Author Topic: Henze's Benz  (Read 15109 times)

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snyprrr

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Henze's Benz
« on: December 03, 2011, 03:44:37 PM »
Am I dreaming? Is it true?

I know there's a Thread surrounding the wonderful set of 6 Symphonies on DG, but, it appears there is no Official Henze Thread for GMG? Please, please tell me before I...

Anyhow, I just thought, Why not look up Henze?, and, when I saw his Works List, I was amazed at the amount, and concentration, of his career. There were a lot more strictly orchestral works than I had presumed. And the dating in my head had been all wrong.

As far a being a Composer, well, he's always seemed a little aloof to me, like a thrice rarified Boulez, to the point I never knew how to take him. The DG set reveals him to be the heir to the Germanic Symphonic Tradition, which then gets a good once over with the Symphony No.6

His 5 String Quartets (Arditti/Wergo) reveal, also, the utter seriousness of the German Tradition as transformed. Henze doesn't go for Xenakis type, or Penderecki type, sound effects, and he doesn't seem to do anything outside of what one expect from, say, Hartmann's nephew. There is a lot of Germanic angst of the type that I tire of easily, but, since I'm fairly clear of it, Henze suits the role perfectly, and in that context I can joyfully return to this set often!

If I have more Henze, it is in the realm of his trumpet sonata, or minor symphonic excerpts. I used to have the Shakespeare Sonatas for guitar, which I must have liked, along with an interesting disc on the Ars Musici label(?). I've always been interested if Henze had anything else I might be interested in, but I am certainly Opera Shy, and the rest of the DG box is intimidating.

I just know there's someone out there who's itching to chat Henze! What say you?

Offline petrarch

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 09:17:47 PM »
The little I have heard of Henze didn't particularly entice me, except for Antifone. The Arthaus DVD about him is quite interesting.
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snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 10:20:16 PM »
The little I have heard of Henze didn't particularly entice me, except for Antifone. The Arthaus DVD about him is quite interesting.

I imagine an interesting story.

I noticed some concertos in the '60s and early '70s,... I hear interesting things about Undine, Tristan,... I'm sure I can find much on YouTube.

You don't have/like the DG set of 6 Symphonies, petrarch?


Offline petrarch

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2011, 01:27:57 AM »
You don't have/like the DG set of 6 Symphonies, petrarch?

Don't have; probably wouldn't like (not yet, at least).
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 01:38:37 AM »
The Barcarola per grande orchestra is lovely - a vivid piece of hommage to god knows how many previous composers (little snippets of early Schoenberg and Ravel, etc). Very fantastical, and almost begs choreography.

I'm not so familiar with the early symphonies, but I consider the 5th and 7th (especially) very strong, and the 10th is almost a guilty pleasure - it is very similar to the 7th, but smoothed over and as a result less challenging, but more atmospheric.
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Offline MDL

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2011, 04:39:35 AM »
I've got a few Henze CDs knocking around. The Six Symphonies set is an obvious place to start. The 7th and 9th are also impressive, and both are much weightier than the earlier symphonies. The ballet Undine is gorgeous, the cantata The Raft of the Medusa contains some striking music and his opera Die Bassariden desperately needs a new recording; Dohnanyi's Salzburg performance is in mono sound and the other recording (was it on Koch?) was one of those blink-and-you-miss-it releases. I've also got a CD of two rather boring cantatas that I haven't actually been able to sit through (Cantata della fiaba estrema etc).
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 05:02:47 AM by MDL »

Drasko

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 05:10:58 AM »
...his opera Die Bassariden desperately needs a new recording; Dohnanyi's Salzburg performance is in mono sound and the other recording (was it on Koch?) was one of those blink-and-you-miss-it releases.

Salzburg recording doesn't even have libretto, while the one on Koch was English language version. Definitely new recording would be in order.

And I agree that Undine is utterly gorgeous.

From my rather limited exposure I'd say that Henze's main strength was theatre.

snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2011, 09:22:52 AM »
I've got to say that I LOVE that set of 6 Symphonies. 2-5 have a very verdant, moody yet ballet-like post-war feel to them, very 'noble', like a post-war Hindemith, perhaps? I especially like 4-5. I suppose if you'd like a 'mellower' Hartmann, this is it? Is he the Communist Prokofiev?

I'm thinking there are many set of 20th Century Symphonies like this: Searle & Frankel, to name but two obvious ones.

Offline edward

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2011, 09:47:36 AM »
From my rather limited exposure I'd say that Henze's main strength was theatre.
I think you've got that pretty much nailed on the head. In addition, I think most of his strongest concert works are vocal (for example the gorgeous Nachtstucke und Arien) or have a theatrical element to them. Even the 7th symphony (which is probably my favourite amongst HWH's "abstract" works) turns out to have a program in its finale (an instrumental Holderlin setting), not to mention a highly dramatic language: Beethoven filtered through Hartmann.

Incidentally, Henze's Benz is wrong, or at least was about a decade ago when, while on vacation in the Lake District, I drove past a Land Rover in Windermere with the license plate HWH1 and two rather distinctive-looking bald older blokes in it. :)
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Offline MDL

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 11:51:26 AM »
Anyone got an opinion on the song cycle Voices? I believe there are two recordings, but only one (the one originally issued on the wonderful Decca Headline series, now reissued on the Explore label) is complete.
 

Offline Toccata&Fugue

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 12:51:16 PM »
Henze's Piano Concerto No.2 has been a favorite of mine. It sounds brutally hard to play.



I also enjoy his Violin Concerti, the String Quartets, The Royal Winter Music: Two Sonatas for Guitar, the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Symphonies...pretty much all of his instrumental music. (I'm not a huge fan of vocal music in general.)

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Offline MDL

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011, 03:27:55 PM »
How about using your own ears?

Er, a tad fucking snotty, no?

My shelves are bulging with CDs that haven't received proper loving care and attention. Before I add any more to the groaning, creaking pile, I'd like to know if they're worth seeking out and spending money on. I actually value the opinions of other GMGers.

Offline MDL

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011, 03:32:35 PM »
And here's a repeat of a post I made, ooh, a whole couple of hours ago, to show that I actually have been using my ears when it comes to Henze's music, Toucan.


I've got a few Henze CDs knocking around. The Six Symphonies set is an obvious place to start. The 7th and 9th are also impressive, and both are much weightier than the earlier symphonies. The ballet Undine is gorgeous, the cantata The Raft of the Medusa contains some striking music and his opera Die Bassariden desperately needs a new recording; Dohnanyi's Salzburg performance is in mono sound and the other recording (was it on Koch?) was one of those blink-and-you-miss-it releases. I've also got a CD of two rather boring cantatas that I haven't actually been able to sit through (Cantata della fiaba estrema etc).

« Last Edit: Today at 01:02:47 PM by MDL »
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 04:05:32 AM by MDL »

snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2011, 06:03:54 PM »
 :o :-[

Offline MDL

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 04:06:56 AM »
:o :-[

Apologies for lowering the tone. I had a red-mist moment. I was surprised to see my post still up there, to be honest.

snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2011, 07:08:55 AM »
Apologies for lowering the tone. I had a red-mist moment. I was surprised to see my post still up there, to be honest.

Haha, me too!! ;) That one word still packs quite a punch, eh? :o ;D Remember the '90s, haha?! Ohhh,... I really need to get out more!

snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 07:09:42 AM »
Sorta stretches the word "abstract" to call this piece abstract! Neo-romaniticism, maybe, mixed in with (very) moderated modernism, perhaps?

So, Werner's Rover, then.

Eschenbach (long) before Eschenbach took to looking like Hans Werner Henze
(And also, Henze long before Henze came to look like Hans Werner Henze!)



(Or, Henze... roving for...)

CE looks like the guy from the X-Files, haha!

snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2011, 07:11:53 AM »
Henze's Piano Concerto No.2 has been a favorite of mine. It sounds brutally hard to play.



I also enjoy his Violin Concerti, the String Quartets, The Royal Winter Music: Two Sonatas for Guitar, the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Symphonies...pretty much all of his instrumental music. (I'm not a huge fan of vocal music in general.)

That the era of Henze I'd like to check out,... Double Bass Concerto,... he does have some standard guitar rep, amazing how certain Composers are ubiquitous because of one recital piece that everyone plays (Xenakis with Rebonds, for instance).

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2011, 07:26:09 AM »
Haha, me too!! ;) That one word still packs quite a punch, eh? :o ;D Remember the '90s, haha?! Ohhh,... I really need to get out more!

It might be a cultural thing, I have mortally offended god knows how many Americans by using that word.

Is there an alternate recording of Undine? The DG is fine, but the sound is a bit... DG. Even the suites would be interesting.

Also re. Voices - I've just noticed that the CPO recording isn't complete - a shame.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 07:42:40 AM by Lethe Dmitriyevna Pettersson »
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snyprrr

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Re: Henze's Benz
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2011, 09:26:26 AM »
Sorta stretches the word "abstract" to call this piece abstract! Neo-romaniticism, maybe, mixed in with (very) moderated modernism, perhaps?

So, Werner's Rover, then.

Eschenbach (long) before Eschenbach took to looking like Hans Werner Henze
(And also, Henze long before Henze came to look like Hans Werner Henze!)



(Or, Henze... roving for...)

Yea, sorry, but Henze looks like yer typical perv lurking around the park. :( Seriously... starring Dirk Bogarde as Henze, haha :-[ :-[ :-[