Divine Art Announces New Thomas Fortmann CD
Divine Art Recordings Group, based in Brandon, Vermont, and in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce the release of a new chamber music CD by Swiss composer Thomas Fortmann, entitled “In Dust We Trust.” The disc, featuring Fortmann’s piano trio “Prolitheus Suite,” is set for official release on Divine Art’s Metier label in early 2013. The new piano trio “Prolitheus Suite,” which was well received in Italy, will receive its US premiere at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 8:00pm, as part of the InterHarmony Concert Series at Carnegie Hall. Performers Misha Quint (cello), Andrzej Grabiec (violin) and Svetlana Gorokhovich (piano) will present this NYC Premiere.
In addition to the “Prolitheus Suite,” Fortmann’s new album will also include his new Violin Sonata and Four Pieces for Two Violins. Fortmann’s work has a totally original voice, merging modernism with jazz, European folk rhythms and traditional German cabaret theater. The album will be released internationally as Metier MSV28534.
Thomas Fortmann was born in Switzerland and became a successful songwriter during the 70s. He wrote his first “hit” at the age of 16, which was followed by over a hundred titles released in more than 27 countries. Famous German rock stars such as Udo Lindenberg, Love Generation, Jürgen Drews and others, as well as British artists such as Alexis Korner and Italian singer Daniela Davoli have recorded his songs. He composed the music for the musical Tell (1977), which created a scandal in Switzerland. The record made it into all German-speaking charts.
At the age of 26, Thomas abandoned his career as a rock musician and dedicated himself to further studies in composition and instrumentation. This period formed the foundation for many chamber works, two symphonies, an Oratorio and three music-plays. He received scholarships and commissions from the towns of Zurich and Bern, the Swiss government, the European Union, the Opera of Zurich, Open Opera St. Gallen, Mozart Festival Trento, University of Houston, Connaissez-vous Basel-Riehen, Espace Nuithonie Fribourg and many others. In the mid- 80s Thomas and his family moved to Tuscany where he founded the Accademia Amiata and its Festival “Toscana delle Culture”.
Fortmann’s music does not subscribe to any particular school of thought. He studied the various composition techniques, but maintained a critical point of view towards them. This lead to the development of a notably personal style, often uniting different, sometimes even contrary impulses of the modern. Formalistic concepts seem to serve him mainly as a method of transportation and as a play-ground, resulting in very original ideas. It is, however, always important to him, despite the frequent use of complex structures, to directly communicate with the listener and make an emotional impact.
Prolitheus Suite (2010)
The title emerged out of the composer’s friendship to the artist O.F. Pfenninger, called Oli (PrOLItheus). Pfenninger has tirelessly devoted the last 15 years to creating a gigantic work of art, with which he literally steals the “fire from the art-Gods” (PROmeTHEUS). Despite his difficulties with promoting himself in the art world, he always stays positive, choosing to be “for” (PRO) something as opposed to “against” it. Furthermore, the objects and themes he uses are all of proletarian origin (PROLitheus). The result is “PROLITHEUS”. Fortmann has been working with Pfenninger for some time on a grotesque musical theatre piece titled: “Vaudeville for Leontine”. Although the Trio emerges in the musical form of a Suite, the word ‘Suite’ here mainly refers to his artwork as an interior design.