Suite No 2 is traditionally tonal in its melodic language, at least as far as its first two movements are concerned. The opening Lebhaft
(lively) is —though not so designated—another fugue, something like an updated Bach two-part invention. The second movement—marked Fließend
(flowing)—has a hymn-like simplicity and purity of expression unique in all these unaccompanied violin pieces. Written without bar lines, it is possibly a transcription of (unidentified) folk sources, for the brief central section certainly sounds like a folk tune. In complete contrast, the third movement, Stürmisch
(stormy), is largely based on the constant reiterations and variations of a complex idea involving ascending dotted rhythms, wide leaps, and descending triplet patterns. Hartmann seems to be systematically trying it out on different degrees of the scale and harmonizing it each time with different intervals. The last movement is marked Jazz Tempo
, with the qualification Sehr robust
. It proves to be a vigorous shimmy or cakewalk whose initial stamping figure becomes omnipresent before a bravura coda that ends the suite on a dissonant crushed semitone, played sforzando.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2007