Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
Like Tree12Likes

Thread: Karl Amadeus Hartmann

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,120
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Karl Amadeus Hartmann


    Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905 – 1963) was a German composer. Some have lauded him as the greatest German symphonist of the 20th century, although he is now largely overlooked, particularly in English-speaking countries.

    (from Wikipedia)

    I've just been listening to Hartmann's Piano Sonata 24.IV.1945. It is a work written in response by the composer to the Holocaust, after witnessing the transportation of prisoners to Dachau. It alternates between dark & light, and has two alternate endings, which are as to eachother as night is to day.

    Hartmann studied under Webern, but he was more influenced by Hindemith & Bartok. Many of his works reflect the time they were written in, bringing up profound questions about the nature of humanity & the darker forces within us that threaten humanity's very existence. I'm not sure if he answers many of these questions, but he sure does probe the depths of the human condition. In this way, I think he is in a long line of German humanist composers stretching back to Bach.

    The Piano Sonata is the only work I have heard by him & I'd appreciate some insights by people who've heard some of his other works.

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    There are a lot of composers who are over-looked get used to it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,120
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Yeah, like your bloody Bantock et al. Hartmann was a better composer then all of them put together...

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Yeah, like your bloody Bantock et al. Hartmann was a better composer then all of them put together...
    I didn't realize music was a competition? Is somebody a little fussy tonight?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,120
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    You're the one who started off by being negative. I'm just trying to get more insights into a composer who was as significant as Bartok & Hindemith in many ways, but unlike them, stayed in Europe during the course of WW2. I've read that he actually didn't compose for most of those years as a kind of protest against Nazism. It's seeing those people transported to Dachau that made him break the silence & compose that excellent Piano Sonata which I mentioned above. I'm pretty sure there are others out there who have heard at least a few of his works, such as the famous Concerto Funebre or a couple of the symphonies. I'm only just discovering him myself, I think on the strength of the excellent Sonata, he's definitely worth exploring...

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    You're the one who started off by being negative. I'm just trying to get more insights into a composer who was as significant as Bartok & Hindemith in many ways, but unlike them, stayed in Europe during the course of WW2. I've read that he actually didn't compose for most of those years as a kind of protest against Nazism. It's seeing those people transported to Dachau that made him break the silence & compose that excellent Piano Sonata which I mentioned above. I'm pretty sure there are others out there who have heard at least a few of his works, such as the famous Concerto Funebre or a couple of the symphonies. I'm only just discovering him myself, I think on the strength of the excellent Sonata, he's definitely worth exploring...
    You're not going to get any insights when you say something like "He's better than this composer or that composer." I'm not really sure what grounds you have to say something like that.

    All I said was he's overlooked like so many other composers are.

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    I haven't heard a note of Hartmann's music, so I can't comment on his music, but there appears to be many recordings available. Why don't you go checkout your library and see if they have any and then report back to us?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,120
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Anyway, I wasn't lamenting that he's overlooked. That's from the Wikipedia article.

    I think what's very interesting about Hartmann is that he started afresh, with almost a blank slate, after WW2. From then on, he rearranged and re-edited other existing works into the pieces we now know as his symphonies. I think he was thinking that a new, rebuilt & democratic Germany (well, at that time, the Western part, anyway) had to make it's own corresponding music, different from what was in the past (corrupted by the Nazi experience?). I think this is what makes him different to other composers of his generation...
    science likes this.

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Anyway, I wasn't lamenting that he's overlooked. That's from the Wikipedia article.

    I think what's very interesting about Hartmann is that he started afresh, with almost a blank slate, after WW2. From then on, he rearranged and re-edited other existing works into the pieces we now know as his symphonies. I think he was thinking that a new, rebuilt & democratic Germany (well, at that time, the Western part, anyway) had to make it's own corresponding music, different from what was in the past (corrupted by the Nazi experience?). I think this is what makes him different to other composers of his generation...
    How can you judge a composer by hearing one piece of their music? With me, it's different, I don't like or enjoy any serialist composers because I have clearly stated it goes against my musical beliefs and my principles, but how does someone like yourself, think they can judge a composer without hearing hardly any music from them?

    Anybody can read about Hartmann if they want to, but do you know his music? You're only reporting back on what you have read, which anybody can do.

    You may have listened to classical music longer than I have or have more experience with it, but I bet you I've heard more of the actual music than you have.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,120
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Is this website to be vetoed by you? Can't I put up some information I've read about a composer that interests me, and share my insights into a particular work? Am I allowed to do this, or do I have to get permission from you?

    & the fact is that the language of the Piano Sonata is quite tonal, but on the edges of tonality, like say Debussy's piano works. I'd say that his harmonic language is just as easy to absorb as Debussy. Hartmann's influences were wide ranging, and I have listened to Hindemith's & Bartok's piano music to judge a kinship there as well. I think it is simplifying things greatly, and unnecessarily, to call Harmann a serialist. Certainly of what I've read, his major works were mainly tonal, even though on the edges, like the composers above. Would you call them serialists as well? It's not totally accurate, I'd say...
    science likes this.

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    & the fact is that the language of the Piano Sonata is quite tonal, but on the edges of tonality, like say Debussy's piano works. I'd say that his harmonic language is just as easy to absorb as Debussy. Hartmann's influences were wide ranging, and I have listened to Hindemith's & Bartok's piano music to judge a kinship there as well. I think it is simplifying things greatly, and unnecessarily, to call Harmann a serialist. Certainly of what I've read, his major works were mainly tonal, even though on the edges, like the composers above. Would you call them serialists as well? It's not totally accurate, I'd say...
    I NEVER called Hartmann a serialist...lol. I never said that I didn't like or like Hartmann's music. I know he's not a serialist. Where are you getting all of this from, Andre?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,120
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    It doesn't matter about the serialist issue. Maybe I got carried away. Anyway, I don't think it's wrong to open a discussion about a composer after hearing one work & having read a bit about their lives. All I want to do is hear others' impressions about this composer. I am honest & upfront enough to put my experiences & impressions on the table & let others follow. You don't have to question the completeness of my musical knowledge of the man (or generally) because I haven't made any claims that I can't support. I'm beginning to sound as if I'm in a courtroom now, so I'll stop & warmly invite any other impressions people have of Hartmann to put them here (hopefully not only for my benefit)...
    science likes this.

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    It doesn't matter about the serialist issue. Maybe I got carried away. Anyway, I don't think it's wrong to open a discussion about a composer after hearing one work & having read a bit about their lives. All I want to do is hear others' impressions about this composer. I am honest & upfront enough to put my experiences & impressions on the table & let others follow. You don't have to question the completeness of my musical knowledge of the man (or generally) because I haven't made any claims that I can't support. I'm beginning to sound as if I'm in a courtroom now, so I'll stop & warmly invite any other impressions people have of Hartmann to put them here (hopefully not only for my benefit)...
    Fair enough.

  14. #14
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3,046

    Default

    Heh, heh! Nice to know you've been acquitted, Andre! Well I thought I would resurrect this thread since I'm getting immersed in Hartmann's first six symphonies courtesy of Ingo Matzmacher and the Bamberg Symphony.

    A nice discovery if I do say so! All six symphonies are different, ranging from one to five movements, and I can honestly say I enjoy them all. I can't give a detailed description of all six after one listening, but here's a few words of what I can recall.

    The 1st is in five movements featuring a contra alto, and text by Walt Whitman. Mournful and beautiful.

    Number 2 is a single movement work featuring a gorgeous baritone sax solo early on.

    No.3 in 2 movements. I'm pasting this description from an Amazon reviewer because I couldn't describe it any better.

    The third symphony (building on earlier works) opens with a Largo for string orchestra reminiscent of Alban Berg, hauntingly beautiful and powerful and developing into a remarkable, scintillatingly brilliant allegro con fuoco fugue of an almost unprecedented stridently ecstatic nature. The episodic second movement doesn't quite match the masterly first, even though it still contains many splendid things.

    No.4 scored for string orchestra is a very ambitious work in 3 movements at over 33 minutes.

    No.5 is a masterfully orchestrated neo classical work for winds, brass, and low strings that should have great appeal to fans of Stravinsky, Hindemith, and maybe even Bartok. There's a repeated reference to the bassoon melody in Stravinsky's Rite.

    No.6 in 2 movements is the boldest and most visceral of the six. An exciting and exhilarating work of ambitious and challenging orchestration for the full orchestra. Might appeal to fans of Bartok's Mandarin or Wooden Prince?

    I'm looking forward to repeated listening of these symphonies, and eventually hearing nos. 7 & 8.
    Sid James, science and violadude like this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cotswolds, UK
    Posts
    1,012
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    Heh, heh! Nice to know you've been acquitted, Andre! Well I thought I would resurrect this thread since I'm getting immersed in Hartmann's first six symphonies courtesy of Ingo Matzmacher and the Bamberg Symphony.

    A nice discovery if I do say so! All six symphonies are different, ranging from one to five movements, and I can honestly say I enjoy them all. I can't give a detailed description of all six after one listening, but here's a few words of what I can recall.
    Rather like Henze without the sensuousness.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Karl Bohm
    By linz in forum Musicians
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: Jun-02-2010, 18:19
  2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 170xCD boxset question
    By Iron_Fist in forum Recorded Music and Publications
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Oct-07-2009, 05:26
  3. Battle or War Pieces??
    By Mahler Maniac in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: Jun-27-2009, 00:00
  4. Help
    By huBelial in forum Identifying Music
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: May-02-2009, 11:14
  5. Karl Jenkins on BBC Wales
    By mclaren_jk in forum Musicians
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Feb-04-2009, 15:57

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •