Paul (Pál) Hermann (1902-1944)
Forbidden Music in World War II.
Etcetera Records KTC 1590 (2CDs)

All works on this double CD are first recordings.
Collaboration with the Orel Foundation



Grand Duo for Violin and Cello (1929/1930)
Burkhard Maiss-violin, Bogdan Jianu-cello
Recorded at Berlin NaturTonStudio; November 21, 2016
1 I. Allegro 9:01
2 II. Andante 8:59
3 III. Allegro giocoso 7:16
String Trio (1921)
Burkhard Maiss-violin, Hannah Strijbos-viola, Bogdan Jianu-cello
Live recording at Splendor Amsterdam; December 12, 2016
4 Allegro moderato 8:14
Piano Trio (1924)
Burkhard Maiss-violin, Bogdan Jianu-cello, Andrei Banciu-piano
Live recording at Splendor Amsterdam; April 11, 2016
5 Andante tranquillo 13:10
Cello Concerto (1925)
Clive Greensmith-cello, Beth Nam-piano
Live recording by Sergey Parvenov; May 13, 2016, Thayer Hall.
The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School, Los Angeles
6 Allegro cantabile for cello and piano 9:45
Irene Maessen-soprano, Andrei Banciu-piano
Recorded at Splendor Amsterdam; March 27, 2017
1 La Ceinture (1934, Paul Valéry) 2:17
2 La Dormeuse (1934, Paul Valéry) 3:08
3 Ophélie (1939, Arthur Rimbaud) 7:40
Quatre Épigrammes (1934) for piano dedicated “à Monsieur J.W. Weevers”
Andrei Banciu-piano
Recorded at Splendor Amsterdam; March 27, 2017
4 I. Allegro 1:00
5 II. Andante in modo arabo 1:34
6 III. Allegro assai 0:50
7 IV. Allegro ma non troppo 1:25
8 Allegro for Piano (1920) 2:49
9 Toccata for Piano (1936) 3:42
Suite for Piano (1924)
Andrei Banciu-piano
Recorded at Splendor Amsterdam; March 27, 2017
10 I. Allegretto 2:44
11 II. Molto allegro 4:12
12 III. Lento 5:06


Paul Hermann studied cello (with Adolf Schiffer) and composition (with Leo Weiner and Zoltán Kodály) in Budapest.
His international breakthrough as a cellist came at a concert of the International Society of Contemporary Music in Vienna, when he performed Kodály’s Sonata for cello solo.
Closely involved in the Dutch classical music scene as a result of his marriage to Ada Weevers, he also championed the music of Dutch contemporaries.
In the twenties and thirties of the twentieth century, Paul Hermann performed as a cellist in major concert halls in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.
He programmed music by his friends Bartók and Kodály, but also introduced his own compositions.
Adolf Weißmann wrote in the Berliner Zeitung am Mittag: ‘Paul Hermann is one of the best cellists of our times.’
A Dutch newspaper called him ‘the Hungarian Casals’. ‘A cellist of first magnitude’, according to Evening Standard in London.
He not only played the music of Bach and Beethoven to great critical acclaim,but also championed both Hungarian and Dutch contemporary composers.

The fact that Hermann - student of Leo Weiner and Zoltán Kodály - was also a gifted composer himself, was far less known.
Although Paul Hermann earned his living as a cellist, composing was equally important to him.
His first compositions date from his student time at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, the last compositions that we know of were written late 1939 in Paris, two months after the Second World War broke out.
His compositions – kept safe by the Weevers family – remained hidden. Thanks to Paul Hermann’s daughter Cornelia, the Leo Smit Foundation was able to programme his music again for the first time in 2009.
Starting as a student, he continued composing until weeks before his death. His output includes works for strings, for piano solo, songs and orchestral compositions.
With great success, he managed to combine the classical tradition with modern insights; his work represents the musical development of the early twentieth century. His compositions are neoclassical in form, playing with the boundaries of tonality.
Paul Hermann was a serious composer with a great depth of ideas, but also a great sense of humour. His Hungarian background is unmistakable, building on the ideas of his teachers Kodály and Bartók.

To escape the anti-Semitic reign of terror of Admiral Horthy, Hermann emigrated to Berlin around 1925.
He continued his studies with Hugo Becker and composed a Cello Concerto. With his friend violinist Zoltán Székely he toured Europe.
For a concert at Wigmore Hall, he composed his Grand Duo.
When Hitler seized power in 1933, Paul Hermann and his young wife Ada Weevers decided to stay in the Netherlands. In the autumn of that year, Ada died and Paul relocated to Brussels and Paris.
When the war broke out, he signed up as a foreign volunteer with the French army. His regiment fought at the front lines north of Paris.
After the French surrendered, Paul Hermann went into hiding with Ada’s family. In 1944, in a street raid in Toulouse he was arrested, being a Hungarian Jew, and sent to Auschwitz via Drancy. His transport was sent on to Lithuania and Hermann never returned.

A short lecture of Cornelia Hermann on the music of her father can be watched here :
For more information on Paul Hermann and his works visit

Carine Alders
Leo Smit Stichting
Berkenweg 36
3818 LB Amersfoort
+31 20-4227001 / +31 6-14665918