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Henze: Violin Concertos No 1 & 3, Etc / Skaerved, Et Al

Release Date: 06/20/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557738   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hans Werner Henze
Performer:  Peter Sheppard SkaervedAaron Shorr
Conductor:  Christopher Lyndon-Gee
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is another offering from the broadening Naxos contemporary repertoire stable which takes in the specially commissioned string quartet series from Peter Maxwell Davies. Henze has not been neglected; there is a companion volume to this disc, devoted to Henze’s guitar music.

The two violin concertos given here are separated by just over fifty years. One is a youthful but remarkably assured work from the composer's early years, the other a mature development of a recognisably similar artistic voice. The movement titles of the Third come from Thomas Mann's novel Dr Faustus. There are helpful introductory notes written by the conductor.

The sound-world of these works is lean and muscular, recognisable from the
Read more composer's middle symphonies particularly. It is ascetic and complex, one of Henze's closest influences being Stravinsky. Although they might be considered challenging listening by anyone except contemporary music aficionados, they are both beautiful and intellectually stimulating and repay the listener's effort with dividends.

Henze is perhaps best known for his personal history. He was a reluctant German conscript held by the British at North Sea Camp as an enemy alien. He became an outspoken critic of his native country, choosing after the war to make his home in Rome and to champion the Left; his sixth symphony was premiered in Cuba to trade union members. He is a prolific composer, writing in a diverse range of forms - symphonies, concertos, chamber music, opera and other vocal works.

The Night Pieces are here performed by their dedicatees, who premiered them at London's Purcell Room. They were written shortly after the Viola Sonata. The Shepherd Songs make a punning reference to the name of the violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved, a long-time collaborator of the composer and for whom they were written. Here he introduces them in the covering notes.

In short: high quality playing of very original and stimulating music all at the usual bargain price. The recording quality is very creditable too.

Julie Williams, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin no 1 by Hans Werner Henze
Performer:  Peter Sheppard Skaerved (Violin)
Conductor:  Christopher Lyndon-Gee
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Germany 
Venue:  Sendesaal, Saarbrücken, Germany 
Length: 26 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Sendesaal, Saarbrücken, Germany (09/16/2004 - 09/17/2004) 
Concerto for Violin no 3 "Doktor Faustus" by Hans Werner Henze
Performer:  Peter Sheppard Skaerved (Violin)
Conductor:  Christopher Lyndon-Gee
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; Germany 
Venue:  Sendesaal, Saarbrücken, Germany 
Length: 33 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Sendesaal, Saarbrücken, Germany (09/14/2004 - 09/15/2004) 
Nachtstücke (5) for violin and piano by Hans Werner Henze
Performer:  Aaron Shorr (Piano), Peter Sheppard Skaerved (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/12/2004 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 9 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto No. 1: I. Largamente, rubato – Allegro molto
Violin Concerto No. 1: II. Vivacissimo
Violin Concerto No. 1: III. Andante con moto
Violin Concerto No. 1: IV. Allegro molto vivace
Violin Concerto No. 3: I. Esmeralda: nicht eilen, tanzerisch gemutvoll
Violin Concerto No. 3: II. Das Kind Echo: Adagio - Tempo giusto
Violin Concerto No. 3: III. Rudi S.: Andante - Piu mosso
5 Night-Pieces: No. 1. Elegie
5 Night-Pieces: No. 2. Capriccio
5 Night-Pieces: No. 3. Hirtenlied I (Shepherd's Song I)
5 Night-Pieces: No. 4. Hirtenlied II (Shepherd's Song II)
5 Night-Pieces: No. 5. Ode

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