Author Topic: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.  (Read 36785 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2013, 08:19:04 PM »
Wish Harry would change the name of this composer thread. Anyway....

A little biographical info on Hartmann since there doesn't seem to be any on this thread:

Karl Amadeus Hartmann has been proclaimed by supporters the finest German symphonist since Johannes Brahms, although he is a somewhat controversial figure among the more open-minded. Using Baroque, jazz and various other musical elements, he forged an eclectic style that divulged the influence of Reger, Stravinsky and Hindemith. He was versatile, producing operas, symphonies, various orchestral scores, chamber and choral music, and solo works for piano and violin.

Hartmann's first serious studies began in 1924 at Munich's Akademie der Tonkunst, chief among his teachers being Joseph Haas. After five years there he moved on to studies with conductor Hermann Scherchen and, later, with Anton Webern. By 1933, owing to the success of his Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble, he was gaining considerable recognition. Around this time, Hartmann adopted a firm anti-Nazi stance, avoiding military service and, some say, actively defying government policies.

One of his brothers was known to have distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, and while Hartmann's wife claimed her husband's resistance was passive, others reported that the composer helped political prisoners across the border. Whatever the level of his opposition to Hitler, he was harassed by the Nazis and his music was not played in Germany until after the war. Yet, he remained active in the field of composition throughout the Nazi reign, producing many scores, large and small, like the symphonic poem Miserae (1934), the Concerto funebre (1939), Sinfonia Tragica (1940-43), and the dark Symphony No. 2 (1945-46). Following the war Hartmann established a concert series in Munich called Musica Viva. He also took on the post as dramaturge at the Munich State Opera. He garnered a string of composition prizes, including the Munich music prize (1949) and ISCM Schoenberg Medal (1954).

In the final decade of his life, Hartmann turned to the influence of Boris Blacher, using his ideas concerning changeable meter, as exhibited in works like Hartmann's 1953 Concerto for Piano and 1955 Concerto for Viola. His reputation grew in the 1950s, reaching across the Atlantic: Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra premiered his Symphony No. 7 (1957-58). Still, Hartmann never quite reached the front rank of 20th century composers, despite the respect he had gained among conductors and musicians alike. He died of stomach cancer at the age of 58.

[Article taken from All Music Guide]
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2013, 08:24:59 PM »
I'm really digging Hartmann's music these days. It's really too early for me to say what is my favorite symphony because each of them is so incredible and different. I may be out of bounds by saying this but I think Hartmann's music is a continuation of Berg. There many lyrical moments that recall that great composer's music. What do you guys think?
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2013, 08:47:13 PM »
On a related note, I'm really excited to also explore the symphonies of Krenek.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2013, 06:24:46 AM »
What are everyone's favorite Hartmann symphonies?
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2013, 06:56:56 AM »
I was in Amsterdam on March 30 the for a performance of symphony nr 8 . Concertgebouw / Ingo Metzmacher and the Dutch Radio Ph.O.
"Cantilene und Dithyrambe"
It was an overwhelming experience : committed playing of a realy complex score that constantly changes colour and moves from the tenderest string whisper to extatic brass/percussion outbursts. As usual: "Feeling" this music live cannot be compared to the finest recording.

Gesangsszene remains propably my favorite Hartmann score but symphonies ,6, 7 and 8 have grown on me over the years. But none of them leave me cold .

A great composer and I thank Dutch radio for remembering Hartmann's death - 50 years ago.

P.

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2013, 06:59:17 AM »
What are everyone's favorite Hartmannsymphonies?

The correct answer is: ALL of them!   0:)   ???

Certainly the First, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth stand out because of their intensity, but the others are musico-spiritual journeys also.

And as PJME mentions, the Gesangsszene is a great symphonic work, if not precisely a symphony.

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pjme

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2013, 07:03:49 AM »
The old recording of Gesangsszene with D F Dieskau made me discover this unique sound world . Surely Berg comes to mind, but there is not one score by Hartmann that could be mistaken for Berg.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2013, 07:07:53 AM »
I was in Amsterdam on March 30 the for a performance of symphony nr 8 . Concertgebouw / Ingo Metzmacher and the Dutch Radio Ph.O.
"Cantilene und Dithyrambe"
It was an overwhelming experience : committed playing of a realy complex score that constantly changes colour and moves from the tenderest string whisper to extatic brass/percussion outbursts. As usual: "Feeling" this music live cannot be compared to the finest recording.

Gesangsszene remains propably my favorite Hartmann score but symphonies ,6, 7 and 8 have grown on me over the years. But none of them leave me cold .

A great composer and I thank Dutch radio for remembering Hartmann's death - 50 years ago.

P.

I'd love to see a Hartmann symphony performed live, but, alas, I live in the United States and, more importantly, in the South where it's unlikely I'll ever hear a note of his music performed unless the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra ever take on a work.

You're very fortunate to live in a country that supports classical music and encourages performances of composers outside the mainstream.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2013, 07:09:37 AM »
In fact, the first music of Hartmann's I ever heard, was performed live here in the USA.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2013, 07:12:52 AM »
The correct answer is: ALL of them!   0:)   ???

Certainly the First, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth stand out because of their intensity, but the others are musico-spiritual journeys also.

And as PJME mentions, the Gesangsszene is a great symphonic work, if not precisely a symphony.

I've heard all of the symphonies and Gesangsszene. Everything I have heard thus far has been outstanding. I'm really enamored with Symphony No. 2 'Adagio' and Symphony No. 3 right now. Symphony No. 6 is also just incredible, but, like you said, Cato, they're all so good.

I'm really looking forward to that Kubelik Orfeo recording I bought yesterday that contains Concerto Funebre and the Concerto for Piano. I've heard Concerto Funebre before and loved it.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2013, 07:16:49 AM »
The old recording of Gesangsszene with D F Dieskau made me discover this unique sound world . Surely Berg comes to mind, but there is not one score by Hartmann that could be mistaken for Berg.
P.

Berg does come to mind occasionally, but Hartmann is his own man throughout all the works I've heard, but, like Berg, he does love those smoldering climaxes. :) Hindemith and Bartok also comes to mind in the more aggressive string syncopated passages, but that's about it. Hartmann is truly a unique compositional voice.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2013, 07:19:28 AM »
I live in Belgium and had  to travel ( 200 km..) to hear Hartmann. 
Hartmann was largely "forgotten" on Belgian radio/in concerthalls.  But it is true , with a little bit of time and money I can choose from good venues that quite regularly offer interesting repertoire.  In Amsterdam, Utrecht, Cologne and Dusseldorf (Essen, Aachen, Bonn...) concertseries are organised with less obvious works. In Belgium Barock Music and Old music get much more attention.

Still, the financial crisis is hitting all cultural activities relentlesly evrywhere in Europe: less concerts, musical ensembles disappear, cd's are NOT made, even La Monnaie/De Munt is in deep trouble. The cultural future looks bleak ( unless you are André Rieu or a musical called Shreck).

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2013, 07:46:48 AM »
Don't worry the US has already become a cultural wasteland and it's been this way for years.
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jlaurson

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2013, 07:52:15 AM »
What are everyone's favorite Hartmann symphonies?

Almost whichever I'm listening to... especially when it's live.

 But perhaps the Fourth... ("Elephant graveyard of String Quartets")
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/notes-from-2011-salzburg-festival-12.html

...and the Sixth atop the list??

Nine! replies, since I started typing this answer. Whow.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 08:02:48 AM by jlaurson »

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2013, 07:55:14 AM »
Almost whichever I'm listening to... especially when it's live.

 But the perhaps the Fourth... ("Elephant graveyard of String Quartets")
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/notes-from-2011-salzburg-festival-12.html

...and the Sixth atop the list??

Nine! replies, since I started typing this answer. Whow.

I love Symphony No. 4. Interesting description "Elephant graveyard of String Quartets." I never thought of it like that before! Ha! The 6th is incredible of course.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 08:02:36 AM by Mirror Image »
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2013, 08:32:50 AM »
. . . or a musical called Shreck.

Oh, I did not read that.

Thread Duty: Cato is right:


The correct answer is: ALL of them!   0:)   ???
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2013, 09:02:06 AM »
Don't worry the US has already become a cultural wasteland and it's been this way for years.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra programmed Hartmann's Concerto Funebre a year or two back. They even performed it in my home town as a precursor to their Symphony Center concert, so I can legitimately say that one of the best orchestras in the world played a Hartmann piece within walking distance of my house! I only wish that they would also perform a Symphony, preferably the sixth, my favorite.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2013, 09:14:51 AM »
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra programmed Hartmann's Concerto Funebre a year or two back. They even performed it in my home town as a precursor to their Symphony Center concert, so I can legitimately say that one of the best orchestras in the world played a Hartmann piece within walking distance of my house! I only wish that they would also perform a Symphony, preferably the sixth, my favorite.

My point is that how often does a Hartmann work make it onto an American symphonic program by a major orchestra? Not very often. But you're quite lucky to have seen the Concerto Funebre. A powerful work.
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2013, 09:45:07 AM »
My point is that how often does a Hartmann work make it onto an American symphonic program by a major orchestra? Not very often. But you're quite lucky to have seen the Concerto Funebre. A powerful work.
.... and you are quite correct. Perhaps my example should only stand as an exception that proves the rule? Btw, you assume that I actually saw the aforementioned concert - unfortunetely not as I was abroad on business that week. In agreement with your initial statement I must say that the probability of getting a second bite of the cherry is low to none! But hope springs eternal....
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Re: Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Recommendations.
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2013, 09:50:32 AM »
.... and you are quite correct. Perhaps my example should only stand as an exception that proves the rule? Btw, you assume that I actually saw the aforementioned concert - unfortunetely not as I was abroad on business that week. In agreement with your initial statement I must say that the probability of getting a second bite of the cherry is low to none! But hope springs eternal....

Sorry to have made that assumption. Too bad you didn't get to see Concerto Funebre. Since you said the 6th is your favorite Hartmann symphony, what is about this particular symphony that draws into it? I just got through listening to the 6th yet again and, for me, it's an aggressive, angry piece of music that hits all the right buttons. I'm listening to Symphony No. 3 right now and I've got to say this is so damn good. Cato is correct in saying that all of the symphonies are great. Whatever I'm listening to at that moment is my favorite. 8)
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