Adaptations of Works By Others
Hindemith's œuvre contains the most widely varying forms of the adaptation of music by others. Such examples range from inconspicuous quotations of folksongs (as in the Finale of the Konzertmusik, Op. 49), the composition of works based on folksongs (Der Schwanendreher, Sonata for organ based on old folksongs), to the distortion of predetermined music frequently with elements of parody (Overture to the Flying Dutchman, Finale from the Kammermusik No. 5, second movement of the Symphonia Serena), the re-composition of other people's music in Hindemith's own musical language (Symphonic Metamorphosis) and the integration of works by others in Hindemith's own music (excerpt from Lully's opera ‹Phaeton› in the revised version of Cardillac).
Especially the works Hindemith composed from the late 1940s onwards are increasingly based on music by other composers: the final movement of the Septet (1948) uses the ‹Alter Berner Marsch› (Old Berne March), the Concerto for woodwinds, harp and orchestra (1949) uses Mendelssohn's ‹Wedding March› – Hindemith surprised his wife with this quotation on their 25th wedding anniversary – and the Sonata for 4 horns (1952) incorporates the song ‹Ich schell mein Horn› (I Sound My Horn).
In order to be able to play it, Hindemith adapted the performance practice of Early Music: he completed figured basses, arranged and instrumented dances from printings of d'Attaignant to form a Suite of French Dances (1948) and reconstructed an authentic historical version of Monteverdi's opera ‹Orfeo› in 1943. He rewrote the solo part of Schumann's Violin Concerto, only published in 1937, in order to make it more effective on the instrument, and in 1955 he presented a new version of the 100th Psalm of Max Reger. Hindemith made these adaptations of these works, highly valued but difficult to perform, in order to facilitate their entry into the concert repertoire.