Pages devoted to my favorite music, realized for MIDI with the JEUX SoundFont. These files assume you have
loaded the latest version of the JEUX SoundFont in user bank 42 — if not, the results will be very strange indeed!
— John W. McCoy
From Silvia Kind, who later occupied the same office at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin where he had been her favorite teacher, I came to know a different side of Hindemith. There were many tales of his remarkable musical abilities, his fascination with model trains that were allowed to take over his whole house during the Christmas holidays (only the kitchen was off limits, and woe to anyone who accidently kept one of his trains from reaching the next stop on time), and his very special gifts as a teacher. As a student, Silvia was first a piano student. One of her required recitals, at lunch time, included Mozart's Fantasia and Fugue in A minor. On the day in question, Silvia came down with a terrible migraine. She got through the fantasia and about halfway through the fugue, then her mind went blank. She held the low C, then in desperation played a C 6th chord and then an A minor chord to end up in the correct key. She ran from the stage, all the way to a second story practice room, where she threw two chairs and a music stand out of the window. Then, feeling much better, she went for a walk in the park. Hindemith had been in the audience; he gathered his students together and dispatched them in pairs to find her. It was he who found Silvia in the park. "My dear", he said, "didn't I tell you? You can cadence from any degree of the scale!"
Yes, the Ludus shows us the serious Hindemith, but also the playful man who took his students on picnics and made them improvise fugues with such texts as "Hunger, hunger, hunger" before lunch. The same man whose little cantata "Frau Musica" tells us, with Luther, that music has the power to dissuade the devil from his evil works. Later experience might have taught him otherwise, but we think Hindemith's faith in music survived undimmed.