Hartmann, Karl Amadeus

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Hartmann, Karl Amadeus

Hartmann, Karl Amadeus, outstanding German composer; b. Munich, Aug. 2, 1905; d. there, Dec. 5, 1963. He enrolled in the teachers training college in Pasing, near Munich, in 1919. From 1924 to 1929 he studied at the Munich Academy of Music. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, Hartmann withdrew from public life and forbade the performance of his music in Germany. However, he composed a number of major works during the Nazi era, and his 1st String Quartet, Carillon, won 1st prize in the Geneva Chamber Music Competition in 1936. His defiance of the Nazi regime was manifested in his Concerto funebre for Violin and String Orch. (1939), composed in tribute to Czechoslovakia in the wake of its dismemberment; the score is notable for its metamorphosis, in the minor, of the famous Hussite chorale Ye Who are God’s Warriors. In 1942 Hartmann pursued advanced training with Webern in Maria Enzersdorf, near Vienna. After the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945, he became dramaturg at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He also co-founded that city’s Musica Viva concerts, which he oversaw for the rest of his life. In 1949 he was awarded the music prize of the City of Munich, and in 1950 he received the arts prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts there, to which he was elected to membership in 1953. He was awarded the Grand Arts Prize of Nordrhein-Westfalen in 1957, the arts prize of the City of Berlin in 1961, and an honorary doctorate from the Spokane (Wash.) Cons, in 1962. Despite his acceptance of a highly chromatic, atonal idiom and his experimentation in the domain of rhythm (patterned after Blacher’s “variable meters’’), he retained the orthodox form and structural cohesion of basic Classicism. He was excessively critical of his early works, and discarded many of them, some of which were retrieved and performed after his death.


dramatic: Opera: Wachsfigurenkabinett, collective title for 5 small operas (1929-30; 1, Leben und Sterben des heiligen Teufels; 2, Der Mann, der vom Tode auferstand, completed by G. Bialas and H. W. Henze; 3, Chaplin-Ford- Trott, completed by W. Hiller; 4, Fürwahr…?!, completed by H. W. Henze; 5, Die Witwe von Ephesus; ail Ist perf. in Munich, May 29, 1988); Simplicius Simplicissimus (1934-35; concert perf., Munich, April 2, 1948; stage perf., Cologne, Oct. 20, 1949; new version, 1956-57; Mannheim, July 9, 1957). ORCH.: Chamber Concerto for Clarinet, String Quartet, and String Orch. (1930-35; Zürich, June 17, 1969); Kleines Konzert for Strings and Percussion (1931-32; Brausnchweig, Nov. 29, 1974; also for String Quartet and Percussion, Munich, Sept. 1932); Trumpet Concerto (1933); Miserae, symphonic poem (1934; Prague, Sept. 2, 1935); 9 syms.: No. 1 for Alto and Orch., after Whitman (1935-36; new version, 1954-55; Vienna, June 22, 1957), Sinfonia tragica (194(M3; Munich, May 20, 1989), No. 2, Adagio (1941-46; Donaueschingen, Sept. 10, 1950), No. 3 (1948-19; Munich, Feb. 10, 1950), No. 4 for Strings (1946-47; Munich, April 2, 1948), No. 5, Symphonie concertante (1950; Stuttgart, April 21, 1951), No. 6 (1951-53; Munich, April 24, 1953), No. 7 (1958; Hamburg, March 15, 1959), and No. 8 (1960-62; Cologne, Jan. 25, 1963); Concerto funebre for Violin and Strings (1939; new version, Braunschweig, Nov. 12, 1959); Symphonische Hymnen (1941—13; Munich, Oct. 9, 1975); Symphonische Ouvertüre (1942; Darmstadt, July 26, 1947; rev. 1962; Nuremberg, Nov. 28, 1975); Klagegesang (1944-45; Pittsburgh, May 11, 1990); Concerto for Piano, Winds, and Percussion (Donaueschingen, Oct. 10, 1953); Concerto for Viola, Piano, Winds, and Percussion (1954-56; Frankfurt am Main, May 25, 1956). CHAMBER: 2 sonatas for Solo Violin: No. 1 (1927; Munich, June 28, 1987) and No. 2 (1927; Munich, June 28, 1987); 2 suites for Solo Violin: No. 1 (1927; Spokane, April 6, 1986) and No. 2 (1927; Spokane, Feb. 5, 1984); Tanzsuite for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, and Trombone (1931); Burleske Musik for Winds, Percussion, and Piano (1931); Kleines Konzert for String Quartet and Percussion (1931-32; Munich, Sept. 1932; also for String Orch. and Percussion, Braunschweig, Nov. 29, 1974); 2 string quartets: No. 1, Carillon (1933) and No. 2 (1945–46); Scherzo for Percussion Ensemble (1956; Munich, May 30, 1992). piano: 2 suites (n.d.); Jazz-Toccata und -Fugue (1928); Sonatine (1931; Munich, Jan. 4, 1932); Sonata, 27 April 1945 (1945; Munich, June 13, 1982). VOCAL: Friede Anno 48 for Soprano, Chorus, and Piano, after Gryphius (1936; Cologne, Oct. 22, 1968); Lamento, cantata for Soprano and Piano, after Gryphius (1936-37; rev. version, Konstanz, May 26, 1955); Ghetto for Alto, Baritone, and Small Orch. (1960-61; Cologne, Jan. 14, 1966; part of the collaborative piece Jüdische Chronik with B. Blacher, P. Dessau, H.W. Henze, and R. WagnerRégeny); Gesangsszene for Baritone and Orch., after Giraudoux (1962-63; unfinished; completed by H. Moldenhauer; Frankfurt am Main, Nov. 12, 1964).


J. Distefano, The Symphonies of K. A. H. (diss., Fia. State Univ., 1972); A. McCredie, K. A. H. (Wilhelmshaven, 1980); R. Wagner, ed., K. A. H. und die Musica Viva (Mainz, 1980); A. Jaschinski, K. A. H.: Symphonische Tradition und ihre Auflösung (Munich, 1982); A. McCredie, ed., K. A. H: Thematic Catalogue of His Works (Wilhelmshaven, 1982); U. Dibelius et al., K. A. H. (Tutzing, 1995); R. Behschnitt, “Die Zeiten sein so wunderlich…:” K. A. H.s Oper Simplicus Simplicissimus (Hamburg, 1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Hartmann, Karl Amadeus

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