HANS WERNER HENZE (1926-2012): Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesänge for Bassoon, Guitar and String Trio, Kammermusik 1958 for Tenor, Guitar and 8 Solo Instruments.
Catalogue Number: 07T058
Description: New Folksongs and Pastorals was adapted by Henze from incidental music he wrote in the 1980s for a partly amateur production of a play that borrowed from the Œdipus myth updated to address the contemporary social conditions in working-class Styria as part of a workshop project. The music draws on Styrian folk music, with Ländler rhythms and a basically tonal language, though by no means does Henze write down to his amateur and student musicians. The seven short movements are undemonstrative and melancholy, with a faded pastoral air. The coupling is Henze's odd, but compelling, setting of Hölderlin's “In Lieblicher Blaue” which the composer described as "the vision of a poet who has clouds of madness around his head, and who stammers in fragments, with beautiful, seemingly dislocated phrases." The instrumental interludes in particular exude Mediterranean warmth, redolent of the sun-drenched mythical elements of the poem and the atmosphere of Greece that entranced the composer on the visit that inspired him. Elsewhere, harmonies are harsher, reflecting the poem's disturbingly disjointed non sequiturs of imagery. Despite this, the piece as a whole has the lush textures typical of Henze's style after he relocated to Italy in 1953. German texts. Andrew Staples (tenor), Jürgen Ruck (guitar), Scharoun Ensemble Berlin; Daniel Harding.