Hartmann: String Quartet No. 1 (Carillon); String Quartet No. 2

COMPOSERS: Hartmann
LABELS: CPO
WORKS: String Quartet No. 1 (Carillon); String Quartet No. 2
PERFORMER: Pellegrini Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: 999 219-2 DDD
Hartmann’s two string quartets were composed in 1933 and 1945-6, and their extramusical significance is as clear as their musical style is expressive – at times almost Expressionist – without ever being sentimental. Such rehabilitation (see also April issue) may be salutary for our view of German musical history. But while the performances here are very persuasive, the fascinating imaginary ‘interview’ with the composer in the booklet notes ultimately left a stronger impression on me than the music itself. Keith Potter

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