9 Jun 2013

Hans Werner Henze (1926 – 2012)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 9 June 2013
Hans Werner Henze

Hans Werner Henze Photo: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F008277-0008/ Unterberg, Rolf/ CC-BY-SA, via Wikimedia Commons

 

As a teenager, Henze was disturbed by what he saw and heard during the Nazi era in Germany. He broke with his father who was an enthusiastic party member and after the war, as further stories emerged, he felt a growing sense of shame and guilt. He later wrote in his autobiography about the 2nd Symphony, “it is as though the experience of war had begun to demand an answer in my music.”

However, whereas there is plenty of violence to be found in Henze’s music where it’s warranted, the pursuit of beauty is a recurrent theme in his music throughout his life.

Music Details:

Henze: Symphony No 7, 1st mvt – City of Birmingham SO / Rattle (EMI)
Henze: Symphony No 9, 2nd mvt – Berlin PO / Metzmacher (EMI)
Henze: The Brassarids, 3rd mvt – RSO Berlin / Albrecht (Koch Schwann)
Henze: Symphony No 2, 3rd mvt – Berlin PO / Henze (DG)
Henze: Boulevard Solitude, Intermezzo III – NDR SO / Ruzicka (Wergo)
Henze: Nachtstücke und Arien, Nachtstücke I – Gürzenich Orch Cologne / Stenz (Capriccio)
Henze: Nachtstücke und Arien, Aria I – Claudia Barainsky, Gürzenich Orch Cologne / Stenz (Capriccio)
Henze: Adagio Fuge and Mänadtanz – Gürzenich Orch Cologne / Stenz (Capriccio)
Henze: The Raft of Medusa – NDR SO / Henze (DG)
Henze: Symphony No 7, 4th mvt – City of Birmingham SO / Rattle (EMI)
Henze: Symphony No 9, 6th mvt – Berlin PO / Metzmacher (EMI)
Henze: La selva incantata – Montpellier National Orch / Layer (Accord)
Henze: Symphony No 9, 7th mvt – Berlin PO / Metzmacher (EMI)