The narrative structure of Hindemith’s 1944 ballet Hérodiade was inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem of the same name. Rather than setting the words of the poem to music (like a song) the piece, subtitled “Orchestral Recitation”, uses melodic interpretations of the text to represent the poem. The work follows the contour of intensity in Mallarmé’s poem in Hindemith’s characteristic Neo-Classical style.
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