Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hans Werner Henze / Mark Alburger

Hans Werner Henze (July 1, 1926 Gutersloh, Germany - October 27, 2012, Dresden), the oldest of six children of a teacher, and showed early interest in art and music. That and his political views led to conflict with his conservative father, Franz, who had served in the First World War and was wounded at Verdun.  Books by Christian and Jewish authors were replaced in the Henze household by literature reflecting Nazi views.  The older boys, including Hans, were enrolled in the Hitler Youth.

Hans, who had heard broadcasts of classical music (particularly Mozart), began studies at the state music school of Braunschweig in 1942, studying piano, percussion, and theory.  He had to break off his education after being conscripted into the army in 1944, towards the end of World War II.  Trained as a radio officer, he was soon captured by the British and held in a prisoner-of-war camp.  In 1945, he became an accompanist in the Bielefeld City Theatre and continued his training under Wolfgang Fortner at Heidelberg University the next year.

Henze had successful performances at Darmstadt, including an immediate success that season with a neo-baroque work for piano, flute and strings, that brought him to the attention of Schott Music publications.  He also took part in the Darmstadt New Music Summer School, turning, in 1947, to serial compositions. 

During this time, he worked with 12-tone technique in his First Symphony and Violin Concerto.  In 1948, Henze became musical assistant at the Deutscher Theater in Konstanz, where he composed his first opera Das Wundertheater, based on Cervantes.  Subsequently, Sadler's Wells Ballet visited Hamburg, inspiring Henze to write the choreographic poem Ballett-Variationen , first performed in Düsseldorf in September 1949.

Following this, he became ballet conductor at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden in Wiesbaden, where he composed two operas for radio, his Piano Concerto No. 1, and the jazz-influenced opera Boulevard Solitude, a reimagining of Andre Prevost's Manon Lescaut (1731, also the basis of Jules Massenet's Manon, 1884).

In 1953, Henze left Germany in disappointment, in reaction against homophobia and the country's general political climate, and moved to Italy, where he remained for most of his life, at first settling on Ischia in the Gulf of Naples.  Also resident were William Walton and his wife Susana, who took a great interest in the young German composer.  Two years later, Henze's Quattro poemi for orchestra made clear that he had moved far from the avant-garde.   In January 1956, Henze moved to Naples, initially he suffering disappointment, with the controversial premiere of the König Hirsch (The Stag King, 1957, Carlo Gozzi) -- despite its lush, rich textures.

A trend towards opulence was continued that year in Ondine, for choreographer Frederick Ashton, where the influence of Weber, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky (both Russian and Neoclassic), and jazz can all be heard.   Henze's spikier Maratona di danza (Luchino Visconti) even includes an on-stage band.

Henze's Five Neapolitan Songs, for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, were also composed soon after his arrival in Naples, as well as Serenades and Arias.  During a brief stay in Greece, he completed the harsh cantata-esque Kammermusik (1958), dedicated to Benjamin Britten and written for Peter Pears, the guitarist Julian Bream, and eight instrumentalists.  That same year, with librettist Ingeborg Bachmann, Henze wrote the operas Der Prinz von Homburg (1958, after Heinrich von Kleist).

In 1961, the composer, with his gardener-partner Fausto Moroni, moved to a secluded villa. La Leprara, on the hills of Marino, overlooking the Tiber south of Rome.  From 1962 until 1967, Henze taught masterclasses in composition at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, in 1964 composing Choral Fantasy (1964) and Der Junge Lord (Bachmann, after Wilhelm Hauff).  In the final year at Mozarteum, he became a visiting Professor at Dartmouth College.

Political concerns became prominent in such works as Symphony No. 6 (1969), Violin Concerto No. 2 (1971), and Voices (1973).  Because or despite this, Henze became an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, London in 1975, with his activism reaching high point the next year with the premiere of We Come to the River.

At this point, Henze founded the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Montepulciano, where Pollicino premiered in 1980.  From here until 1991, he led a class in composition in the Cologne Music School. In 1981 he founded the Mürztal Workshops in the Austria, and two years later wrote The English Cat, subsequently followed by the setting up of the Deutschlandsberg Youth Music Festival.  1988 saw the foundation of the Munich Biennale.

His later works, while less controversial, continued in political and social engagement, including The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea (Das Verratene Meer, 1990, based on Yukio Mishima's Gogo no Eiko).

Henze's Requiem (1993) comprises nine sacred concertos for piano, trumpet and chamber orchestra, and was written in memory of the Michael Vyner.  In 1995 Henze received the Westphalian Music Prize, which has carried his name since 2001.  The choral Symphony No. 9 (1997, Hans-Ulrich Treichel) is based on motifs from Anna Seghers's The Seventh Cross, as a defiant rejection of Nazism. Invited by Walter Fink, he was the tenth composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival in 2000, but he did not attend due to illness.  2003 saw the successful premiere of L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe (The Hoopoe and the Triumph of Filial Love) at the Salzburg Festival, based on a Syrian fairy tale.  The next year included the composition of Sebastian im Traum (2004) and the reception of an honorary doctorate in Musicology from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.

Moroni cared for Henze when he suffered a spectacular emotional collapse during which he barely spoke and had to be encouraged to eat, living as though in a coma.  In the year of Henze's sudden recovery in 2007, he wrote Phaedra, and Moroni died after a lengthy battle with cancer.  Elogium Musicum (2008) with a Latin text by Henze, is an obituary to his partner of more than 40 years.

Works List

Kleines Quartett for Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1945)
Sechs Lieder (1945)
Kammerkonzert (1946)
Sonata for Violin and Piano (1946)
Concertino (1947)
Fünf Madrigäle (1947)
Sonatina for Flute and Piano (1947)
Sonatina for Piano (1947)
String Quartet No. 1 (1947)
Symphony No. 1 (1947)
Violin Concerto no. 1 (1947)
Apollo et Hyazinthus (1948)
Chor Gefangener Trojer (1948)
Kammersonate (1948)
Der Vorwurf (1948)
Whispers from Heavenly Death (1948)
Wiegenlied der Mutter Gottes (1948)
Das Wundertheater (1948)
Ballet-Variationen (1949)
Jack Pudding (1949)
Serenade for Solo Cello (1949)
Suite (1949)
Symphony No. 2 (1949)
Variationen (1949)
Chanson Pflastersteine (1950)
Die Gefangenen (1950)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1950)
Sinfonische Variationen (1950)
Symphony No. 3 (1950)
Le Tombeau d'Orphée (1950) 
Das Vokaltuch der Kammersängerin Rosa Silber (1950)
Boulevard Solitude (1951)
Labyrinth (1951)
Ein Landarzt (1951)
Sinfonische Zwischenspiele (1951)
Der Tolle Tag (1951)
Der Idiot (1952)
Pas d’Action (1952)
Sodom und Gomorrha (1952)
String Quartet No. 2 (1952)
Tancredi (1952)
Tanz und Salonmusik (1952)
Wind Quintet (1952)
Das Ende einer Welt (1953)
Ode an den Westwind (1953)
Quattro poemi (1955)
Der Sechste Gesang (1955)
Symphony No. 4 (1955)
Vokalsinfonie (1955)
Die Zikaden (1955)
Concerto per il Marigny (1956)
Drei Tentos (1958)
Fünf Neapolitanische Lieder (1956)
König Hirsch (1956)
Maratona (1956)
Sinfonische Etüden (1956)
Hochzeitsmusik (1957)
Jeux des Tritons (1957)
Nachtstücke und Arien (1957)
Undine (1957)
Drei Dithyramben (1958)
Drei Fragmente nach Hölderlin (1958) 
Kammermusik 1958 (1958)
Der Prinz von Homburg (1958)
Sonata per Archi (1958)
Trois pas des Triton (1958)
Undine, Suite No. 1 (1958)
Undine, Suite No. 2 (1958)
L’Usignolo dell’Imperatore (1959)
Sonata for Piano (1959)
Antifone (1960)
Jüdische Chronik (1960)
Elegy for Young Lovers (Elegie für Junge Liebende) (1961)
Six Absences (1961)
Les Caprices de Marianne (1962)
Novae de Infinito Laudes (1962)
Symphony No. 5 (1962)
Ariosi (1963)
Being Beauteous (1963)
Cantata della Fiaba Estrema (1963)
Los Caprichos (1963)
Lucy Escott Variations (1963)
Muriel ou Le Temps d'un Retour (1963)
Quattro Fantasie (1963)
Three Arias (1963)
Divertimenti (1964)
Der Frieden (1964)
Der Junge Lord (1964)
Ein Landarzt (1964)
Lieder von Einer Insel (1964)
Tancredi (1964)
Zwischenspiele (1964)
The Bassarids (Die Bassariden) (1965)
Mänadentanz (1965)
In Memoriam: die Weisse Rose (1965)
Double Bass Concerto (1966)
Double Concerto (1966)
Fantasia for Strings (1966)
Der Junge Törless (1966)
Muzen Siziliens (1966)
Moralities (1967)
Piano Concerto No. 2 (1967)
Telemanniana (1967)
Das Floss der Medusa (1968)
Versuch über Schweine (1968) 
Symphony No. 6 (1969)
El Cimarron (1970)
Compases para Preguntas Ensimismadas (1970)
Memorias de "El Cimarrón" (1970)
L'Usignolo dell'Imperatore (1970)
Das Floss der Medusa (1971)
Fragmente aus Einer Show (1971)
Der Langwierige Weg in die Wohnung der Natascha Ungeheuer (1971)
Prison Song (1971)
Violin Concerto No. 2 (1971)
Heliogabalus Imperator (1972)
La Cubana, Oder Ein Leben für die Kunst (1973)
Tristan (1973)
Voices (1973)
Carillon, Récitatif, Masque (1974)
Sonatina for Trumpet (1974)
Heb Doch die Stimme An (1975)
Kindermund (1975)
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)
Ragtimes and Habaneras (1975)
Amicizia! (1976 )
Capriccio (1976)
Mad People's Madrigal (1976)
Royal Winter Music, Sonata No.1 (1976)
String Quartet No. 3 (1976)
String Quartet No. 4 (1976)
String Quartet No. 5 (1976)
We Come to the River (1976)
L'Autunno (1977)
Aria de la Folía Española (1977)
Der Taugenichts (1977)
Ländler (1977)
Sonata for Violin (1977)
S. Biagio 9 Agosto Ore 12.07 (1977)
Trauer-Ode für Margaret Geddes (1977)
Il Vitalino Raddoppiato (1977)
 Five Scenes from the Snow Country (1978)
Margareten-Walzer (1978)
 Orpheus (1978)
The Woman (1978)
Apollo Trionfante (1979)
Arien des Orpheus (1979)
Barcarola (1979)
Dramatische Szenen aus "Orpheus" I (1979)
Epitaph (1979)
Etude Philarmonique (1979)
El Rey de Harlem (1979)
Royal Winter Music, Sonata No. 2 (1979)
Sonata for Viola and Piano (1979)
Sonatina for Violin and Piano (1979)
Toccata senza Fuga (1979)
Drei Märchenbilder (1980)
Montezuma (1980)
Pollicino (1980)
Sechs Stücke für Junge Pianisten (1980)
Spielmusiken (1980)
Cherubino (1981)
Euridice (1981)
Le Miracle de la Rose (Imaginäres Theater II) (1981)
Variation for Brass Quintet (1981)
Von Krebs zu Krebs (1981)
Canzona (1982)
Nach Lissabon (1982)
Un Amour de Swann (1983)
The English Cat (1983)
Orpheus Behind the Wire (1983)
Sonata for Piccolo Trumpet, 2 Trumpets, Fluegel Horn, Bass Trumpet, 2 Trombones, and Bass Trombone (1983)
Three Auden Songs (1983)
L'Amour à Mort (1984)
Deutschlandsberger Mohrentanz No. 1 (1984)
Une Petite Phrase (1984)
Sonata for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion, and Piano (1984)
Symphony No. 7 (1984)
Deutschlandsberger Mohrentanz No. 2 (1985)
Fandango (1985)
Kleine Elegien (1985)
Konzertstück (1985)
Liebeslieder (1985)
Selbst- und Zwiegespräche (1985)
Eine Kleine Hausmusik (1986)
Ode an Eine Äolsharfe (1986)
Serenade for Solo Violin (1986)
Allegra e Boris (1987)  
Cinque Piccoli Concerti e Ritornelli (1987)
La Mano Sinistra (1988)
Piece for Peter (1988)
Clavierstück (1989)
Drei Lieder uber den Schnee (1989)
Für Manfred (1989) 
Das Verratene Meer (1989)
Fünf Nachtstücke (1990)
Paraphrasen über Dostojewsky (1990)
Gogo No Eiko (1990)
An Sascha (1991)
Das Haus Ibach (1991)
Piano Quintet (1991)
La Selva Incantata, Aria and Rondo (1991)
Zwei Konzertarien (1991)
Adagio for String Sextet (1992)
Introduktion, Thema, und Variationen (1992)
Minette (1992)
Pulcinella Disperato (1992)
An Brenton for Viola (1993)
Adagio, Serenade (1993)
Heilige Nacht (1993)
Lieder und Tänze (1993)
Requiem: 9 Geistliche Konzerte (1993) Symphony No. 8 (1993)
Appassionatamente (1994)
Für Reinhold (1994)
Heimlich zur Nacht (1994)
Toccata Mistica (1994)
Le Disperazioni del Signor Pulcinella (1995)
Hirtenlieder (1995)
Venus und Adonis (1995)
Notturno (1995)
Erlkönig (1996)
Le Fils de l'Air (1996)
Leçons de Danse (1996)
Minotauros Blues (1996)
Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesänge (1996)
Pulcinellas Erzählungen (1996)
Serenata Notturna (1996)
Sieben Boleros (1996)
Violin Concerto No. 3, Three Portraits from Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (1996)
Voie Lactee o Soeur Lumineuse (1996)
Zigeunerweisen und Sarabanden (1996)
Symphony No. 9 (1997)
Sechs Gesänge aus dem Arabischen (1998) 
Fraternité (1999)  
Ein Kleines Potpourri for Flute, Vibraphone, Harp, and Piano (2000)
Symphony No. 10 (2000)
A Tempest (2000)
Olly on the Shore (2001)
Scorribanda Sinfonica (2001)
L’Heure Bleue (2001)
Scorribanda Pianistica (2003)
L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe (2003)
Fünf Botschaften für die Königin von Saba (2004)
Sebastian im Traum (2004)
Phaedra (2007)
Elogium Musicum (2008)
Der Opfergang (2010)
An den Wind (2011)
Gisela! Oder die Merk- und Denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks (2010)