Further Concertising Activity
In addition to the numerous performances as a member of the Amar Quartet, Hindemith continued to concertise with other musicians as well. A friend of his, the Frankfurt pianist Emma Lübbecke-Job, frequently accompanied him at solo recitals of classical and contemporary music.
In 1922 Hindemith discovered Early Music and performance on historical instruments: «I have a new sport,» he reported to his Frankfurt friend Emmy Ronnefeldt, «I've been playing the viola d'amour, a wonderful instrument that has completely disappeared and which has just a very small body of literature. The most beautiful sound you can imagine; an indescribable sweetness and softness. It is tricky to play, but I play it with great enthusiasm and for the pleasure of all listeners.» Together with the Berlin harpsichordist Alice Ehlers and also with Maurits Frank and Rudolf Hindemith as gamba players, he gave concerts on Early Music from 1927 onwards.
In the 1920s Hindemith was one of the best violists anywhere. A Swiss critic wrote the following about his performance of the Sonata for Viola Solo, Op. 25, No. 1: «When the small, slight man appears before us with his big viola, enthusiastically and confidently, he plays something for us that signifies the new German instrumental music, whatever that may be. And we have no one at the moment who does it better – playing as well as composing – except perhaps for Hindemith himself if he continues like this. [...] Corresponding with contemporary taste - people have become so impatient - everything is arranged as briefly, tersely and clearly as possible. The ‹new› is primarily the high pressure of an almost unbelievable virtuosity approaching that of a machine, as well as the disintegration of tonality. We have rapidly grown accustomed to this free harmonic language; for a long time now, it has not been felt to be so essential. But the virtuosity? One has the feeling that Hindemith, as a player and composer, simply does all this off the cuff.»