Upon searching the files and music available on You Tube, I discovered a recording of this truly great work by Hindemith, and its meaning in my playing .
Not only is the recording very special and quite old: The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet, recorded in 1956, along with a lot of the most standard Quintet repertoire of the time, played by the first chairs of that orchestra at the time. William Kinkaid, flute and piccolo; John DeLancie, Oboe; Anthony Gigliotti Clarinet, and Mason Jones, French Horn.
I had first heard this work as a high school student, and was immediately taken with the very strong rhythmic motion of all the movements, specifically the first, discovered Hindemtith as well, his prolific output of the Sonata, the Trios, the other many chamber pieces and the many clarinet solos in all of his orchestral works.
I became at my level,a lover of this prolific composer of works for the clarinet, and featuring itin many of his works.And of course, perhaps like you, I set about learning this woodwind Quintet, which will take time, but will brear all kinds of pleasures and advances in your playing.
I learned later, that during the time of the composition of the Quintet, Hindemith would take the train every day for his work in Berlin. This forward rhythmic motion is the whole basis of the first movement. It was so hard, but always a pleasure to practice.
Later ,I was to learn that he wrote all the parts first, each one, then made the score afterward, a fact which astounded me at the time. Think of such a compositional technique. The Piece works beautifully and is built carefully as all Hindemith.
I was to perform the Quintet many times, with all of the Quintets in which I played, specifically the Milwaukee Symphony Woodwind Quintet. We used to play this in the schools and I would delight in giving program notes to all the students in the audience.
The work is in 5 short movements, the first, started by the clarinet, a part which is challenging, in both its execution and that it asks to very forward solo approach to the clarinet and has the impossible trill on the G#, which can only be played really correctly if you have an articulated G# on your clarinet, which I always had at the time. I still cannot understand why this simple addition has not becpme a staple on all clarinets. It makes almost all technical passage much simpler amd foolproof.If you don’t have it, you have to fake that trill and many others found in the standard repertoire.
This of course, is the problem of the hidebound traditionalists, players who occupy teaching positions and foster the plain Boehm, 17 keys and 6 rings. This system is the one that all choose to play because their teachers tell them. Wrong, in the strongest possible terms. I studied with two excellent players who happened to use the articulated g#, Rosario Mazzeo, and Gino Cioffi, who occupied half of the Boston Symphony Clarinet section for many years. I have written many pieces on both their playoing styles, both completely differnet, but incorporating the articulated G#.
On this 1956 recording, Gigliotti plays the trill as a five note grupetto, effective, but wrong. A trill is an accent, that is its function and not making an accent on that till is just incorrect, but it cannot be done unless you have the articulation. There is a trick fingering, which works on some clarinets if practiced carefully.(trilling the index finger of the left hand) but it is much easier and musically correct to have an articulated G#. But let us move on. (continued)