Frank Martin


Born: September 15, 1890; Geneva, Switzerland   Died: November 21, 1974; Naarden, The Netherlands  
Martin's long, quietly productive career reflected a quest to reconcile creative imperatives with stylistic integrity in an era of unprecedented technical challenges, experiments, and fragmentation. A conventionally trained musician would have been less liable to brook such challenges as an ethical dilemma or to see in them an almost paralyzing array of possibilities, while Martin, the tenth child of a Calvinist pastor, felt both keenly. Martin Read more began composing at 8, was overwhelmed by a performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion at 10, and by his 16th year knew that music was his destiny. While formally studying mathematics and physics at his parents' behest, he pursued music privately with the distinguished Swiss composer Joseph Lauber, who introduced him to the rudiments of piano, harmony, and composition. Martin became an able interpreter at the piano and harpsichord and, in later life, proved well enough equipped to make a definitive recording of his difficult Preludes (8) for piano. In 1918 Martin moved to Zurich, then on to Rome and Paris, returning to Geneva in 1926 with the experience of jazz hot in the ear. A meeting that year with Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, founder of eurhythmics, went hand-in-hand with exploration of Hindu and Bulgarian rhythms, issuing in the orchestral triptych Rhythmes (1926) an element of rhythmic nervosité as a persistent feature of his music. Modal and serial elements also informed his work without being slavishly adopted. That the fairly prolific Martin achieved his first characteristic work -- the secular oratorio Le vin herbé (1938-1941) -- only as he passed his 50th year owes as much, perhaps, to the German-dominated insularity of Swiss musical life as to the search for an ideal purity of utterance. The impact of Debussy and Ravel, for instance, was brought to bear only during the Great War through the revelations of Swiss conductor Ernest Ansermet, who performed Martin's Les dithyrambes in 1918 and became a champion of his work, making several classic recordings of it. Recognition came in the form of teaching posts, directorship of the Technicum Moderne de Musique, president of the Swiss Musicians' Union 1943-1946, a composition class at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik 1950-1957, and commissions (e.g., by Geneva Radio for the oratorio In terra pax for broadcast on armistice day). In 1943 he married his third wife, Maria Boeke, and in 1946 moved with her to Amsterdam, and later to Naarden. Masterworks flowed from his pen between concert tours that carried his music worldwide. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 160 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Time & Eternity / Kopatchinskaja, Camerata Bern
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 545 Release Date: 09/13/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Zorn,  Karl Amadeus Hartmann,  Frank Martin,  Lubos Fiser  ... 
    Performer:  Patricia Kopatchinskaja
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Bern
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  • 2.
    Return / Slocum, Wilson
    Label: Affetto Records   Catalog: 1903 Release Date: 08/02/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Béla Bartók,  Aaron Copland,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Sonora Slocum,  John Wilson
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  • 3.
    Bjornsson: Arctic Sonata / Cowan
    Label: Emec (Editorial De Musica Espanola)   Catalog: 137 Release Date: 06/21/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gulli Björnsson,  Albert Roussel,  Darius Milhaud,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Steve Cowan
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  • 4.
    40 / Christophers, The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16172 Release Date: 05/10/2019   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  James MacMillan,  Giovanni Palestrina,  Tomás Luis de Victoria  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Leighton & Martin: Masses for Double Choir / Fort, Choir of King's College London
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34211 Release Date: 04/26/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kenneth Leighton,  Frank Martin,  Jehan-Ariste Alain
    Performer:  James Orford
    Conductor:  Joseph Fort
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London King's College Choir
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  • 6.
    A Simple Song / Otter, Forsberg
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2327 Release Date: 01/04/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Aaron Copland,  Charles Ives,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Bengt Forsberg
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  • 7.
    Martin: Mass for Double Choir / Miller, Westminster Choir
    Label: Westminster Choir College   Catalog: 1809 Release Date: 09/21/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin
    Performer:  Sherezade Panthaki
    Conductor:  Joe Miller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir
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  • 8.
    Viola & Organ / Royer, Leitner
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99168 Release Date: 04/20/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yngve Sköld,  York Bowen,  Ernst Ludwig Leitner,  Frank Martin
    Performer:  Benedicte Royer,  Bettina Leitner,  Katharina Teufel-Lieli
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  • 9.
    The Secret Mass / Creed, Danish National Vocal Ensemble
    Label: Our Recordings   Catalog: 220671 Release Date: 04/06/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Bohuslav Martinu
    Performer:  Lauritz Jakob Thomsen,  Hanna-Maria Strand,  Klaudia Kidon,  Emil Lykke  ... 
    Conductor:  Marcus Creed
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Vocal Ensemble
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  • 10.
    Das ewige Ratsel / Kranzle, Dumno
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 1887 Release Date: 03/16/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rudolf Klein,  Gustav Mahler,  Frank Martin,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Johannes Martin Kränzle,  Hilko Dummo
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  • 11.
    Martin: Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke / Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 108 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin
    Performer:  Okka von der Damerau
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Zurich
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  • 12.
    A Guitar for Segovia / Somoza
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 2195487 Release Date: 07/14/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alonso de Mudarra,  Santiago de Murcia,  Maurice Ohana,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco  ... 
    Performer:  Javier Somoza
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  • 13.
    Mozart & Henze: Violin Concertos - Martin: Magnificat / Schneiderhan, Seefried, Swiss Festival Orchestra
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95644 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hans W. Henze,  Frank Martin
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Irmgard Seefried
    Conductor:  Paul Hindemith,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Bernard Haitink
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  • 14.
    Schumann, Wolf & Martin: Lieder / Schuen, Heide
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553330 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Hugo Wolf,  Frank Martin
    Performer:  Andre Schuen,  Daniel Heide
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  • 15.
    Schumann, Duparc, Martin & Schubert: Lieder / Hempel, Kegler
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 16051 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Henri Duparc,  Frank Martin,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Martin Hempel,  Katharina Kegler
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  • 16.
    Martin: Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943 / Blomhert, ARMAB Orchestra, Sakramentskoor
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777997 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin
    Conductor:  Bastiaan Blomhert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sacramentskoor Breda,  Hineni String Orchestra,  Associacao Recreativa Musical Amigos da Branca
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  • 17.
    Trios from Our Homelands / Lincoln Trio
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 165 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rebecca Clarke,  Arno Babadjanian,  Frank Martin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lincoln Trio
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  • 18.
    Saint-Saens, Lalo & Martin: Works for Cello & Orchestra / Yang, Hofstetter, Giessen Philharmonic
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 1838 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Frank Martin,  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Wen-Sinn Yang
    Conductor:  Michael Hofstetter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gießen Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $230.49
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  • 20.
    The Menuhin Century: The Historic Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555052 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Moore,  George Enescu,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire  ... 
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  • 21.
    Brouwer: Concierto de Benicassim - Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez - Martin: Guitare
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573542 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Frank Martin,  Leo Brouwer
    Performer:  Miguel Trapaga
    Conductor:  Óliver Díaz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Galicia Real Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Voyage au pays du tendre et de l'effroi / Oxalys
    Label: Passacaille   Catalog: 1017 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  André Caplet,  Frank Martin,  Gabriel Pierné  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxalys
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  • 23.
    Martin: Missa / Grunert, Fletcher, Kammerchor der Frauenkirche Dresden
    Label: Rondeau Productions   Catalog: 6111 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Percy Fletcher,  Matthias Grünert
    Performer:  Matthias Grünert
    Conductor:  Matthias Grünert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Frauenkirche Chamber Choir
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    Jean-Pierre Rampal: The Complete Erato Recordings, Vol. 3 1970-1982
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552118 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Johann Melchoir Molter,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Aram Khachaturian,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Pierre Barbizet,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-François Paillard,  Claudio Scimone,  Jean Martinon,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Trio Pasquier,  Les Solistes De Ličge
    CD: $58.99
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  • 25.
    Great Trombone Concertos
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 79 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Launy Grondahl,  Frank Martin,  Henri Tomasi,  Ferdinand David
    Performer:  Jacques Mauger
    Conductor:  Laurent Petitgirard
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