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Hartmann, K A - Hartmann - Airis String Quartet


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Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s work is very difficult to attribute to any particular compositional school. Although he was not a revolutionist in terms of notation or performance forces, he was able to creatively subordinate all the achievements of modern musical language to innovative formal approaches. His music fascinates with the scale of expression, the intensity of dramatic appeal and attention-grabbing musical narrative. Hartmann wrote with extraordinary verve, creating artistic phrases with a broad ambitus, at the same time he could masterfully juggle short motifs, subjecting them to elaborate variational and contrapuntal transformations. In terms of harmonics, Hartmann’s music is tonal, though strongly chromatic, which deprives the listener of a secure sense of anchoring in a specific key. The composer did not shy away from strongly dissonant sounds, sometimes close to clusters. Sound beauty in purely aesthetic terms was not his priority. He created music in the service of truth, uncompromising and authentic. String Quartet No. 1 ‘Carillon’, dedicated to Hermann Scherchen, was awarded the first prize in the composition competition in Geneva in 1935. After a presentation in London at the ISCM Festival in 1938, an anonymous reviewer in The Times compared the work to Ludwig van Beethoven’s late string quartets, including in terms of how to treat the instruments as four equal parts. Indeed, the autonomous treatment of parts is a dominant feature in both Hartmann’s quartets. The first movement of String Quartet No. 1 opens with the famous Jewish melody Eliyahu Hanavi. The quartet contains numerous elements inspired by folk music. The contrasting second movement has a quasi religioso character. The third movement is very lively and energetic, and the glissando dialogue between the viola and cello against the background of semiquaver tremolo in the violin brings to mind the sounds of sirens alarming about the upcoming bombardment. String Quartet No. 2 was dedicated to Hartmann’s wife Elisabeth. The work written just after the end of the war is full of images and memories from the time of terror. In terms of technique and expression, it is definitely a more mature composition. Alongside from Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s string quartets, the album features a small piece Langsamer Satz by Anton Webern. This unusually beautiful work full of sophisticated sounds comes from the period when Webern still wrote tonal music, before becoming one of the fathers of dodecaphony. It reflects the soul of a 21-year-old man in love, his gusts of heart, euphoria and melancholy. The Langsamer Satz in its subtle expression and delicacy is a counterbalance to Hartmann’s string quartets filled with the fear of wartime, suffering and anxiety. However, the hope for being salvaged, longing for the carelessness of early youth and the desire for a happy life resounding in Hartmann’s music find their fullness in the Webernesque miniature.
Fakta
Artikelnummer ACD245
Streckkod 5902176502454
Utgivningsdatum 2019-02-08
Kategori Klassiskt
Skivbolag CD Accord
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Utövare
Artister Airis String Quartet
Kompositörer Hartmann, K A
Webern, Anton
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