Hartmann- Symphonies Nos. 1-8 (2014)


Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic

Markus Stenz, James Gaffigan, Michael Schonwandt, Christoph Poppen, Osmo Vanska, Ingo Metzmacher

A native of Munich, Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963) was without a shadow of a doubt the greatest symphonist in the Central European tradition since Bruckner and Mahler. The sketches and early versions of six of his eight symphonies had their origins in one of the darkest periods in world history – from 1933 to 1945 – when the Nazis were in power and Hartmann gradually withdrew completely from public life. This period, which culminated in Hartmann’s own ‘Innere Emigration’ (inner emigration), represented a decisive turning point in his creative development. The question of what his music might have become had the Second World War and the period immediately preceding it not occurred, is thus an intriguing one. After all, in the years before, he had adopted a playful, neoclassical style influenced by jazz and Dadaism with which he hardly distinguished himself from his contemporaries. But after that (and, it should be noted, with no prospect of performance in sight), Hartmann created a musical language that was highly indebted to those composers whose music the Nazis had banned, such as Mahler, Berg, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Bartók. Accordingly, that language can be seen as Hartmann’s resounding declaration of solidarity with those victims. Indeed, he fully employs this language not only in his eight monumental symphonies, but also in his opera Simplicius Simplicissimus (composed in 1936 and revised in 1957), based on the 1669 novel Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1621-1676). To some extent, this opera can be seen as the foundation for Hartmann’s orchestral oeuvre.

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Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic

The Hilversumse Radio Kamer Filharmonie was the orchestra par excellence to record Schumann’s Symphonic works. The orchestra is renowned for its historically accurate performances and in terms of its size it compares well with orchestras from Schumann’s time. At the time the first recordings were planned it was announced that the RKF had to be ‘reduced’ following budget cuts imposed by the Dutch government of the Rutte I cabinet. The orchestra, together with its Chief Conductor Michael Schønwandt, explicitly decided to proceed with the recordings with double the original motivation. We hope that these Schumann CDs demonstrate how wrong it was for this wonderful orchestra to be cost-cut out of existence.

James Gaffigan

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also appointed the Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him. 

In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan’s guest engagements have included the Munich, London, Dresden and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Deutsches Symphony-Orchestra (Berlin), Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchester, Zurich, Bournemouth Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Sydney Symphony. In the States, he has worked with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, San Francisco and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore and National Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others.

Born in New York City in 1979, Mr. Gaffigan has degrees from both the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. He also studied at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, and was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center.

In 2009, Mr. Gaffigan completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony in a position specially created for him. Prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser-Möst from 2003 through 2006. James Gaffigan’s international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition. 

photo: cover CC72779 (Challenge)

Michael Schonwandt

Michael Schønwandt, born in Copenhagen, was Music Director of the Royal Orchestra and the Royal Opera in Copenhagen from 2000-2011, and associated with the company since 1979. In September 2010 he took up the position of Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also held posts as Chief Conductor of the Berliner Sinfonie- Orchester (1992-1998), Principal Guest Conductor of La Monnaie in Brussels (1984-87), Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (1987- 2000), and Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra, and is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Staatstheater Stuttgart.

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Hartmann- Symphonies Nos. 1-8 (2014)


Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic

Mastering Engineer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: No. 1-3,6-8 Dutchview Holland, No. 4 Jaap de Jong, No. 5 Bert van der Wolf
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72583: Hartmann- Symphonies Nos. 1-8
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Symphony No.1, 'Versuch eines Requiems'- I. Introduktion
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Symphony No.1, 'Versuch eines Requiems'- II. Frühling
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Symphony No.1, 'Versuch eines Requiems'- III. Thema mit vier Variationen
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Symphony No.1, 'Versuch eines Requiems'- IV. Tränen
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Symphony No.1, 'Versuch eines Requiems'- V. Epilog
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Symphony No.2, 'Adagio?- Adagio
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Symphony No.3- Largo ma non troppo - Allegro con fuoco (Virtuose Fuge)
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Symphony No.3- Adagio - Andante - Allegro moderato - Andante - Adagio
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Symphony No.4- I. Lento assai - Con passione
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Symphony No.4- II. Allegro di molto, risoluto
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Symphony No.4- III. Adagio appassionato
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Symphony No.5, 'Sinfonia concertante'- Toccata
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Symphony No.5, 'Sinfonia concertante'- Melodie
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Symphony No.5, 'Sinfonia concertante'- Rondo
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Symphony No.6- I. Adagio
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Symphony No.6- II. Toccata variata
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Symphony No.7- I. Introduction und Ricercare
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Symphony No.7- II. Adagio mesto cantanto e tranquillo
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Symphony No.8- I. Cantilene
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Symphony No.8- II. Dithyrambe- Scherzo - Fuga
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