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Frank Martin (1890-1974): Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943 / Geoffrey Madge, piano; Christine von Arx, percussion; Eduard Grass-Hass, percussion; Bastiaan Blomhert, ARMAB Orchestra; Hineni String Orchestra

Audio Samples

  1. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 1, 1st March of the Drums $0.99 on iTunes
  2. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 2, 2nd March of the Drums $0.99 on iTunes
  3. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 3, Der Grimmig Todt $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 4, Death and the Old Man $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 5, Death and the Mother with Her Child $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 6, Das ewig Licht $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 7, Death and the Athlete $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 8, Aus tiefer Not $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 9, Death and the Rich Man $0.99 on iTunes
  10. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 10, Gaiement $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 11, Bourrée $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 12, March $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 13, Death Alone $0.99 on iTunes
  14. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 14, Death and the Young Girl $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 15, Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg $0.99 on iTunes
  16. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 16a, Death and the Selfmurderer $0.99 on iTunes
  17. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 16b, March $0.99 on iTunes
  18. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 17, Foxtrott $0.99 on iTunes
  19. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 18, Other Dance $0.99 on iTunes
  20. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 19, March $0.99 on iTunes
  21. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 20, Death and the Beautiful Lady $0.99 on iTunes
  22. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 21, Durch Adams Fall $0.99 on iTunes
  23. Frank Martin — Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 22, Retraite $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Martin, Frank : Ein Totentanz zu Basel, 1943, mime & dance spectacle for boys' choir, string orchestra, jazz ensembl
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Frank Martin's Danse Macabre in Basle. Frank Martin was one of the most eminent Swiss composers of all times and along with Arthur Honegger certainly the leading representative of his guild in Francophone Switzerland. Today it is above all in the field of large-format vocal composition that he ranks with the most remarkable composers of the twentieth century. Many texts describing dances of death began being written during the middle years of the fourteenth century. Painters and engravers like Hans Holbein and Albrecht Dürer depicted this subject. Perhaps the most famous pictorial representation of these danses macabres was produced in Basle. It consisted of thirty-seven pictures painted on the cemetery walls of the local Dominican Monastery beginning in the mid-fifteenth century. Today only nineteen fragments of these paintings survive. In 1943 the pantomime Mariette von Meyenburg asked her uncle Frank Martin to compose the music for a stage performance that would feature the traditional, empathetic, and understanding figure of Death, thereby deliberately opposing the horrors and mass slaughter of World War II. Frank Martin developed a scenario for a professional dancer who would portray Death and for a dozen pantomimes. The 'action« consists of eight scenes in which Death meets with individuals whose time is over. They are portrayed by the members of boys' choir and accompanied by a small orchestra. Martin has a large jazz band play the music of the dances of death - the so-called musique profane. The work was performed on a mere two occasions in Basle, in 1943 and 1992, but with great success. The music was never published. Maria Martin, the composer's widow, suggested that a concert suite be developed on the basis of the Danse Macabre in Basle, 1943 to save the music from oblivion. However, this strategy would not have kept the complete version - a genuine masterpiece - from suffering the very same fate. Therefore, we have decided to produce the complete original version.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2016
Full justice is done to the notes by mixed ensembles from Portugal, the Netherlands and the composer's native Basel.

The Guardian, 6th October 2016
It's a curiosity, really, but the music's pervasive melancholy is oddly touching in this first-ever recording, which seems to have been prepared meticulously by Bastiaan Blomhert.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Lukaskerk, Breda, The Netherlands (02/11/2012); Rehearsel Hall, School of Music, Branca, Portugal (02/11/2012); Lukaskerk, Breda, The Netherlands (12/09/2011-12/11/2011); Rehearsel Hall, School of Music, Branca, Portugal (12/09/2011-12/11/2011).



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Works Details

>Martin, Frank : Ein Totentanz zu Basel, 1943, mime & dance spectacle for boys' choir, string orchestra, jazz ensembl
  • Performer: Edith Habraken (Percussion)
  • Conductor: Bastiaan Blomhert
  • Ensemble: ARMAB Orchestra Sacramentskoor
  • Notes: Rehearsel Hall, School of Music, Branca, Portugal (02/11/2012); Lukaskerk, Breda, The Netherlands (02/11/2012); Rehearsel Hall, School of Music, Branca, Portugal (12/09/2011-12/11/2011); Lukaskerk, Breda, The Netherlands (12/09/2011-12/11/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943