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HANS WERNER HENZE  

(1926 - 2012)

Hans Werner Henze was among the most prolific and successful of contemporary German composers. His systematic study of music only began after the war, with Wolfgang Fortner, and later with visits to Darmstadt and absorption of serial technique, to be used with great originality in a musical language that was also influenced by Stravinsky. In 1953 he moved to Italy, and gradually developed his leaning towards the political New Left, reflected in some of his music and choices of texts and themes. His festival activities at Montepulciano and his involvement with the Munich Biennale, among other things, enabled him to exercise a strong influence on the course and promotion of contemporary music. In Italy he had eventually settled in a villa near Rome, where he lived with his partner Fausto Moroni, who helped him recover from a serious illness but died himself in 2007, to be remembered in Henze’s Elogium Musicum, a work for chorus and orchestra.

Stage Works

Henze’s immensely successful operas range from the 1951 Kafka radio opera, with its Trakl settings, Der Landarzt (The Country Doctor) to König Hirsch (King Stag), the Kleist Prinz von Homburg, Elegy for Young Lovers, with a libretto by WH Auden and Chester Kallmann, Der junge Lord (The Young Lord), based on a tale by Wilhelm Hauff, The Bassarids, with Auden and Kallmann, based on Euripides, and We Come to the River and The English Cat, with texts by Edward Bond. Der verratene Meer (Treacherous Oceans), based on Yukio Mishima’s Gogo no eiko, translated as The Sailor who fell out of Grace with the Sea, had its première in 1990, to be followed by Venus and Adonis, a fifteenth opera L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe (The Hoopoe and The Triumph of Filial Love), an Arabian fairy-tale, and, in 2007, Phaedra, a reworking of the tragedy of Phaedra and her stepson Hippolytus. Henze also provided music for a series of ballets and incidental music for the cinema and the theatre. His work continued with the opera Gisela! or the Strange and Memorable Ways of Happiness, staged in 2010, after the first performance earlier in the same year of Immolazione (Sacrifice), based on Franz Werfel’s long poem Das Opfer.

Orchestral Music

An exceptionally wide range of orchestral music includes ten symphonies, with a seventh drawing on Hölderlin and an eighth on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Henze has written concertos for piano, for violin and, for Gary Karr, a double bass concerto, as well as a double concerto for oboe and harp for Heinz and Ursula Holliger.

Chamber & Instrumental Music

In addition to his string quartets Henze has written music for a variety of ensembles, including sonatas for violin, for viola and for flute and piano. Music for solo instruments includes the useful Lucy Escott Variations for harpsichord, works for various solo instruments, for violin, double bass, cello, marimba and trumpet, as well as a set of pieces for solo guitar, These last include his two Royal Winter Music, with movements based on characters from Shakespeare.

Vocal & Choral Music

Vocal and choral music by Henze is equally varied and remarkable, with Novae de infinito laudes (New Praises of the Infinite) with a text from Giordano Bruno, the Virgilian Muses of Sicily and the controversial Das Floss der ‘Medusa’ (The Raft of the Medusa), as well as the revolutionary El Cimarrón (The Fugitive).

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
GLASS Of Beauty and Light (US Version) Naxos 8.503202
PÄRT The Silence of Being Naxos 8.506015

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BACH, J. / HINDEMITH / SANDSTROM: Music for Brass Ensemble BIS
BIS-CD-544
Chamber Music
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE II (THE)- Opera, Ballet and Theatre Highlights (Blu-ray, HD) Opus Arte
OABD7077D
Ballet DVD
GRONDONA, Stefano: Guitar Works by Bach, Henze, Petrassi Dynamic
CDS59
Instrumental
Guitar Recital: Jeffrey McFadden Naxos
8.553401
Instrumental
HENZE, H.W.: Guitar Music, Vol. 1 (Halasz) - Royal Winter Music No. 2 / 3 Tentos / Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesange Naxos
8.557344
Instrumental, Vocal, Chamber Music, Instrumental
HENZE, H.W.: Guitar Music, Vol. 2 (Halasz) - Royal Winter Music No. 1 / Carillon, Recitatif, Masque / Ode an eine Aolsharfe Naxos
8.557345
Instrumental, Chamber Music, Instrumental
HENZE, H.W.: Junge Lord (Der) (Deutsche Oper Berlin, 1968) (NTSC) EuroArts
2072398
Opera DVD
HENZE, H.W.: Ondine (Royal Ballet, 2009) (Blu-ray, HD) Opus Arte
OABD7064D
Ballet DVD
HENZE, H.W.: Ondine (Royal Ballet, 2009) (NTSC) Opus Arte
OA1030D
Ballet DVD
HENZE, H.W.: Symphony No. 8 / Nachtstucke und Arien / Die Bassariden: Adagio, Fuge und Manadentanz (Barainsky, Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra, Stenz) Phoenix Edition
Phoenix113
Vocal, Orchestral
HENZE: Boulevard Solitude (Liceu, 2007) (NTSC) EuroArts
2056358
Opera DVD
HENZE: L'autunno / HINDEMITH: Kleine Kammermusik BIS
BIS-CD-752
Chamber Music
HENZE: L'Upupa EuroArts
2053929
Opera DVD
HENZE: Prinz von Homburg (Der) (PAL) Arthaus Musik
100164
Opera DVD
HENZE: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 / 5 Night-Pieces Naxos
8.557738
Concertos, Chamber Music
LEAVING HOME: Orchestral Music in the 20th Century (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
102073
Classical Documentary
LEAVING HOME: Orchestral Music in the 20th Century, Vol. 7: Threads (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
102045
Classical Documentary
LINDBERG, M.: Mano a mano / TAKEMITSU, T.: Mori no naka de / HENZE, H.: Guitar Sonata No. 1 (Korhonen) Ondine
ODE1091-2
Instrumental
REVOLUTION DER KLANGE (DIE): Musik im 20. Jahrhundert (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
102072
Classical Documentary
REVOLUTION DER KLANGE (DIE): Musik im 20. Jahrhundert, Vol. 7: Zu neuen Ufern (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
102044
Classical Documentary
SEASONS (The) (Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet) BIS
BIS-2072
Chamber Music
Trumpet Recital: Friedrich, Reinhold - STRAVINSKY, I. / HONEGGER, A. / HENZE, H.W. / HINDEMITH, P. / WOLPE, S. / SKALKOTTAS, N. Capriccio
C10439
Instrumental
Violin Recital: Doll, Barbara - ENESCU, G. / SCHUBERT, F. / SCHOENBERG, A. / HENZE, H.W. ArcoDiva
UP0083-2
Chamber Music
WAGNER GALA (THE) (Kaufmann, Thielemann) (Blu-ray, HD) C Major
715004
Classical Concert
WAGNER GALA (THE) (Kaufmann, Thielemann) (NTSC) C Major
714908
Classical Concert




 
 
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8:22:34 PM, 21 November 2014
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