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.
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.