Two new CDs published

Two new CDs are now available from Romantic Discoveries Recordings.

Piano Music of J.P.E. and Emil Hartmann and August Winding
John Kersey, piano
RDR CD86

Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann (1805-1900): 1. Fantasistykke: Allegretto grazioso e moderato. August Winding (1835-99): Sommerminder, op 26: 2. Feriestemning 3. Nyt Liv 4. J Sukkenes Allee I 5. J Sukkenes Allee II 6. Valse Impromptu 7. Serenade 8. Notturno. J.P.E. Hartmann: 9. Introduction et Andantino religioso, op. 26. August Winding and Emil Hartmann (1836-98): Fjeldstuen, ballet by A. Bournonville: 10. Sæterpigernes Dands om det nydødbte Barn (Winding)  11. Astas Dands til Faderens Spil (Hartmann)  12. Bornene Fortælle om Astas Dands (Hartmann) 13. Menuet (Hartmann) 14. Huldredands (Winding) 15. Springdands (Winding) 16. Scherzo (Hartmann). J.P.E. Hartmann: Novelletten: Sechs kleine Stücke, op 55: 17. Allegretto 18. Allegro giocoso 19. Menuet-Tempo 20. Allegro vivace, assai 21. Andantino sostenuto 22. Allegro assai. Emil Hartmann: Sonata in F major, op 17: 23. Allegro 24. Cantilene: Andantino 25. Rondo: Allegro grazioso.

Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann succeeded his father at the Garnisons Kirke in 1824, and thereafter was successively professor at Copenhagen University and the founding director of the Conservatoire there from 1867. His studies in Europe in 1836 brought him into contact with Chopin, Rossini, Cherubini and Spohr. In musical style he successfully fused elements of Nordic nationalism with a post-Mendelssohnian style that at its most progressive (such as in op 74) clearly looks forward to Brahms. The quality of Hartmann’s inspiration and mastery of compositional and pianistic technique was considerable, and marks him out as the leading Danish composer for the piano of his generation.

Emil Hartmann, son of J.P.E., received his early training from his father and developed a successful career in his homeland and Germany, despite being somewhat eclipsed by his father’s fame. His unpublished Sonata shows a forward-looking grasp of the mid-Romantic idiom, with a powerful opening movement followed by two that were both left unfinished, interestingly when each had reached similar melodic ideas. His shorter works are gratefully written for the instrument, showing an apt grasp of the salon style of the turn of the century. The ballet Fjeldstuen (The Mountain Hut, or Twenty Years) to choreography by the royal ballet master August Bournonville was completed in 1859 and was the first significant work of Emil Hartmann, here collaborating with his brother-in-law August Winding, to come to public notice.

August Winding was the son of a pastor, and received his first piano lessons from his parents. In 1847 he studied with Carl Reinecke and from 1848-51 with Anton Rée, also studying composition with Niels Gade. In 1856 he completed his studies in Leipzig and Prague, where he studied with Dreyschock. Returning to Denmark, he became well-known for appearances as a soloist, particularly in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. In 1864, he married Clara, daughter of J.P.E. Hartmann. From 1867 he taught at the Royal Conservatory, as well as privately. In 1872 he developed a nervous injury to his arm as a result of overwork which forced him to stop concertizing and devote his attention to composition. He resumed teaching at the Conservatory in 1881 and became a member of its board after the death of Gade in 1890. In 1888 he reappeared in public as a soloist and gave a limited number of concerts between then and his death, receiving the accolade of a state professorship and annuity in 1892.

Piano Music of August Winding (1835-99)
John Kersey, piano
RDR CD85

Preludes in all the Keys: A Cycle, op 26: 1. in C major: Poco Adagio, maestoso e con nobilità 2. in A minor: Allegro agitato ed affetuoso 3. in F major: Comodo 4. in D minor: Allegro risoluto e energico 5. in B flat major: Allegro non troppo. Giocoso, con allegrezza 6. in G minor: Moderato con fierezza 7. in E flat major: Andante innocente e tenero 8. in C minor: Presto impetuoso 9. in A flat major: Allegro non troppo con dolcezza 10. in F minor: Allegro moderato, poco agitato 11. in D flat major: Con moto. Soave e con grazia 12. in B flat minor: Andantino quasi Allegretto, Grave e mesto 13. in G flat major: Allegro vivace con calore e molt’ animato 14. in E flat minor: Presto furioso e con strepito 15. in B major: Allegretto tranquillo e dolce 16. in G sharp minor: Allegretto dolente e malinconico 17. in E major: Moderato grazioso e con tenerezza  18. in C sharp minor: Allegro energico e molt’ appassionato  19. in A major: Allegretto dolce e piacevole 20. in F sharp minor: Andantino con duolo 21. in D major: Allegro con vivacità ed anima 22. in B minor: Adagio grave e lugubre 23. in G major: Allegro molto con gran vivacità 24. in E minor: Andante sostenuto, quasi una fantasia 25. Postludium in C major: Poco Adagio, maestoso e con nobilità. Landlige Scener: Skizzer for Piano, op 9: 26. Med Tilegnelsen 27. Ved Daggry 28. Ved Kornmarken 29. I det Frie 30. Løvfald 31. Aftenstemning 32. Afsked.

August Winding was the son of a pastor, and received his first piano lessons from his parents. In 1847 he studied with Carl Reinecke and from 1848-51 with Anton Rée, also studying composition with Niels Gade. In 1856 he completed his studies in Leipzig and Prague, where he studied with Dreyschock. Returning to Denmark, he became well-known for appearances as a soloist, particularly in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto. In 1864, he married Clara, daughter of J.P.E. Hartmann. From 1867 he taught at the Royal Conservatory, as well as privately. In 1872 he developed a nervous injury to his arm as a result of overwork which forced him to stop concertizing and devote his attention to composition. He resumed teaching at the Conservatory in 1881 and became a member of its board after the death of Gade in 1890. In 1888 he reappeared in public as a soloist and gave a limited number of concerts between then and his death, receiving the accolade of a state professorship and annuity in 1892.

Winding’s works include principally a large amount of solo piano music, particularly etudes, as well as a symphony, piano concerto, concert allegro for piano and orchestra, piano quartet, string quintet and two violin sonatas. This disc is the first to be devoted to his solo piano music.

The major cycle of Preludes in all the keys is dedicated to Isidor Seiss, the noted piano teacher and pupil of Friedrick Wieck. Unlike Chopin, Winding adopts a cycle of ascending fourths followed by their relative minors. This is a superbly varied and inspired series, with a lyrical emphasis throughout. Of particular note are the finely-drawn B flat minor (no. 12), perhaps the most reminiscent of Chopin, and the final E minor dark fantasia. The set ends with the first prelude returning as a postlude, having already been alluded to in the B minor prelude (no. 22).

The Landlige Scener (Rural Scenes) are an early work of Winding’s and show his distinctive voice already well-developed with clear progression from the world of Schumann and Mendelssohn. The movements are attractively descriptive, including Ved Daggry (at dawn), Løvfald (leaf fall), Ved Kornmarken (through the cornfield), Aftenstemning (evening mood) and Afsked (farewell). Winding’s father had a passion for collecting and arranging folk music and its contours are evident in a number of these effective, unpretentious pieces.

About johnkersey

Historian, musician and educationalist.
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