HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Symphony No. 7, Symphony No. 8.
Catalogue Number: 12K096
Reference: WER 6712 2
Description: The Seventh (1984) returns to the catalogues again (why can't it remain available for more than a couple of years?): a big-boned work, based in tonality, and dealing with matters of weighty import in what is very much an offshoot of the Romantic symphonic tradition. The 1993 Eighth is inspired by Shakespeare's, "Midsummer Night's Dream". The first movement is inspired by Oberon's challenge to Puck to search for the magic flower and the flurrying figurations and liquid quality of the music seems to depict Puck's "I'll put a girdle around the earth in forty minutes". The second, marked Ballabile, is balletic in clumsy and exquisite by turns, suggested as it was by Titania's attempted seduction of Bottom. The adagio finale turns out to be the source of all the material we've heard in the first two movements, tying up the work like Puck's speech "If we shadows have offended" at the end of the play. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Marek Janowski.