"Wenn es nicht so tieftraurig wäre, müßte es lächerlich wirken, daß man alles das, was auf künstlerischem Gebiet neue Wege sucht und auf das Denkvermögen der Zuhörer, Zu - und Beschauer einige Anforderungen stellt, mit dem geflügelten Wort 'Kulturbolschewismus' abtut." -
K. Hartmann


Hartmann, rather unknown, is nowadays known as a Modernistic composer, composer of 8 symphonies and a lot of small pieces. Everywhere in his music you can hear his inner 'resistance'  to German National Socialistic Party of Hitler in the thirties.
From a family known for its contributions to art, science and philosophy, Klaus Hartmann is born in 1905 in Munich. When he's 20 he is taught the workings of contrapunction and composition by Haas .
In Berlin he becomes a pupil of Scherchen, who also taught Paul Hindemith. Here Hartmann gets interested in Modern Music. In 1933 he writes a piece called 'Kantate für Männerchor a capella nach Worten von Becher und Marx' but in the music he stipulates that he's a pacifist and humanist. In side notes to his music he writes he doesn't want to do anything with the Reichs Kultur Kammer, led by the Nazis.
His music is getting internationally well received: especially in France. While his music is played outside the country Hartmann has to appear for the Kammer. They try to convince him to travel outside of the country and propagate his music and the government abroad.
Hartmann refuses, stops composing in publicity, burns his last works and hides away in a little village south of Munich. Here he writes and composes about the horrors of war and the death trains to the camps (' Todenmarsch nach Dachau' 1945).
After the war his works are re-published and internationally well received again. His works are based on works of famous writers/pacifists like Walt Whitman and Emile Zola. Hartmann initializes the Musica Viva festivals, and is honoured with different prices for his inner resistance against the nazis.
When in 1959 a newly opened synagogue is sprayed with anti-Jewish slogans, Hartmann joins his East-German friends and Henze, Dessau, Blacher and Wagner-Regeny to set the 'Jewish Chronicle' to music as a protest against the hatred. Hartmann composes the second move, 'The Ghetto'. The total piece is written for orchestra, but lacks the use of any string instruments: the composers agree to rule out any form of musical instruments that can cause sentiments to rise.
However, Hartmann never hears the complete piece: the East German authorities won't allow him into East Germany to attend the performance.
In 1963 he dies after finishing his 8th Symphony


Appeared first in 1998 in a Dutch monthly magazine, and then publiced on my website in the series 'Contemporary composers'.

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