KARL AMADEUS HARTMANN (1905-1963): Concerto for Viola and Piano with Winds and Percussion, Sinfonia tragica.
Catalogue Number: 02I069
Reference: 71 112
Description: First recording of the 1954-56 viola concerto, dedicated to Primrose. Berg's chamber concerto is the work's primary inspiration, the piano and viola separated in the same way as in the older composer's work while there are also similarities to Bartók's unfinished viola concerto. With all the warmth of strings removed (and of oboes and horns too), Hartmann adds an extensive percussion group to still provide a kind of opulence when he wants to. In the first movement if often seems as if a lighthearded viola concerto with wind accompaniment and a more aggressive piano concerto, accompanied by percussion have been squashed together. The slow second movement is densely polyphonic while the finale adds Blacher's concept of "variable meter" to the techniques of the first movement. Also otherwise unavailable on CD is the Sinfonia (1940 with small revisions from 1943), whose first movement was later used as part of the Symphony No. 3 and whose second is full of quotes and allusions to other "degenerate" musicians, Berg in particular with elements of Wozzeck depicting the brutality of the Nazi regime. Tatiana Masurenko (viola), Frank-Immo Zichner (piano), RSO Berlin; Marek Janowski. SACD