The Thomas de Hartmann Project- Elan Sicroff and others - 7CD set
Thomas de Hartmann (1885-1956), famous as a composer in Russia in the early 1900s, and widely performed in France in the 1940s, is currently almost completely neglected by the classical music establishment. His music will emerge from the shadows in 2016 with the release of The Thomas de Hartmann Project by Basta Music, featuring nearly seven hours of premiere recordings of de Hartmann's works for piano, voice and chamber ensemble.
In 1985 King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp produced Sicroff’s first album of the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music entitled Journey to Inaccessible Places, released by EG Edition in 1987. In 2006, Mr. Fripp proposed that Sicroff spearhead a long term project to bring the music back to public awareness. Sicroff presented a series of recitals in the US and Europe over the next 3 years. In 2010 Laudamus… was released, featuring 3 early Romantic pieces by de Hartmann along with the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music.
Sicroff's focus gradually shifted to promoting Thomas de Hartmann’s classical output. In 2009 performances of the Violin Sonata Op. 51 and works for solo piano were well received in the US and in Europe. When Sicroff met Fripp again in 2010, he was put in touch with Dutch producer Gert-Jan Blom to discuss a recording venture. Having already produced three projects of Gurdjieff’s and de Hartmann’s music, Blom was enthusiastic about recording a number of CDs, covering the wide range of de Hartmann’s classical legacy.
Drawing on his extensive connections in the Dutch music world, Blom attracted many distinguished musicians for the project. Participants include soprano Claron McFadden, the Amstel Quartet (saxophones), double bassist Quirijn van Regteran Altena, Joris van Rijn (concertmaster of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands), Ingrid Geerlings (principal flute of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra), and many others.
With the release of The Thomas de Hartmann Project, a boxed set containing nearly seven hours of recordings and three booklets, the attention is now turned outward. The Thomas de Hartmann Consort is presenting recitals of chamber and vocal music, and Sicroff will travel with an exciting lecture-recital that chronicles the composer’s life and work with live performance, recordings and photos.
For almost 60 years, de Hartmann’s sheet music has been out of print. Basta Music is now preparing to make it available, and a number of works will be ready in time for the release of The Thomas de Hartmann Project in late September. Musicians will now be able to study and perform this music, facilitating the recognition of a great composer.