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Published on Aug 4, 2011
Hindemith - Ludus Tonalis (1943) part 1; Sviatoslav Richter 1985;
The spirit of the Well Tempered Clavier is reincarnated in the 20th century in Hindemith's Ludus Tonalis (1942) and Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues (1951). It is funny that Shostakovich might have been the unwitting inspirer of the Ludus. On 19th July 1942, after hearing Toscanini's famous premiere of Shostakovich's 7th symphony, Hindemith condemned it as "despicable rubbish". And to "remind those who have not completely succumbed what music and composition really are" he set to work composing the Ludus.
The work includes twelve fugues whose "tonal" organization follows the scheme C - G - F - A - E - E flat - A flat - D - B flat - D flat - B - F sharp. Improvisatory "Interludia" modulate between the tonal regions of adjacent fugues. A Praeludium and a Postludium begin and end the work. These two pieces are a fantastic example of musical palindrome, the Postludium being a retrograde inversion of the Praeludium.
1) Praeludium 2) Fugue in C 4:35 3) Interludium 7:39 4) Fugue in G 9:02 5) Interludium 10:40 6) Fugue in F 11:42