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Hartmann, Erich: Quartet for double basses (1971)


A virtuoso work with rhythmic complexities.

Erich Hartmann (b.Leipzig 26.01.1920 d.Berlin 6.7.2020) was the last pupil of Theodor Findeisen (1881-1936) at the Conservatory of Music in Leipzig and at St Thomas Church. He studied theory and composition with Hermann Grabner. Military service from 1939 interrupted his musical studies which were resumed after sustaining an injury during the Second World War. He joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in November 1943 and became one of its longest serving members, retiring in 1985.

In 1967 Hartmann founded a double bass quartet with other members of the orchestra, reviving a tradition Findeisen had begun in the 1930s. At that time there was practically no published literature available for bass ensemble, two notable exceptions being Suite by Bernard Alt (Hofmeister 1933), Findeisen’s Quartet Op.26 (Hofmeister 1934) and Suite by Gunther Schuller (McGinnis 1947). Frank Proto’s Quartet appeared in 1961 (Liben).

In his retirement, Erich Hartmann continued to compose and to take an active interest in all things connected with the double bass until he died a few months after his 100th birthday.

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