HERMANN REUTTER (1900-1985): Violin Sonata, Op. 20, Tanz-Suite for Piano, Op. 29, Epitaph für Ophelia for Violin and Piano, 4 Lieder, Op. 54, 3 Gesänge, Op. 56.
Catalogue Number: 03T059
Description: Reutter's early works, we are told, were heavily influenced by Romanticism, but after meeting Hindemith in 1923 he moved closer to that strain of contemporary musical thinking, with Bartók and Stravinsky as models. This explains the nature of the 1926 sonata, which is tightly organised with a first movement in sonata form, and a modern, tonal new classicality of language. The three-movement work is based on memorable themes, thoroughly worked throughout, and follows a fine dramatic arc. More surprising, though, are the two sets of Lieder from nearly two decades later. Reutter was a sought-after Lieder accompanist, and apparently his absorption in this repertoire led him to retain a strong attachment to the Romantic tradition, albeit with an acknowledgement of 'modern' dissonance and rhythmic instability. The Tanz-suite lightheartedly moves progressively away from its Baroque model, in six movements borrowed from dance-idioms of the time, ending with two jazz-influenced pieces. Epitaph für Ophelia (1979) is a five-movement suite of neo-Romantic, narrative character, illustrating episodes from Hamlet. The movements, while all tonal, vary in their degree of chromaticism and dissonance, as the tragic arc of Ophelia's fate plays itself out. German-English texts. Maria-Elisabeth Lott (violin), Sontraud Speidel (piano), Andreas Beinhauer (baritone), Anna Beinhauer (piano - songs).