Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber ranks among the most popular orchestral pieces by Paul Hindemith. The dry, academic, and perhaps even pretentious title belongs to an entertaining piece with unfailing good cheer.
As popular as it is, critics and scholars appear not to consider it a great work. For example, the biography of Hindemith in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians does not mention the piece. Nor does it appear in Alex Ross’ The Rest is Noise.
Hindemith himself seems to be regarded among a multitude of composers who wrote some wonderful music but did not achieve greatness. Continue reading →