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Karl Amadeus Hartmann

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

Simplicius Simplicissimus

€ 26.95
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  • Type SACD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917263725
  • Catalog number CC 72637
  • Release date 08 July 14

About the album

A native of Munich, Karl Amadeus Hartmann (b. 1905, d. 1963) ranks among the leading German composers of the twentieth century. A substantial portion of his œuvre, which includes eight symphonies and chamber works, had its origins in one of the darkest periods in world history – from 1933 to 1945 – when the Nazis were in power. This period, in which Hartmann gradually withdrew from public life and which eventually culminated in his own innere Emigration (inner emigration), represented a decisive turning point in his creative development. Before that time, Hartmann had adopted a playful, neoclassical style influenced by jazz and Dadaism with which he had hardly distinguished himself from his contemporaries. With no prospect of a performance of his work in sight, he subsequently created a musical language which, besides bearing the influences of Bach, Bruckner and Beethoven, was also highly indebted to those composers whose music the Nazis had banned, such as Mahler, Berg, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Bartók. He employs this language not only in his symphonies and many of his chamber works, but also in his opera Simplicius Simplicissimus, based on the 1669 novel Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. The full title of the second version, presented here, is Simplicius Simplicissimus: drei Szenen aus seiner Jugend.

Markus Stenz's fine performance – with an oustanding Juliane Banse as the naive shepherd boy, Simplicius (...) was recorded in 2012 at one of Netherlands Radio's invaluable Saturday matinees, at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.
Stenz and his cast capture that raw intensity very truthfully.
The Guardian

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