HANS WERNER HENZE (1926-2012): Violin Concerto No. 2 for Solo Violin, Tape, Bass-Baritone and 33 Instrumentalists (Omar Ebrahim [speaker], Peter Sheppard Skærved [violin], Parnassus Ensemble London; Hans Werner Henze. rec. 1991), Il Vitalino raddoppiato for Violin and Chamber Orchestra (Longbow; Skærved [violin and conductor]).
Catalogue Number: 04Q072
Description: Rather different pieces separated by only six years: the dramatic concerto of 1971, from Henze's "action music" period, has its soloist dressed as Baron Munchausen who fights his way through vicious onslaughts by the orchestra and is accompanied from time to time by taped counterpoints of himself distorted by synthesizers. It's actually a lot more approachable than it seems but nothing like the overtly romantic Vitalino of 1977. This, at 33 minutes (only two minutes shorter than the concerto), is based on Tomaso Vitali's famous Chaconne (in the romantic period edition by the violinist-composer Ferdinand David) and has the "original" and Henze's replies trading eight-bar sections with each other at the height of the work. This is the extremely approachable Henze of the early ballet Undine and of the last few symphonies.