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Using the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Hindemith first completed Das Marienleben (The Life of Mary) in 1923 and it occupies a key position in his output, marking a transition from avant garde Expressionism to his mature neo-classical style. He regarded the cycle as ‘the best thing I have yet written’, an affection retained through painstaking revisions over subsequent years. Hindemith responded to Rilke’s imagery with truly moving music that ranges from tenderness and hushed emotion to sweeping dramatic power, the 1948 version transforming his youthful songs into ‘an organic masterpiece ranking with the great song-cycles’.
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Chandos Records is one of the world's premier classical music record companies, best known for its ground breaking search for neglected musical gems. The company has pioneered the idea of the 'series' and proudly includes series of such composers as Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Parry, Walton, Grainger, Berkeley and Bridge. Renowned for its superb sound quality, Chandos has won many prestigious awards for its natural sound.