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Henze: Symphonies Nos.7 & 9 - Barcarola per Grande Orchestra; Three Auden Songs CD


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Henze: Symphonies Nos.7 & 9 - Barcarola per Grande Orchestra; Three Auden Songs + Henze - Symphonies 1-6 [2 cd] + Hartmann: Symphonies 1-6 (20th Century Classics)
Price For All Three: £27.33

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Jan 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI Classics / 20th Century Classics
  • ASIN: B001LTPOSW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,130 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. BarcarolaCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle21:30Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 7: I. Tanz - Lebhaft und beseeltCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle10:58Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 7: II. Ruhig bewegtCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle12:42Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 7: III. Unablässig in BewegungCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle 5:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Symphony No. 7: IV. Ruhig, verhaltenCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle 9:28£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: I. Die FluchtBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher 5:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: II. Bei Den TotenBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher 6:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: III. Bericht Der VerfolgerBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher 1:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: IV. Die Platane SprichtBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher 7:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: V. Der SturzBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher 7:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: VI. Nachts Im DomBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher17:07Album Only
Listen  7. Sinfonie Nr.9 für gem. Chor und Orchester: VII. Die RettungBerliner Philharmoniker/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Ingo Metzmacher 7:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Three Auden Songs: I. In Memoriam L.K.A. 1950-1952Ian Bostridge/Julius Drake 2:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Three Auden Songs: II. RimbaudIan Bostridge/Julius Drake 2:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Three Auden Songs: III. Lay Your Sleeping Head, My LoveIan Bostridge/Julius Drake 5:32£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This EMI budget reissue in its 20th Century Classics series is one of the most important releases of 2009. It restores to wide availability two of Henze's symphonies, the great original recording of Symphony No. 7, which ranks with Shostakovich and Simpson as one of the finest, most powerful symphonies of the late 20th century, and Symphony No. 9, the little-heard choral symphony written as a tribute to those who resisted the Nazis.

SYMPHONY NO. 7
Henze's 7th Symphony is a fierce, tragic work, "...a German symphony, and it deals with matters German," according to the composer. The superb performance and recording was on May 25, 1992 at the acoustically magnificent Symphony Hall in Birmingham, with Simon Rattle leading the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Rattle of course has since gone on to take over the Berlin Philharmonic from Claudio Abbado, and Henze's 7th was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic for its centenary in 1982. It is based more closely on classical models, using the sonata form, and Beethoven in particular, than any of his many previous works. (Henze, one of the late 20th century's greatest composers, is incredibly prolific, though little-known in the U.S.) It is a rich and powerful work, which contrasts tonal elements and classical form with "free tonality," as Henze puts it, producing an emphatically modern work which nonetheless resonates with the expectations of a listener with ears trained in the classical symphonic form.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Henze at his mature best 23 Jun 2009
By Paul Linkletter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Since R. Hutchinson "autonomeus" gave a wonderfully detailed and useful review, and I have all these pieces on separate cd's (not this compilation) I just want to add a few notes about things he did not cover at all or less comprehensively or got slightly wrong. First, the short Three Auden Songs are vintage mature Henze, and are quite lovely and rare in his output. (He only wrote two sets of songs for voice and piano.) Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake give masterful performances. And though it would require another disc, it is a shame this compilation couldn't find room for the even better Six Songs From The Arabian which were written for Bostridge and Drake. If you can find the recording by them, get it. Barcarola is a substantial work and can stand up to any of his mature orchestral pieces. It certainly takes a listener on a twisting, mercurial journey and not always a pleasant one (which I mean as high praise.) And as Hutchinson says, the symphonies are a must for any serious collector of great "modern" music (and great art.) They deserve all his praise and more. And one small correction. The Ninth Symphony DID have an alternate recording, but as a limited edition CD put out by the New York Philharmonic. It is a live performance conducted by Kurt Masur and though I have always felt he is more a journeyman than a brilliant conductor, this is one of his better evenings and the piece comes across as a shattering experience. It might be worth hunting down for an alternative view of a great piece. But do buy this compilation immediately if you do not already have these wonderful works. (Most Henze fans probably already have them.)
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Henze's Symphony No. 7, a fierce apocalytic vision, and No. 9, for the anti-fascist resistance 26 April 2009
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This EMI budget reissue in its 20th Century Classics series is one of the most important releases of 2009. It restores to wide availability two of Henze's symphonies, the great original recording of Symphony No. 7, which ranks with Shostakovich and Simpson as one of the finest, most powerful symphonies of the late 20th century, and Symphony No. 9, the little-heard choral symphony written as a tribute to those who resisted the Nazis.

SYMPHONY NO. 7
Henze's 7th Symphony is a fierce, tragic work, "...a German symphony, and it deals with matters German," according to the composer. The superb performance and recording was on May 25, 1992 at the acoustically magnificent Symphony Hall in Birmingham, with Simon Rattle leading the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Rattle of course has since gone on to take over the Berlin Philharmonic from Claudio Abbado, and Henze's 7th was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic for its centenary in 1982. It is based more closely on classical models, using the sonata form, and Beethoven in particular, than any of his many previous works. (Henze, one of the late 20th century's greatest composers, is incredibly prolific, though little-known in the U.S.) It is a rich and powerful work, which contrasts tonal elements and classical form with "free tonality," as Henze puts it, producing an emphatically modern work which nonetheless resonates with the expectations of a listener with ears trained in the classical symphonic form.

The subject matter is horrifying, focusing overtly on the torment of Friedrich Holderlin in an asylum, and covertly on the Nazis, the will to power, and the dark side of the German experience. Henze describes the fourth movement, based on Holderlin's poem "Half of Life," as "a final apocalyptic vision of a cold and speechless world devoid of human life." Also included (now on Disc One of this 2-disc set) is another powerful work, the 21-minute "Barcarola for grand orchestra" from 1979, which Henze suggests might tell the tale of a dying man crossing the River Styx, or alternatively Odysseus travelling through a stormy night and arriving in Ithaca.

SYMPHONY NO. 9
Henze's Symphony No. 9, "Dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of German anti-fascism," was the final result of years trying to capture the horror of the Nazi period in a composition. Henze himself was forced by his father into the Hitler Youth, and after being called up in 1944, spent time in a British P.O.W. camp. Henze turned to the novel "The Seventh Cross" by Ana Seghers, published in 1942, which tells the tale of a prisoner, one of seven who are to be crucified, who escapes from the Nazis. Another commission by the Berlin Philharmonic, Henze finally completed the choral symphony on Easter 1997. This recording is from the premiere on September 11, 1997, and the original EMI disc was released in 1998. The movements are: 1) Escape, 2) Amongst the Dead, 3) The Persecutor's Report, 4) The Plane-Tree Talks, 5) The Fall, 6) Nighttime in the Cathedral, and finally 7) The Rescue. The verses, all in the first person, were written by Hans-Ulrich Treichel.

Oddly, though, it conveys a peaceful and lovely mood of sadness, an elegiac, somewhat philosophical tone, more than the terror of the story. According to Henze, "...in my Ninth Symphony people spend the entire evening evoking the world of terror and persecution that still throws its shadow to the present." But it seems to me that Henze had already given powerful expression to his wartime experiences in his 7th Symphony, and so by the time he wrote the 9th he had moved to another level of understanding. Henze's Italianate lyricism shines forth in his vocal writing, tempering the harshness of the German/Austrian 12-tone elements.

The original EMI release from 1998 includes a 68-page booklet with the lyrics in German, French and English, and one major drawback of this budget reissue is that it lacks the lyrics in English. The artwork for this reissue is far better than the garish cover of the original Seventh, with Henze and Rattle's blue heads, but not as beautiful as the original Ninth, with a tree superimposed with a cross.

There is a 2-disc set of Henze's Symphonies Nos. 1-6 as well (see my review). Henze was born in 1926, and so was of the "Darmstadt" generation along with Boulez, Ligeti, Xenakis, Nono, and Berio. While he utilized serial techniques, Henze moved in the direction of the classical tradition fairly early, and turned to opera as one of his main forms of expression. Henze also embraced the New Left of 1968, and his radical socio-political views clearly inform his Symphony No. 7. Who among us could tell in the late 1970s/early 1980s when these works were composed that the world would veer far to the right, moving ever closer to fascism rather than moving in the direction of our New Left utopian vision? Well, some of us, like William Blake, "will not cease from mental fight...'til we have built Jerusalem, in Earth's green and pleasant land."

This is one of the best classical releases of 2009, and if you have not heard these Henze symphonies, don't wait until they are unavailable again!

[Marek Janowski and the RSO Berlin, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, have recently recorded Henze's 7th and 9th symphonies for Wergo as part of their complete Henze symphony cycle, but while excellent, they do not surpass these original recordings.]
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