Arthur Hartmann (1881-1956), a celebrated violinist who performed over a thousand recitals throughout Europe and the United States, met Claude Debussy in 1908, after he had transcribed 'Il pleure dans mon coeur' for violin and piano. Their relationship developed into friendship, and in February 1914 Debussy accompanied Hartmann in a performance of three of Hartmann's transcriptions of Debussy's works. The two friends saw each other for the last time on the composer's birthday, 22 August 1914, shortly before Hartmann and his family fled Europe to escape the Great War.
With the publication of Hartmann's memoir Claude Debussy As I Knew Him, along with the twenty-two known letters from Claude Debussy and the thirty-nine letters from Emma Debussy to Hartmann and his wife, the richness and importance of their relationship can be appreciated for the first time. The memoir covers the years 1908-1918. Debussy's letters to Hartmann span the years 1908-1916, and Emma (Mme) Debussy's letters span the years 1910-1932. Also included are the facsimile of Debussy's Minstrels manuscript transcription for violin and piano, three previously unpublished letters from Debussy to Pierre Louys, and and correspondence between Hartmann and Bela Bartok, Nina Grieg, Alexandre Guilmant, Charles Martin Loeffler, Marian MacDowell, Hans Richter, and Anton Webern, along with Hartmann's memoirs on Loeffler, Ysaye, Joachim and Grieg.
Samuel Hsu is a pianist and professor of music at Philadelphia Biblical University. Sidney Grolnic, now retired, was a librarian in the music department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, where he served as curator of the Hartmann Collection. Mark Peters is associate professor of music at Trinity Christian College.
The account rings true. Intriguing and meticulously produced. --TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Knowing the composer can mean everything. Hartmann worked with Debussy on transcriptions of his work and smoked many cigarettes in his company. In the Hartmann book, you sift through sentimental language, and indeed, Debussy comes off like a character in Poe's 'Fall of the House of Usher'...This kind of music wasn't created for frivolous reasons. Composers write because they must. --PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER [David Patrick Stearns]
[Hartmann] knew everyone who was anyone; he was also blessed with the ability to write beautifully about his acquaintances. A treasure of a book. --Jessica Duchen, author of Gabriel Faure (Phaidon)
This is a fine account of a remarkable life story, just as well paced as any of Hartmann's own literary endeavors...a delightful book: the sort that leads you captivated from page to page. --THE MUSICAL TIMES
A precious testimony: the vivid nature of [Hartmann's] anecdotes encourages one to gain a striking sense of the atmosphere around Debussy and of his personality. . . . contribute[s] appreciably to the ever-evolving image of Debussy and his circle. . . . The Debussy letters now published [here for the first time, and with translations,] will promote further understanding. . . . Serious students of Debussy's life and nature, and perhaps violinists, will want to read Arthur Hartmann's accounts. This well-edited book can be recommended. --MUSIC AND LETTERS, 2005 [James R. Briscoe]
Series: Eastman Studies in Music
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 361
Published: 1st September 2010
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48