KARL AMADEUS HARTMANN (1905-1963): String Quartets No. 1 "Carillon" and No. 2, Kleines Konzert for String Quartet and Percussion, Kammerkonzert for Clarinet, String Quartet and String Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 11L078
Reference: KiG 001
Description: The 1933 quartet rather pointedly employs Jewish motifs and melodies. Hartmann's vocabulary is predominantly the highly chromatic tonality of the early 20th century, while stylistically and expressively the most obvious affinity is with Bartók; folk music ornamentation and rough, stamping dance rhythms suggest eastern-European folk idioms. The other, from 1945-48, is haunted by memories of the Nazi era. Dense unison textures and unstable compound meters abound; the slow movement is a songful lament, and the finale an obsessively propulsive presto. In the 'Little Concerto' from 1931 the percussion is almost exclusively used as an emphatic reinforcement of the quartet's rough, Bartókian phrases in the first movement, while it adds a coloristic element to the second, and contributes to the propulsiveness of the Stravinskyan circus music of the third. The Chamber Concerto is dedicated to Kodály, and combines Jewish and Hungarian motifs in a work that has much in common with the dedicatee. The piece is thoroughly tonal, with a gorgeous, surprising full-blooded pastoral rhapsody taking up much of the first movement. There follows a set of variations on a dancing theme; here the clarinet carries the concertante rôle, then an extended song, first intoned by the clarinet, then beautifully harmonized and decorated by the ensemble. Includes 98 minutes of Hartmann talking about himself and interviews with his wife Elisabeth and son Richard. 3 CDs. Doelen Quartet, Wilbert Grootenboer (percussion), Arjan Woudenberg (clarinet), Sinfonia Rotterdam; Conrad van Alphen. Cybele SACD hybrid