Six pieces for cello and piano that were totally unknown to me and still are. Maybe the most interesting among them is the German composer Paul Hindemith. Born in Hanau Germany in 1895, he was already active before the First World War. He served in the army at the end of that war. During the interbellum he was a formidable figure, both as a neo classicist and connected to Arnold Schönberg’s twelve tone technique.
Relations with the nazi party were changing all the time. The nazi’s could accept his music because of the folk tunes he worked in his music. They couldn’t stomach the more avant-garde style he used though, resulting in different reactions all the time. In the end it was too risky to stay, also because of the jewish ancestry of his wife. He emigrated to Switzerland, and later to America. Some years after the war he returned, to go move again to Switzerland. He died there in 1963.
Hindemith played the viola da gamba, an instrument that was played during the baroque period. It basically disappeared in the early romantic period, so certainly in modern music it is quite odd to find it again. It is especially refreshing to find that instrument combined with new techniques for harmony, like his unique blend of twelve tone chromatic scales and classical tonality.