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Video of the Day 
Paul Hindemith, Symphony “Mathis Der Maler,” 1st Movement

time: 9:01 / 71 words

The Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, conducted by Herbert Blomstedt.

The “Mathis der Maler” symphony is based on Hindemith’s opera Mathis der Maler, about the German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald (c. 1470–August 31, 1528). The first movement is called “Engelskonzert” (Concert of Angels), and it is based on Grünewald’s Concert of Angels (see detail below), which is part of the Isenheim Altarpiece, 1510–15, oil on panel, Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar, France.


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  1. rhondda
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    For some reason, I have a distinct dislike of this music. It seems to be mocking that painting. Perhaps, it is representing the frenetic demons in the background and not the angels. I have not thought about the possibility that classical music could be political or even racial. It just existed in some ethereal space and the experts told you whether to like it or not. Yet how does one account for a visceral reaction, especially one in opposition to the experts? No accounting for taste I guess.
    There is an interesting analysis of the Issenheim Alterpiece in the book The Hidden World; Survival of Pagan Shamanic Themes in European Fairytales. — very gnostic and a slant towards entheogens.

    • maxsnafu
      Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Try Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of themes Of Carl Maria von Weber. It is very accessible.

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