Frank Martin

Frank Martin was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on 15 September 1890. He was the tenth and youngest child of a clergyman's family. He played and improvised on the piano even before he went to school.By the age of nine he composed charming children's songs that were perfectly balanced without ever having been taught musical forms or harmony. A performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, heard at the age of twelve, left a lasting impression on the composer, for whom J.S. Bach remained the true master.He attended Latin school and, to please his parents, went on to study mathematics and physics at the University of Geneva for two years. Simultaneously he started studying piano and composition with Joseph Lauber, who initiated him in the "craft", especially in instrumentation. Between 1918 and 1926 Frank Martin lived in Zurich, Rome and Paris, working on his own, searching for a personal musical language.In 1926 he founded the "Societe de Musique de Chambre de Geneve" which he led as pianist and harpsichord player for ten years. He taught improvisation and theory of rhythm at the "Institut Jacques-Dalcroze" and chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory of Music. He was artistic director of the "Technicum Moderne de Musique" from 1933 to 1940 and president of the Swiss Association of Musicians between 1942 and 1946.In 1932 he became interested in the 12-tone technique of Arnold Schoenberg. He incorporated certain elements into his own musical language, creating a synthesis of the chromatic and twelve-tone techniques, without however abandoning the sense of tone - that is, the hierarchical relations between notes. Le Vin Herbe (1941) was the first important work in which he completely mastered this very personal idiom. Together with the Petite Symphonie Concertante (1944-45) it established his international reputation.Martin's many musical activities in Switzerland interfered with the peace and concentration his compository work required. Consequently he decided tot move to the Netherlands in 1946. For ten years he lived in the centre of Amsterdam followed by a definitive move to the little town of Naarden in 1956. Between 1950 and 1957 he taught composition at the "Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik" in Cologne.After that he ceased all teaching activities, preferring to work at home and to make occasional tours with the Swiss cellist Henri Honegger and to conduct his own music at the invitation of many important musical centres, amongst others in the United States.He received many honours and awards from all over the world.In the extensive "oeuvre" of Frank Martin oratorios play an important part. In May 1973 he conducted the world premiere of his Requiem in the Cathedral of Lausanne which left a deep impression on a large audience.His compositions kept the same vitality until the end of his life. He worked on the cantata Et la Vie l'Emporta until ten days before his death on 21 November 1974.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1925 Trio fur Klavier, Violine und Violoncello 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Trio für Klavier, Violine und Violoncello

Comments:

Werner Genuit - piano
The New York String Trio

1922-1926 Mass 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Trio für Klavier, Violine und Violoncello

Comments:

The Sixteen cond. Harry Christophers

1930 Chansons ("Le petit village) 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Trio für Klavier, Violine und Violoncello

Comments:

The Sixteen cond. Harry Christophers

1936 Trio for Violin, Viola and Violoncello 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Trio for Violin, Viola and Violoncello

Comments:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - baritone
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Frank Martin

1939 Ballade for Piano and Orchestra 3.50 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Ballade for Piano and Orchestra

Comments:

Sebastian Benda - Piano

Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne cond.

1941 Ballad for flute, string orchestra and piano 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Ballad for flute, string orchestra and piano

Comments:

Aurèle Nicolet - Flute
Werner Bärtschl - Piano
Menuhin Festival Orchestra
conducted by Edmond de Stoutz

QUADRO RECORDING

1941 Cantate pour le 1er Aout (Suisse) 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Trio für Klavier, Violine und Violoncello

Comments:

The Sixteen cond. Harry Christophers

1941  Ballade for Trombone and Orchestra 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Ballade for Piano and Orchestra

Comments:

Armin Rosin - Trombone
Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne cond. Frank Martin

1941 Ballade for Trombone and Orchestra 4.00 out of 5 stars CD

Comments:

Christian Lindberg - Trombone
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Leif Segerstam

1942 Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke/ Leeuw-NSA

Comments:

Based on a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.


Martins music is as always very posh.

Jard van Nes is a beautiful alto voice.
Conductor: reinbert de Leeuw

intro

1943 Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann 3.50 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Jedermann [6 Monologe]

Comments:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Baritone
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Frank Martin

1943 Sechs Monologe aus Jedermann 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Petite Symphonie Concertante

Comments:

Gilles Cachemaille - Baritone
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande cond, Armin Jordan

1944 In Terra Pax 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - In Terra Pax

Comments:

Oratorio for five soloists and double choir.

Composed to celebrate the end of World War 2.

Solists, Choir and Suisse Romande Orchestra cond. Ernest Anstermet

1945 Petite Symphonie Concertante 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Petite Symphonie Concertante

Comments:

For harp, harpsichord and piano and 2 string orchestras

RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin cond. Ferenc Fricsay

1945 Petite Symphonie Concertante 4.50 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Petite Symphonie Concertante

Comments:

For harp, harpsichord and piano and 2 string orchestras

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande cond, Armin Jordan

1947 Trois Chants de Noel 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Petite Symphonie Concertante

Comments:

Anne Sofie von Otter - Mezzo Soprano
Anrdeas Alin - Flute
Bengt Forsberg - Piano

1948 Eight preludes for Piano 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Eight preludes for Piano

Comments:

Werner Genuit - piano

1949 Concerto for seven wind instruments 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Concerto for seven wind instruments

Comments:

Suisse Romande Orchestra cond. Ernest Ansermet

1949 Concerto for seven wind instruments 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Petite Symphonie Concertante

Comments:

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande cond, Armin Jordan

1950 Ariel 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Trio für Klavier, Violine und Violoncello

Comments:

The Sixteen cond. Harry Christophers

1950-1951  Concerto for Violin and Orchestra 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Piano Concerto No 2

Comments:

Wolfgang Schneiderham - violin
Orchestra of Radio Luxemburg cond. Frank Martin

1951-1952 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Concerto for harpsichord and orchestra

Comments:

Christiane Jacottet - harpsichord
Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne cond. Frank Martin

1960 Der Sturm (3 fragments) 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Der Sturm (3 fragments)

Comments:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - baritone
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Frank Martin

1961 Ode a la Musique (Guillaume de Machaut) 4.00 out of 5 stars CD
Frank Martin - Trio für Klavier, Violine und Violoncello

Comments:

The Sixteen cond. Harry Christophers

1968-1969 4.50 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Piano Concerto No 2

Comments:

Paul Badura-Skoda - piano
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Frank Martin

1972 Ballad for viola and wind orchestra 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Ballad for viola and wind orchestra

Comments:

Yehudi Menuhin - violin
Menuhin Festival Orchestra
conducted by Edmond de Stoutz

QUADRO RECORDING

1973 Polyptyque 4.00 out of 5 stars LP
Frank Martin - Polyptyque

Comments:

Six images of the Passion of Christ
For violin solo and 2 string orchestras

Yehudi Menuhin - violin
Menuhin Festival Orchestra / Züricher Kammerorchester conducted by Edmond de Stoutz

QUADRO RECORDING