Hans Werner Henze
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1926-07-01
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/6c3f5aaf-bd58-49ff-8160-26af9d777f54
Hans Werner Henze

Hans Werner Henze Biography (BBC)

Born in Gütersloh,Westphalia, Hans Werner Henze is one of the most prolific of contemporary composers and unquestionably one of Europe’s finest.

His musical education was interrupted by the war; he eventually graduated in 1948. Hindemith and Stravinsky were his initial models, but after completing his First Symphony in 1947, he began to explore 12-note music under René Leibowitz’s influence. In the 1950s his stylistic fusion of Stravinsky and Schoenberg, in operas such as Boulevard Solitude (1951), King Stag (1955) and The Prince of Homburg (1958), left him out of step with the avant-garde but more commercially successful.

In 1953, exasperated by the political and cultural conditions in Germany, he emigrated to Italy. The move introduced him to several important theatrical collaborators: Luchino Visconti (Dance Marathon, 1955), Frederick Ashton (Undine, 1957) and W. H.Auden (Elegy for Young Lovers, 1961, The Bassarids, 1965 – both with Chester Kallman – and Moralities, 1967, after Aesop).

After the triumphant 1966 Salzburg premiere of The Bassarids, Henze’s life and music changed profoundly through an increased commitment to left-wing politics. He sought to synthesise the revolutionary in music and words, as in the oratorio The Raft of the Medusa (1968).The scandal of the riot at its premiere isolated Henze from the German musical establishment for many years. Visits to Castro’s Cuba proved inspirational, for instance in the Sixth Symphony (1969) and several numbers of the song-cycle Voices (1973). Henze also collaborated with Edward Bond in the ‘actions for music’ We Come to the River (1976), the ballet Orpheus (1978) and the opera The English Cat (1982).

In the 1980s Henze began an aesthetic rapprochement with his homeland, with his ‘German’ Seventh Symphony (1984) and a renewed interest in German texts.The poet Hans-Ulrich Treichel provided librettos for the operas The Betrayed Sea (1989) and Venus and Adonis (1995) and for the choral Ninth Symphony (1997). Henze has also turned to setting his own German texts, as in Songs from the Arabian (1999) and what he had declared would be his final opera, L’Upupa, oder der Triumph der Sohnesliebe (‘The Hoopoe, or the Triumph of Filial Love’), premiered in 2003. However in 2007 he completed a chamber opera, Phaedra.

The 1990s had been a time of retrenchment but his recent output continues to be as varied as ever, with pieces for guitar, for percussion and for cellos. He has also produced a string of engaging orchestral pieces – Fraternité, Seven Boleros, the Tenth Symphony, Sebastian im Traum (2004) and – heard at 2006’s Proms – Five Messages for the Queen of Sheba (2004–5).

Profile © Guy Rickards




Hans Werner Henze Tracks

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Hans Werner Henze
Ariosi for soprano, violin and orchestra
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Ariosi for soprano, violin and orchestra
Hans Werner Henze
Royal Winter Music after Shakespearean characters - Ophelia
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Royal Winter Music after Shakespearean characters - Ophelia
Hans Werner Henze
Das Paradies (6 Songs from the Arabian)
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Das Paradies (6 Songs from the Arabian)
Hans Werner Henze
Ragtimes and Habaneras
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Ragtimes and Habaneras
Hans Werner Henze
Serenade (excerpts) Adagio rubato, Un poco allegretto, Vivace
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Serenade (excerpts) Adagio rubato, Un poco allegretto, Vivace
Hans Werner Henze
Serenade
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Serenade
Hans Werner Henze
Selim und der Wind
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Selim und der Wind
Hans Werner Henze
Symphony No 7 Movt.4; Finale
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Symphony No 7 Movt.4; Finale
Hans Werner Henze
Ondine - Act Three
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Ondine - Act Three
Hans Werner Henze
Ondine - Excerpt
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Ondine - Excerpt
Hans Werner Henze
Symphony No 7
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Symphony No 7
Hans Werner Henze
Ondine 3 a Pas de seize: Entrée
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Ondine 3 a Pas de seize: Entrée
Hans Werner Henze
Ondine - Ballet - Act I (extract)
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Ondine - Ballet - Act I (extract)
Hans Werner Henze
Being Beauteous - Cantata For Coloratura Soprano, Harp And 4 Cellos (ending)
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Being Beauteous - Cantata For Coloratura Soprano, Harp And 4 Cellos (ending)
Hans Werner Henze
Fandango
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Fandango
Hans Werner Henze
Symphony No 7 in E major
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Symphony No 7 in E major
Hans Werner Henze
Adagio Adagio
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Adagio Adagio
Hans Werner Henze
Ragtimes and Habaneras (Nos 1-4)
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Ragtimes and Habaneras (Nos 1-4)
Hans Werner Henze
Sebastian im traum for orchestra
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Sebastian im traum for orchestra
Hans Werner Henze
Ondine - ballet
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Ondine - ballet
Hans Werner Henze
Prison Song
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Prison Song

Prison Song

Performer
Gudrun Pelker (mezzo), Frieder Lang (tenor), Musikfabrik NRW, Johannes Kalitzke (conductor)
Hans Werner Henze
Ragtimes and Habaneras
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Ragtimes and Habaneras
Hans Werner Henze
Elekonig
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Elekonig
Rita Streich
Final scene/Credits (Muriel)
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Final scene/Credits (Muriel)
Sean Shibe
Drei Tentos
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Drei Tentos
Julian Bream
Oberon
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Oberon
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The Hunt of the Menads from "The Bassarids"
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The Hunt of the Menads from "The Bassarids"
Hans Werner Henze
The Bassarids: Hunt Of The Menads
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The Bassarids: Hunt Of The Menads
Oliver Knussen
Barcarola (feat. BBC Symphony Orchestra)
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Barcarola (feat. BBC Symphony Orchestra)
Hans Werner Henze
Barcarola for orchestra
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Barcarola for orchestra
Hans Werner Henze
Adagio adagio for piano trio
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Adagio adagio for piano trio
Hans Werner Henze
5 Neapolitanische Lieder for medium voice and chamber orchestra
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5 Neapolitanische Lieder for medium voice and chamber orchestra
Hans Werner Henze
Elegy for young lovers - opera
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Elegy for young lovers - opera
Hans Werner Henze
Muses of Sicily (third movement)
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Muses of Sicily (third movement)
Hans Werner Henze
Symphony No.8
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Symphony No.8
Hans Werner Henze
Der Erlkönig
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Der Erlkönig
Hans Werner Henze
Elegy for Young Lovers: Act I Hilda's Vision
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Elegy for Young Lovers: Act I Hilda's Vision
Hans Werner Henze
Elegy for Young Lovers: Act I Duet
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Elegy for Young Lovers: Act I Duet
Hans Werner Henze
6 Songs from The Arabian (First Song)
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6 Songs from The Arabian (First Song)
Hans Werner Henze
Erlkonig Fantasy
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Erlkonig Fantasy
Hans Werner Henze
Drie Tentos For Solo Guitar
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Drie Tentos For Solo Guitar
Hans Werner Henze
A L'Acqua De Liffuntanelle
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A L'Acqua De Liffuntanelle
Hans Werner Henze
Five Neapolitan Songs (No 2)
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Five Neapolitan Songs (No 2)
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Past BBC Events

Proms 1988: Prom 54
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ecb5v2
Royal Albert Hall
1988-09-04T08:35:26
4
Sep
1988

Proms 1988: Prom 54

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1965: Prom 09
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/egdq9r
Royal Albert Hall
1965-07-27T08:35:26
27
Jul
1965

Proms 1965: Prom 09

Royal Albert Hall

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