Robert Müller-Hartmann, chamber works; ARC Ensemble, Sunday Nov. 13 at Mazzoleni Live performance Corridor.
Unplayed works by unknown composers: that is the inventory in commerce of the ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) Ensemble, which drew our consideration on Sunday to the chamber music of Robert Müller-Hartmann, a Jewish composer, instructor and critic who left Germany for England within the Nineteen Thirties.
ARC Ensemble inventive director Simon Wynberg billed these performances as the primary in additional than 80 years. Judging by what we heard in Mazzoleni Corridor, the wait won’t be so lengthy for an additional revival.
Like most topics of ARC reappraisal, Müller-Hartmann was exiled for political causes. A sensible man, he resigned from the College of Hamburg in 1933 earlier than receiving the inevitable letter of dismissal.
Regardless of a heat welcome in England from Ralph Vaughan Williams and others, he was not capable of reestablish himself in an surroundings disrupted by battle. Internment on the Isle of Man didn’t assist.
It may be argued that Müller-Hartmann would have discovered himself alienated from the mainstream in any case. Firmly rooted within the Romantic custom, he partook of none the isms — neoclassicism, impressionism, expressionism — that have been considered as a prerequisite to severe consideration within the early-to-mid-Twentieth century.
His music however manages an apt mixture of solar, shadow and storm. The 22-minute Violin Sonata Op. 5 opened with an easygoing heat paying homage to Fritz Kreisler earlier than turning risky. A easy four-note motive acquired professional growth within the Brahmsian sluggish motion. Violinist Erika Raum conveyed differing shades of tone and emotion, whereas Kevin Ahfat responded to the extrovert parts of the piano half. A contact of shrillness within the Steinway might in all probability be attributed to its well-loved situation.
Ahfat was convincing in a set of solo items — Three Intermezzi and Scherzo Op. 22 — that have been Brahmsian even in title. Rubato was ample and applicable. The Sonata for Two Violins Op. 32, that includes Raum and Marie Bérard, provided a lot professional interaction. Works for 2 violins are likely to sound top-heavy. This adopted Two Items for Cello and Piano (no opus quantity) performed from reminiscence with an arrestingly heat and talking tone by Thomas Wiebe.
Violist Steven Dann joined the above-named string gamers in an attractive efficiency of the Quartet No. 2 Op. 38. Once more, the grins quickly yielded to melancholy. The conclusion of the Allegro molto finale was surprisingly understated.
These works will type the premise of one other instalment within the ARC Ensemble’s acclaimed Music in Exile sequence on the Chandos label. That recording shall be made subsequent month in Koerner Corridor. Sunday’s live performance, warmly acquired, was recorded for broadcast by CBC Radio 2. The good-looking printed program included an intensive biography of Müller-Hartmann by Wynberg.
The ARC Ensemble doesn’t do issues by halves.
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