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J.P.E. Hartmann

Novellette in six little pieces with a poem in six verses by H.C. Andersen (1852)
1. F major (Allegretto)
2. D major (Allegro giocoso)
3. A minor (Tempo di Menuetto)
4. G major (Allegro vivace, assai)
6. E minor (Allegro assai)

7. Fantasy Piece in G major (Moderato) – (Musikblade, 1871)

8. Fantasy Piece in C major (Allegretto grazioso e moderato) – (“Fremtidens” Nytaars-Hefte 1875)

9. Album Leaf in F major (Poco andante) (1871)

10. Album Leaf in C-sharp minor (Allegretto) (1854)

Four piano pieces with poems by H. C. Andersen and Carl Andersen (1864)
11. G major “Godfather narrates” (Moderato)
12. E minor “Dream of the Viking Wife” (All. mod.)
13. F major “HUSH!” (Allegretto)
14. E major “Christmas Solace” (Poco andante)

15. “Reel from Zealand” in D major (Allegro agitato) (1860)

16. “Hamburg Scottish” in F major (1841)

Nine Studies and Novellettes, opus 65 (1866)
17. B-flat major (Moderato con espressione)
18. D minor (Allegro appassionato)
19. A major (Moderato)
20. F-sharp minor (Allegro agitato, con passione)
21. G major (Mode rato pastorale)
22. A minor (Allegro)
23. F major (Allegro vivo scherzando)
24. E minor (Moderato)
25. C major (Allegretto grazioso)

26. “Evening Mood” in C major (Poco andante) (1869)

27. Song without Words: “Homesickness” in F-sharp minor (Allegro poco agitato) (1847)

28. “Canzonetta” in E major (Andante) (1840)

Two Piano Pieces (Musikblade 1866)
29. B minor (Allegro agitato assai, capriccioso)
30. E-flat major (Poco andante, cantabile)

31. “The Winter” in E minor (Tempo di menuetto moderato) (1847)

32. “In the Springtime” in A major (Presto) (1847)

Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann (1805-1900) ©
By Claus Byrith

The composer Johan Emilius Hartmann was a member of a family of musicians and composers which for over 200 years left their distinctive mark on Danish music. His paternal grandfather, Johann Hartmann (1726-93) arrived in Copenhagen in 1766 from Germany. He was engaged as a violinist in what was later to become The Royal Danish Orchestra in 1766 and was rapidly promoted to being the leader of the orchestra. As a composer he achieved great success with the music for poet and dramatist Johannes Ewald’s “Balders Død” and “Fiskerne”. His sons, Johan Ernst and August Wilhelm, both pursued a musical career, Johan Ernst as the cantor of Roskilde Cathedral and August Wilhelm as the organist of the Garrison Church in Copenhagen. In 1805 he became the father of J.P.E. Hartmann. In the same year Hans Christian Andersen and August Bournonville were also born, the latter to become Denmark’s most famous creator of the Danish Ballet. Both of these men became friends of Hartmann and he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with both of them. His long life – 95 years – under four kings, born while Haydn was
still alive and not dying until both George Gershwin and Duke Ellington were born, meant that he more than anybody else influenced the development of Danish music in the romantic period.
The family’s later generation also left their mark in music. J.P.E. Hartmann’s son, Emil (1836-98), was a respected composer whose works today are once again claiming interest, and his great-grandchild was the composer Niels Viggo Bentzon who ended up being one of the 20th century’s most talked-about Danish composers. Others in the family have also made an impression on the music life of Denmark. So here we are talking about a Danish musical dynasty. That Hartmann’s daughter married composer Niels W. Gade was also to be significant for the development of music in the 19th century.
During Hartmann’s childhood and youth, historical events were not favourable for the Kingdom of Denmark. One catastrophe led to another: The Bombardment of Copenhagen in 1807 and the loss of the Danish fleet, the national bankruptcy in 1813 and the loss of Norway in 1814 were events which were of immense significance for Danish literature, music and culture in the dawning of romanticism. Attempts were made to repress the present with reminiscences of better times in antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Legends and myths came to life in the dramas of the poet Adam Oehlenschlæger and others. Hartmann was also influenced by this. His most well-known contribution to the genre is the music which made Oehlenschlæger’s “Guldhornene” (The Gold Horns) from 1832 into a melodrama which found favour well into the 20th century and of which several gramophone recordings were made. The most well-known are the interpretations of Poul Reumert and Adam Poulsen, both actors at The Royal Theatre. In this work we meet for the first time the atmosphere which became known as “The Nordic Tone”. This can be described as serious, slightly sombre without actually being gloomy, often rhythmically divergent from the expected, and with a strain of folk-music. It has almost become Hartmann’s name for posterity. We encounter it not only in the music for Oehlenschlæger’s Nordic tragedies such as “Hakon Jarl” and in the music for Bournonville’s ballets “Valkyrien” and “Trymskviden”, but also in symphonies and in many of the large number of occasional works he wrote during his long life, which today have been forgotten, precisely because they were – occasional works. In one of the most loved and still performed Bournonville ballets, “Et Folkesagn” we see the collaboration between
Hartmann and his son-in-law, Gade, who wrote the music for the 1st and 3rd acts, while Hartmann
provided the music for the 2nd act.
His life’s external circumstances were undramatic. His father wished him to study law rather than devote himself to music. He did both and graduated in law, but succeeded his father as the organist of the Garrison Church in 1824. During the whole of his life he pursued his organist career and reached the top of the tree when in 1843 he was appointed as C.E.F. Weyse’s successor to the country’s most prestigious organist’s post at Copenhagen Cathedral, Our Lady’s Church, a position he held right up to a few months before his death. The post at the Garrison Church was, however, still occupied by a Hartmann, namely his cousin Søren!
Hartmann manifested himself within all musical genres, but much has been forgotten today. Among the works he is still remembered for, is the little opera “Liden Kirsten” with the libretto by Hans Christian Andersen. It was an immediate success, and throughout the whole of the 20th century it has been performed again and again. It also attracted attention in other countries, for example when Liszt had it performed In Weimar! The Sulamith and Solomon songs, inspired by The Song of Songs from The Old Testament, are still in the repertory of numerous singers. Many of his hymn tunes are still in use, and as already mentioned, “Guldhornene” is also part of the Danish musical heritage.
The piano works also occupy a significant place in his production. He wrote several sonatas. The most well-known, but seldom performed, is his so-called “Price-Sonata” composed for a competition in Hamburg in 1841. Hartmann won third prize, but Schumann and Spohr, who were in the jury, both considered Hartmann’s sonata to be the most substantial.
As this CD shows, Hartmann also wrote a number of short piano pieces intended for use not in the concert hall, but in the drawing-room, since the growing and economically steadily more
influential middle classes were able to afford not only a piano, but also tuition, especially for their daughters. These short pieces resulted in a not insignificant income for the composer, but they
were certainly not hack work. This is clearly evident from a letter he wrote to his friend the musicologist Angul Hammerich:
This distinction between large and small forms does not clarify the matter, since when one knows what Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Stefan Heller, Gade and many others have given us in smaller forms, one will see how important much modulatory and harmonic knowledge, subtlety of design etc. are in order to be able to create something which can stand on its own feet in smaller forms, also without the agency of the piano virtuosity of recent times.
The short pieces presented here reveal a wholly different side of the composer from that which we find in his orchestral works. Here we encounter joie de vivre, intimacy and gaiety, indeed often almost hilarity, for which we have to search for diligently in the rest of his production. One senses the influence of Schumann and Mendelssohn, but even so Hartmann has his own style.
Allow me to conclude by encouraging the listener to hear this CD in small doses. The many short pieces are heard to advantage when they are enjoyed in smaller portions. Listening to them all without interruption, one is left with a confused, kaleidoscopic impression, which in no way does justice to these fine miniatures.


RELEASE DATE: August 2020


EAN: 5709499874004