Paul Hindemith: Sonata for Solo Cello op. 25 Nr. 3
Hindemith’s Sonata for Solo Cello op. 25 No. 3 was composed in the small historic town Donaueschingen in the Black Forest in the summer of 1922. This was the location of the Donaueschingen Chamber Music Festival for the Encouragement of Contemporary Music which had been held the previous year for the very first time. The event established a music festival tradition which has continued in the same location up to the present day. A contemporary who attended the festival during the 1920s looks back on the time when Hindemith not only participated as a composer and viola player, but also became deeply involved as a member of the programme committee:
"[I was] given the opportunity of sitting in on the long daily rehearsals. The strenuous music-making demanding ultimate concentration […] was frequently followed by hours of relaxation and exuberance spent in the former Kurhaus [spa house] […]. Here Hindemith blossomed as an ingenious and humorous entertainer keeping the whole table amused with constant new witticisms."
Hindemith subsequently wrote about the creation of his Sonata for Solo Cello op. 25 No. 3:
"One evening in Donaueschingen, we held a competition to create cello sonatas and I managed to compose four movements in a single evening."
We do not know who else was involved in this competition. A few days later, Hindemith added a fifth movement to the sonata. He dedicated the work to Maurits Frank, the cellist of the quartet in which Hindemith played the viola during the 1920s, who also gave the first performance of the sonata in Freiburg / Br. in May 1923.