The Thomas de Hartmann project

With help from friends and colleagues Elan Sicroff embarked on a new effort to make the works of de Hartmann better known, more than half a century after his death.

And as of 2016-10-02 we are pleased to announce a major step forward in this effort through the Thomas de Hartmann project (described below), and in particular a one hour Dutch broadcast featuring Elan and Katharina Naomi Paul playing de Hartmann's music, available through this link: VPRO Vrije Geluiden De Hartmann Special.

The link is to a TV broadcast that Elan did in Holland to mark the public launch of the TdH project. The program is a very popular weekly event, and the host is very well known. Normally it consists of three or four segments, but twice a year it is devoted to a single subject. This time it was Thomas de Hartmann. It consists of an interview with Elan, interspersed with some wonderful pieces of music, some of which you may know, and others may be new. There are excerpts from the now-public CD set. The 50-minute show starts in Dutch (don't be deterred) and quickly goes into English with Dutch subtitles.

The initiating force came in the fall of 2006, when guitarist Robert Fripp suggested that Elan aim to play a concert of de Hartmann's music every six weeks. Elan has done just that, performing in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Beginning with programs featuring the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann output of sacred music, Elan gradually added de Hartmann's own compositions into the programs.

Thomas Daly, the executor of the estate of Olga and Thomas de Hartmann, approved the project, allowing the unpublished, copyrighted works to be distributed and performed. In July 2009 Elan recorded Laudamus, a CD featuring three early de Hartmann works (from 1902), along with the more familiar Gurdjieff/deHartmann music. During the production of the CD, the idea of the Thomas de Hartmann Project was born. Stefan Maier, organ builder, took on the role of producer, while Shawn Marquis, technical specialist, has helped catalog the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann works.

De Hartmann occupies a unique position in the classical music world. His early Russian Romanticism was blended with the Eastern music he heard and transcribed with Gurdjieff in the 1920s. His later output, from the 1930s until his death in 1956, is filled with both Eastern and Romantic elements. These are combined with the modern idiom, making use of dissonance and bitonality. All of these styles serve to illuminate the underlying message about man's potential, which he learned from his years with Gurdjieff.

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