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Matt Haimovitz

De Hartmann Cello Concerto w/MDR Leipzig Radio Sym

Release Date: September 29, 2023

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Cello Concerto, Op. 57, III. Finale - Matt Haimovitz (rehearsal excerpt)
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1 Thomas de Hartmann Cello Concerto, Op. 57 / I. Allegro con brio 20:46  
2 II. Andante. Solenne 7:51  
3 III. Finale. Allegro ma non troppo  
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Cellist Matt Haimovitz, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and its chief conductor Dennis Russell Davies present the first commercial recording of Ukrainian unsung composer Thomas de Hartmann’s cello concerto.

De Hartmann was an important compositional voice in his own time, connected to the greatest musicians and artists of his era, but has sunk into oblivion after his death in 1956. This EP release is part of the greater Thomas de Hartmann Project, aimed to reintroduce his colourful and compelling music.

The cello concerto was composed in 1935 and premiered in 1938 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Serge Koussevitsky. It was inspired by the anxiety of the 1930s, linking the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany to de Hartmann’s own recollections of local Jewish folk musicians. While not being Jewish himself, de Hartmann felt a strong connection to Jewish traditions, and the piece is deeply influenced by Jewish musical folklore, as well Eastern- European folk traditions. This glowing and cinematic work, dedicated to and premiered by Paul Tortelier and hailed by Pablo Casals, is a hidden gem within the cello concerto repertoire, and the war in Ukraine makes a reintroduction of this glorious piece timelier than ever.

This is the first episode of a series of cello concerto EPs performed by Matt Haimovitz, produced by Oxingale and appearing on Pentatone.

“I, like many, am horrified by the cycles of history. Once again we find ourselves in the midst of a tumultuous war in Europe, with Ukraine at the heart of an existential struggle.

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