The Orchestral Music of Thomas de Hartmann
Thomas de Hartmann’s output as a composer included four symphonies, several operas, concertos, sonatas, and songs with texts by Marcel Proust, Paul Verlaine, James Joyce, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as fifty-three film scores. The turbulent historical events through which he lived may, however, have kept de Hartmann’s music from reaching a wider audience. With the de Hartmann papers now widely available for scholarly examination, the opportunity is ripe for a new look at this composer’s unique contributions.
The series of CD releases of the music of Thomas de Hartmann is largely the work of The Thomas de Hartmann Project, a group of dedicated volunteers and individuals joined by the common goal of bringing Thomas de Hartmann’s music to public attention. The primary aim of The Thomas de Hartmann Project is to make publicly available the compositions of Thomas de Hartmann; today a music as strangely inaudible as the composer is invisible, outside small groups familiar with de Hartmann's musical collaborations with G.I. Gurdjieff. Robert Fripp
“The enterprising Nimbus Alliance label, which brings dedicated CD buyers out-of-the-ordinary repertoire, herewith presents the music of Thomas de Hartmann, played by the Lviv National Orchestra of Ukraine, under the baton of promising young conductor Tian Hui Ng… What is certain, however, is the absolute mastery of the de Hartmann’s Piano Concerto by pianist Elan Sicroff – an artist who has dedicated much of his musical life to this avant-garde Russian neo-Romantic, after having been introduced to his works in the 1970s by the composer’s widow, Olga. Sicroff is the veritable custodian and curator of an entirely overlooked segment of Russian-Ukrainian music. Listeners will immediately respond to the light and shade of the pianist’s style; his academic grasp of detail, but also his willingness to let de Hartmann’s colour and invention take flight.” Stuart Millson, The Quarterly Review [read complete review]
“These performances leave nothing to be desired. Elan Sicroff, who has recorded a disc of Hartmann’s solo piano music, is authoritative; Singaporean conductor Tian Hui Ng balances his forces well, and the orchestra plunges in with exuberance. Sound quality is top class. Established in 1902, the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra boasts a long, proud history with several famous 20th-century names attached. They made this recording last year. Let us hope their history has not been curtailed prematurely.” limelightmagazine.com.au [read complete review]
"The recording is a revelation about a composer who has the techniques and skills to write some of the finest 20th century music, but who has inexplicably fallen off most people’s listening lists. Take a listen to the music of Thomas de Hartmann and see how one Ukrainian composer manages to compress the sounds of so much of the 20th century into his work. As Robert Fripp noted, de Hartmann’s music is ‘as strangely inaudible as the composer is invisible…’. Some may know of him from his collaborations with Gurdjieff, but that is only a small percentage of what he created." Maureen Buja, interlude.hk [read complete review]
“Orchestral music of Thomas de Hartmann is an album recorded by inspired musicians for enthusiastic and adventurous listeners. Listeners who are looking for depth in music. Where styles and genres follow up each other so quickly and organically. And if the music is also beautifully performed, you really have a jewel of a CD in your hands!” mattiepoels, www.musicframes.nl [read complete review]