Drei Fragmente nach Hölderlin (für Singstimme & Gitarre). Drei Tentos (Für Gitarre allein). Aus Kammermusik, 1958by Hans Werner Henze; Julian Bream

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  • Drei Fragmente nach Hlderlin (fr Singstimme &Gitarre). Drei Tentos (Fr Gitarre allein).Aus Kammermusik, 1958 by Hans Werner Henze; Julian BreamReview by: Gunther SchullerNotes, Second Series, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Sep., 1961), p. 654Published by: Music Library AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/895588 .Accessed: 14/06/2014 18:05

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  • year at Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, and the annual ISCM festivals. This stylistic phenomenon has by now settled into some rather well-worn grooves, and is characterized by (1) an unrelieved al- ternation of sustained static sonorities with sudden agitated "islands of sound," and (2) an instrumentation which over- indulges in plucked and struck timbres (various keyboard instruments, harps, and vibraphones, etc.). To this jangling, tinkling, clanging nucleus Zimmermann adds three woodwinds and nine solo strings. The intriguing sound spectrum thus automatically available is used with skill and imagination; in fact the work trots out an abundance of post-Webern serial trappings. But ultimately these cancel themselves out by sheer repeti- tiousness (a repetitiousness aggravated by the fact that Zimmermann uses his tone row without benefit of pitch trans- positions), and the "immaculately" cal- culated structures take on a randomness probably not intended by the composer. A hollow musical facade is the end re- sult. The difficulty of the score, includ- ing a fiendish soprano part, makes one wonder about the future of such a piece.

    Edgard Varese: Offrandes for So- prano & Chamber Orchestra. New York & Milano: G. Ricordi, 1960. [Score, 31 p., $1.50 ; voice & piano red., $1.50]

    To those who, like this reviewer, are not familiar with any Varese works prior to his 1924 Octandre, the publication of Ofrandes (1921) will come as a wel- come surprise. For in the short, two- movement work for soprano and 14 in- struments plus 9 percussion (probably requiring five or six players), Varese's highly individualistic style is virtually set, though the influence of certain as- pects of Stravinsky's Sacre is undeniable. In Offrandes, as in other Varese works, repetition (or near-repetition) is used as a pervasive compositional device, giv- ing the music a strange incantational intensity, born of the accumulation of sonoric energies. Though one tends to think of Varese's music as virile and explosive, this work (especially the sec- ond movement) shows a somewhat 'softer" side of the composer. The sub-

    year at Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, and the annual ISCM festivals. This stylistic phenomenon has by now settled into some rather well-worn grooves, and is characterized by (1) an unrelieved al- ternation of sustained static sonorities with sudden agitated "islands of sound," and (2) an instrumentation which over- indulges in plucked and struck timbres (various keyboard instruments, harps, and vibraphones, etc.). To this jangling, tinkling, clanging nucleus Zimmermann adds three woodwinds and nine solo strings. The intriguing sound spectrum thus automatically available is used with skill and imagination; in fact the work trots out an abundance of post-Webern serial trappings. But ultimately these cancel themselves out by sheer repeti- tiousness (a repetitiousness aggravated by the fact that Zimmermann uses his tone row without benefit of pitch trans- positions), and the "immaculately" cal- culated structures take on a randomness probably not intended by the composer. A hollow musical facade is the end re- sult. The difficulty of the score, includ- ing a fiendish soprano part, makes one wonder about the future of such a piece.

    Edgard Varese: Offrandes for So- prano & Chamber Orchestra. New York & Milano: G. Ricordi, 1960. [Score, 31 p., $1.50 ; voice & piano red., $1.50]

    To those who, like this reviewer, are not familiar with any Varese works prior to his 1924 Octandre, the publication of Ofrandes (1921) will come as a wel- come surprise. For in the short, two- movement work for soprano and 14 in- struments plus 9 percussion (probably requiring five or six players), Varese's highly individualistic style is virtually set, though the influence of certain as- pects of Stravinsky's Sacre is undeniable. In Offrandes, as in other Varese works, repetition (or near-repetition) is used as a pervasive compositional device, giv- ing the music a strange incantational intensity, born of the accumulation of sonoric energies. Though one tends to think of Varese's music as virile and explosive, this work (especially the sec- ond movement) shows a somewhat 'softer" side of the composer. The sub-

    year at Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, and the annual ISCM festivals. This stylistic phenomenon has by now settled into some rather well-worn grooves, and is characterized by (1) an unrelieved al- ternation of sustained static sonorities with sudden agitated "islands of sound," and (2) an instrumentation which over- indulges in plucked and struck timbres (various keyboard instruments, harps, and vibraphones, etc.). To this jangling, tinkling, clanging nucleus Zimmermann adds three woodwinds and nine solo strings. The intriguing sound spectrum thus automatically available is used with skill and imagination; in fact the work trots out an abundance of post-Webern serial trappings. But ultimately these cancel themselves out by sheer repeti- tiousness (a repetitiousness aggravated by the fact that Zimmermann uses his tone row without benefit of pitch trans- positions), and the "immaculately" cal- culated structures take on a randomness probably not intended by the composer. A hollow musical facade is the end re- sult. The difficulty of the score, includ- ing a fiendish soprano part, makes one wonder about the future of such a piece.

    Edgard Varese: Offrandes for So- prano & Chamber Orchestra. New York & Milano: G. Ricordi, 1960. [Score, 31 p., $1.50 ; voice & piano red., $1.50]

    To those who, like this reviewer, are not familiar with any Varese works prior to his 1924 Octandre, the publication of Ofrandes (1921) will come as a wel- come surprise. For in the short, two- movement work for soprano and 14 in- struments plus 9 percussion (probably requiring five or six players), Varese's highly individualistic style is virtually set, though the influence of certain as- pects of Stravinsky's Sacre is undeniable. In Offrandes, as in other Varese works, repetition (or near-repetition) is used as a pervasive compositional device, giv- ing the music a strange incantational intensity, born of the accumulation of sonoric energies. Though one tends to think of Varese's music as virile and explosive, this work (especially the sec- ond movement) shows a somewhat 'softer" side of the composer. The sub-

    year at Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, and the annual ISCM festivals. This stylistic phenomenon has by now settled into some rather well-worn grooves, and is characterized by (1) an unrelieved al- ternation of sustained static sonorities with sudden agitated "islands of sound," and (2) an instrumentation which over- indulges in plucked and struck timbres (various keyboard instruments, harps, and vibraphones, etc.). To this jangling, tinkling, clanging nucleus Zimmermann adds three woodwinds and nine solo strings. The intriguing sound spectrum thus automatically available is used with skill and imagination; in fact the work trots out an abundance of post-Webern serial trappings. But ultimately these cancel themselves out by sheer repeti- tiousness (a repetitiousness aggravated by the fact that Zimmermann uses his tone row without benefit of pitch trans- positions), and the "immaculately" cal- culated structures take on a randomness probably not intended by the composer. A hollow musical facade is the end re- sult. The difficulty of the score, includ- ing a fiendish soprano part, makes one wonder about the future of such a piece.

    Edgard Varese: Offrandes for So- prano & Chamber Orchestra. New York & Milano: G. Ricordi, 1960. [Score, 31 p., $1.50 ; voice & piano red., $1.50]

    To those who, like this reviewer, are not familiar with any Varese works prior to his 1924 Octandre, the publication of Ofrandes (1921) will come as a wel- come surprise. For in the short, two- movement work for soprano and 14 in- struments plus 9 percussion (probably requiring five or six players), Varese's highly individualistic style is virtually set, though the influence of certain as- pects of Stravinsky's Sacre is undeniable. In Offrandes, as in other Varese works, repetition (or near-repetition) is used as a pervasive compositional device, giv- ing the music a strange incantational intensity, born of the accumulation of sonoric energies. Though one tends to think of Varese's music as virile and explosive, this work (especially the sec- ond movement) shows a somewhat 'softer" side of the composer. The sub-

    tly shaded chamber setting provides an ideal context for Varese's lyrical vocal lines. How a composer who wrote music as lovely as the final six bars of the first song could be neglected for so many years is still a mystery.

    For interested performers it might be well to point out that the solo strings of the original instrumentation can be ex- panded, but not to exceed a 6-4-4-2-2 setting; and that the harp part is fairly adventurous, incorporating many of the then new techniques of Varese's close friend, Carlos Salzedo.

    Hans Werner Henze: Drei Frag- mente nach Holderlin (fur Sing- stimme & Gitarre). Drei Tentos (Fuir Gitarre allein). Aus Kammer- musik, 1958. Eingerichtet von Julian Bream. (Ed. Schott, No. 4886.) Mainz: B. Schott; U. S. A.: Associ- ated, New York, 1960. [21 p., $2.25]

    Judging by his total output to date, Henze is a composer of great but un- even talent.. And unless I err com- pletely, these Hiolderlin Fragments for guitar and tenor are among his lesser accomplishments. The rambling manner of these pieces (as if the composer had put down the first thing that came, un- solicited, to his mind), the constant stylistic discrepancies between voice and guitar, the guitar part's random and abrupt floundering between bland pen- tatonic patterns (obviously dictated by the guitar tuning), and meaningless in- terspersions of atonality, would indicate that Henze did not spend much time on their composition.

    The Three Tentos for guitar alone are much more cohesive, possibly because they lean more on conventional neo- classic precepts and, specifically, the Stravinsky of the Rake's Progress pe- riod. The guitar part is edited by Julian Bream.

    Marius Flothuis: Odysseus and Nausikaa. A madrigal for soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, & harp, Op. 60. Amsterdam: Donemus; U. S. A.: C. F. Peters, New York, 1960. [47 p. $3.00]

    Everything about this 33-minute work by the Dutch composer Flothius is harm-

    tly shaded chamber setting provides an ideal context for Varese's lyrical vocal lines. How a composer who wrote music as lovely as the final six bars of the first song could be neglected for so many years is still a mystery.

    For interested performers it might be well to point out that the solo strings of the original instrumentation can be ex- panded, but not to exceed a 6-4-4-2-2 setting; and that the harp part is fairly adventurous, incorporating many of the then new techniques of Varese's close friend, Carlos Salzedo.

    Hans Werner Henze: Drei Frag- mente nach Holderlin (fur Sing- stimme & Gitarre). Drei Tentos (Fuir Gitarre allein). Aus Kammer- musik, 1958. Eingerichtet von Julian Bream. (Ed. Schott, No. 4886.) Mainz: B. Schott; U. S. A.: Associ- ated, New York, 1960. [21 p., $2.25]

    Judging by his total output to date, Henze is a composer of great but un- even talent.. And unless I err com- pletely, these Hiolderlin Fragments for guitar and tenor are among his lesser accomplishments. The rambling manner of these pieces (as if the composer had put down the first thing that came, un- solicited, to his mind), the constant stylistic discrepancies between voice and guitar, the guitar part's random and abrupt floundering between bland pen- tatonic patterns (obviously dictated by the guitar tuning), and meaningless in- terspersions of atonality, would indicate that Henze did not spend much time on their composition.

    The Three Tentos for guitar alone are much more cohesive, possibly because they lean more on conventional neo- classic precepts and, specifically, the Stravinsky of the Rake's Progress pe- riod. The guitar part is edited by Julian Bream.

    Marius Flothuis: Odysseus and Nausikaa. A madrigal for soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, & harp, Op. 60. Amsterdam: Donemus; U. S. A.: C. F. Peters, New York, 1960. [47 p. $3.00]

    Everything about this 33-minute work by the Dutch composer Flothius is harm-

    tly shaded chamber setting provides an ideal context for Varese's lyrical vocal lines. How a composer who wrote music as lovely as the final six bars of the first song could be neglected for so many years is still a mystery.

    For interested performers it might be well to point out that the solo strings of the original instrumentation can be ex- panded, but not to exceed a 6-4-4-2-2 setting; and that the harp part is fairly adventurous, incorporating many of the then new techniques of Varese's close friend, Carlos Salzedo.

    Hans Werner Henze: Drei Frag- mente nach Holderlin (fur Sing- stimme & Gitarre). Drei Tentos (Fuir Gitarre allein). Aus Kammer- musik, 1958. Eingerichtet von Julian Bream. (Ed. Schott, No. 4886.) Mainz: B. Schott; U. S. A.: Associ- ated, New York, 1960. [21 p., $2.25]

    Judging by his total output to date, Henze is a composer of great but un- even talent.. And unless I err com- pletely, these Hiolderlin Fragments for guitar and tenor are among his lesser accomplishments. The rambling manner of these pieces (as if the composer had put down the first thing that came, un- solicited, to his mind), the constant stylistic discrepancies between voice and guitar, the guitar part's random and abrupt floundering between bland pen- tatonic patterns (obviously dictated by the guitar tuning), and meaningless in- terspe...

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