One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963) 
Sonata No.1 for solo violin (1927) [15:50]
Suite No.1 for solo violin (1927) [19:43]
Sonata No.2 for solo violin (1927) [16:51]
Suite No.2 for solo violin (1927) [10:06]
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 31 No. 2 (1924)
4th Movement: Five variations on ‘Komm lieber Mai’ (W.A.Mozart) [4:17]
Renate Eggebrecht (violin)
rec. 2015, Clara-Wieck-Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany. DSD

In one creative outburst in 1927, at the age of only twenty-two, Karl Amadeus Hartmann penned the four solo violin works we have here. Personal circumstances and an indefatigable self-critical attitude with his early compositional efforts resulted in them lying dormant for sixty years. They had to wait until the mid 1980s to be premiered and 1988 to be published. What kick-started them in the first place was probably a chance hearing of Paul Hindemith's Solo Sonata for Viola, Op. 25, No. 1. It left a deep and lasting impression on the young Hartmann and he decided to chance his arm on something similar for violin. It could have been a risky venture as he was a trombonist, yet he seems to have been fully conversant with the limitless possibilities of the fiddle. Hindemith's influence is particularly evident in the third movement of the Sonata No. 1 and the fourth movement of the Sonata No.2.

Much of the music's interest lies in the colourful imaginative harmony that Hartmann employs. Highly dissonant and angular, it borders tonality without taking that final step into the atonal reaches. Most of it is highly dramatic and occasionally sounds mercilessly severe and brutal, as in the second movement of the Second Sonata, where the music is relentlessly savage and unforgiving. Even the Jazz finale of Suite No. 2 is unsmiling and strident.

J.S. Bach was without doubt a profound influence on the young composer, and his Solo Sonatas and Partitas provide a model and inspiration. Hartmann chooses titles such as toccata, fugue and chaconne. His fugal writing is skilful and impressive. A fine example is the second movement’s intensely chromatic Fuge in the Suite No. 1, adept and fluent in its writing. He also takes a leaf from Bach's book in his dance-like movements.

Eggebrecht pays tribute to Hindemith in her short ‘encore’ with the 4th movement from his Sonata Op. 31, No. 2.

Both Alina Ibragimova and Ingolf Turban have recorded Hartmann's solo violin oeuvre, but I've yet to hear them. Renate Eggebrecht has been afforded a top notch acoustic, where the clarity of the music's lines isn't muddied in any way, but emerges clearly defined. Her astonishing musicality and virtuosity make a strong case for this exacting music. The accompanying annotations, in English and German, supply more than enough information.

Stephen Greenbank




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan