumstances--sense of humor--"jolly, little man"--energy and good health--melancholy--achievement of certain level of perfection--Hindemith's theory-Helmholtz--farewell party--detachment in last year at Yale--realization his time had passed--bitterness expressed in essay--role of Gertrud as wife-mother--Christmas Eve visit--loss of Hindemith baby and inability to have more--Hindemith as child-husband--non-musical interests--amateur musicologist--relationship between Hindemith and Schrade--performances of old music--impact of Collegium on Boatwright--Helen Boatwright-singer with Collegium--robust quality of Collegium concerts--Hindemith's search for musical roots--gentle sound--the practical musician.

Cassette Side d:                                                                                           pp. 63-85

Use of correct, older instruments--Nicholas Donincourt--influence of Hindemith's performance of old music on musical culture of U.S.--impact of Hindemith students--Lukas Foss--performing under Hindemith--Hindemith's most important legacy-artistic devotion and standard--Hindemith's lack of professional management--initial refusal to join union--later joining of union--conductor of New Haven Symphony Orchestra concert in 1948--interpretation of Bruckner--opinion of conducting--Hindemith as conductor--Collegium as outlet as performing musician--conducting later in life-chance for active music making--quartet playing--motivation for conducting--the war and Nazi boycott--the hurt--not going back to Germany--Hindemith as teacher--religion--religious music--admiration of Catholic Church--rumor of conversion to Catholicism--Gertrud's devotion--German literary figures--Hindemith's intensity and speed--his advice on composition--the Najinsky story--relationship to Quincy Porter--Hindemith's attitude toward American music and culture--against nationalism in music--Richard Donovan--Charles Ives--Aaron Copland.

Cassette Side e:                                                                                            pp. 85-100

Juilliard performance of Apparebit Repentina Dies--Copland's music--Roy Harris--Walter Piston--Samuel Barber--performance of Hindemith's music--Hindemith's view of notation--disagreement over tempo with Boatwright--accents-- Hindemith's turning his back on his music of the '20s--Mathis der Maler--his classical moment--theory written to explain music--Boatwright as editor of Hindemith music--Hindemith's sketches--impact- of Hindemith on Boatwright--Boatwright's motivation for writing theory book--Boatwright's use of Hindemith textbook--Boatwright's study in India--Hindemith's knowledge of Arabian and medieval and Greek music theories--Hindemith's reputation in Europe now--summer concerts in Blonay--performance of Hindemith music in U.S.--origins of Ecole Hindemith--first concert of Ecole Hindemith in Switzerland.

Cassette Side f:                                                                                            pp. 100-109

First concert of Ecole Hindemith in church in Switzerland--spirit of Hindemith there--plan for three concerts a summer--the house in Blonay--help from the Hindemith Foundation--enlargement of program--Hindemith weekend--activities at Ecole Hindemith--performance of Ploner Musiktag--conference topic-Hindemith's place in 20th century music--Boatwright's view of Hindemith's place in 20th century music--Pierre Boulez--sound of Hindemith and Stravinsky--Boatwright's latest work.