Hans Werner Henze


Series of Publications on Karl Amadeus Hartmann. Volume 1: Karl Amadeus Hartmann – Hans Werner Henze

Karl Amadeus Hartmann-Gesellschaft e. V., Munich, Germany

In the generational configuration of New Music after 1945 the artistic and personal relationship between Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Hans Werner Henze is of key importance, not just in Germany but also in Europe. Karl Amadeus Hartmann, seen as a rising star on the composers’ scene in the early 1930s, vehemently refused any of the demands of the totalitarian regime. Rejecting any posts he was offered Hartmann pursued his own plans – even after the war. Already on September 24, 1945, as dramatic and artistic director, he founded a series of contemporary music concerts: this was the start of the world’s most successful series of contemporary music concerts still in existence today – musica viva in Munich. Hartmann built this platform especially for the young generation of composers thereby shaping the face of divergent musical thinking after 1945.

The musical, political and humanistic orientation of Hans Werner Henze’s work would be inconceivable without Hartmann’s input. In various statements and laudatory speeches Henze repeatedly makes this clear himself: “It is the case that these works have a clearly audible tone that differs in every way (...) from what was performed in public at that time. This tone is anti-fascist and humanitarian, even humanistic and cosmopolitan.”

The first volume in a planned series of publications on Karl Amadeus Hartmann is devoted to this “asymmetrical artists’ friendship” (as Peter Petersen put it) between Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Hans Werner Henze. At the focus here is the correspondence between the two composers which – supplemented by a detailed documents section featuring an essay – is to be fully edited and annotated for the first time. Hartmann’s wide-ranging support allowing Henze to thrive professionally – insights into the relevant compositional and creative processes, assessments by composers, soloists, conductors and stage designers, the pinpointing of contemporary musical trends, Hartmann’s personal suggestions and guidance – provide a panorama of a time in which the language of music underwent key impulses. The book will be published in 2019 by the publishing house Allitera Verlag (Münchner Buch & Media GmbH).

Late 2019
Volume 1: Karl Amadeus Hartmann – Hans Werner Henze

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