The Chamber Music of Thomas de Hartmann
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
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. By his early twenties he was one of the best-known living composers in all of Russia. His music was enthusiastically supported by performers and conductors such as Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Bigot, Pablo Casals, Paul Tortelier, and Jean-Pierre Rampal. The fragmented path his life was to follow brought him into direct contact with some of the most intriguing personalities of the century. 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 Thomas de Hartmann Project, with Elan Sicroff as its artistic director and counting Robert Fripp as executive director, was responsible for a substantial set of excellent recordings that appeared around 2016 on the Basta label. These fine performances done with leading musicians are now re-released by Nimbus, and as a collection they are full of discovery and superbly crafted music.
This is a stunning work with which to end this Nimbus introduction to the music of Thomas de Hartmann, and I would urge everyone to find out just how good it all is for themselves.