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Hans Werner Henze


About this Artist

Born: 1926, Gütersloh, Germany

"Music cannot express a judgment. It cannot describe. But it can carry this message of a human condition: of love… or forgiveness."

The son of a very active amateur musician, Henze had his early training during the Nazi era, giving him a profound respect for the subversive potential of music and the other arts. From his earliest professional work after the war, he has composed prolifically in almost all genres and across a wide range of styles. He is probably best known for his theater works - over 40 operas, ballets, film scores, radio plays, and other dramatic pieces. He has explored and utilized most contemporary styles and techniques, including neo-classicism, serialism, jazz, and electronic processing, and he is adept at parody.

Further listening:

Ondine (ballet, 1956-57)

London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen (DG)

Royal Winter Music, Sonata No. 2

(solo guitar, 1979)

Franz Halász (Naxos)