By Andrew Staples, Daniel Harding, Juergen Ruck, Markus Weidmann, and Scharoun Ensemble Berlin. By Hans Werner Henze. Classical. CD. Tudor #TUDOR7198. Published by Tudor (NX.TUDOR7198).
Kammermusik 1958'': for tenor, guitar and eight solo instruments, on the hymn ''In lovely business'' by Friedrich Holderlin, is one of Hans Werner Henze's most scintillating creations. Featuring a wide-ranging tenor part, a virtuosic solo guitar and brilliant contributions by the instruments Schubert chose for his great Octet, this masterpiece imaginatively confronts the mannered style of the Darmstadt school. In ''lovely blueness'' the emphasis is on ''blueness'' - but not only when lovely. The Mediterranean light and the nostalgia for Greek Antiquity give this music a special place in the composer's output: to the element of euphony, of consonance in its widest sense are added grittier sounds and sharper contrasts, as befits the hymn's heavily symbolic content. - ''The idea for 'Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesange' is closely linked to my activity as cultural animator during the Eighties in the Steiermark. At the time I had made a nice collection of sketches on Styrian folklore and composed songs for an amateur play. From this material I have now assembled this small chamber music in folksong style, hoping to capture some of the atmosphere, of the mood of this melancholy landscape, like a dream or a painful memory''.