In addition to
the Piano Concerto Opus 25, the new recording, which comprises an audio CD and
Blu-ray, includes Ullmann’s piano sonatas No. 3 (1940) and No. 7 (1944), which were recorded by Annika Treutler in the Church of Jesus
Christ in the Dahlem district of Berlin. The album will be released on the
Berlin Classics label (Edel) on January 31, 2020.
“My aim is to
make Ullmann’s music as highly regarded and as well-known as the work of those
of his great contemporaries who were not persecuted. The work deserves it! In
his music, Ullmann developed a very special language and a tonality all his own,”
said Annika Treutler in tribute to the composer.
Commenting on the project, Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG, said: “January 27, 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The immeasurable evil suffered by the many victims of the German concentration camps and of Nazi crimes in general is an immediate part of our history and must never be forgotten. With this gesture, Siemens would also like to make a contribution in this regard.”
Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program, added: “I believe we have a duty
to give voice to the artists who were not allowed – or were no longer able – to
express themselves during their lifetimes. These include the many Jewish
artists who never had the freedom necessary to fully unleash their creative
crimes, which also led to Ullmann’s early death, made it impossible for an
entire generation of musicians to express their artistic abilities. The pianist
Annika Treutler and the conductor Stephan Frucht aim to honor Ullmann’s work as
a composer and keep the memory of that work alive. As a result, the project
will – in addition to the music recordings – include an audiovisual art
installation, lectures, concerts and events.
About Viktor Ullmann
Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) was an Austrian composer, conductor and pianist. In 1942, he was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where he managed to produce an important part of his work. There, he wrote Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis), Die Weise von Liebe und Tod (The Way of Love and Death) and Piano Sonata No. 7, which is also included on the present recording. On October 18, 1944, Ullmann was murdered shortly after his deportation to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Most of his early work has been lost. The surviving compositions include four piano sonatas, two operas and the Concerto Opus 25. Ullmann composed this concerto in 1939 while still in Prague. He was denied the opportunity to realize his plan to perform the piece in Theresienstadt. It premiered in 1992 in Stuttgart.