Hartmann: Orchestral Music / Evcil, Kuchar, Lviv National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Born in Ukraine, Thomas de Hartmann (1885–1956), a student of both Arensky and Taneyev, achieved fame as a composer in Russia in the early 1900s, and his concert music was later played by some of the major musicians of the day, primarily in Paris. Since his death, he has been remembered mainly for his association with the Caucasian mystic, G. I. Gurdjieff, whom he met in 1916, and his output for the concert hall has fallen into obscurity. The four works receiving their first recordings here reveal a major late-Romantic voice, downstream from Tchaikovsky, contemporary with Rachmaninov, and alert to the discoveries of Stravinsky and Prokofiev.
What’s the music like? Although the Noëls Ukrainiens might appear as the descendent of folk-inspired sets by such as Rimsky-Korsakov or Lyadov, de Hartmann seeks rather to evoke the essence of this music than by quoting traditional melodies. The initial Chant spiritual for strings is a pertinent case in point – its textural and expressive restraint characteristic of what follows, notably the more developed final numbers: the chorale-like solemnity of La veille de l’Épiphanie, simmering fervour of Adieu, Koladá and Mussorgskian vigour of Goussak for an effervescent ending.
Is it recommended? Yes, not least with the Lviv National Philharmonic giving of its best under the astute direction of Theodore Kuchar. Unexceptionally fine sound, with exceptionally detailed annotations from John R. Mangan and Evan A. MacCarthy. A follow-up volume of de Hartmann is imminent.
Release Date: February 18, 2022
Catalog Number: TOCC0633
Label: Toccata Classics
Period: 20th Century
Composer: Thomas de Hartmann
Conductor: Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble: Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine
Performer: Bulent Evcil