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Gerhart von Westerman

 1894 - 1963Gerhart von Westerman Photo: © Ilse Buhs

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Gerhart von Westerman was initially influenced by Strauss and the impressionist composers (as heard in his Two Ballads for baritone and orchestra), and later began to include modernist elements in his compositions, such as in the Intermezzi for orchestra Devoted a large part of his work to journalism, radio, the writing of books, the direction of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra and the Berlin festival weeks The Divertimento, a free, abundantly expressive suite for orchestra, was performed for the first time by the Berlin Philharmonic under Furtwängler in October 1944 His melodic patterns are of a characteristic, personal kind, sometimes with a Slavic ring Von Westerman's originality, though rooted in late Romanticism, are shown by his original, refined treatment of harmony and his surprising sense of colour His great opera Promethean Fantasy, to which he himself wrote the libretto, shifts between classical antiquity and the present to unfold its theme of hubris that has brought both suffering and love to mankind

Works by Gerhart von Westerman include:
Serenade op.7 (1916) for orchestra
Divertimento op.16 (1941) for orchestra
Promethean Fantasy (1948/49 and 1956) opera



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