> I am very intrigued these days by the music of Hans Werner Henze. ...
> He wrote: ..."art without politics would be trivial...Art
> isn't involved in itself. If there are H bombs and concentration
> camps art either acknowledges this (and makes these things its
> subject, literally or analytically) or it deliberately turns
> its back on them and so falsifies reality. It can't turn aside
> and pursue its own path, it has no path. Art is realism or
> it is trivial, and there's nothing much in between."
> On its surface, this might appear forbidding and off putting.
> Yet there is also this: "In my world the old [musical] forms
> strive to retain significance even when the new sounds, the
> modern timbre of the music seldom or never permits them to
> rise to the surface...[they] appear to me as classical ideals
> of beauty, no longer attainable but still visible from a great
> distance, arousing memories like dreams."
It's not that uncommon to find composers radical politically and
conservative aesthetically, and vice versa. Stravinsky was a Tsarist,
Webern a (rather nayve) Fascist in all but name. On the other hand,
Vaughan Williams was a Socialist (upper-class division) and Bernstein,
Blitzstein, and Weill fairly left-wing. Ned Rorem has an essay on it.
> I haven't been able to hear that much of Henze's music yet (and would
> welcome recommendations).
I can mostly take Henze or leave him alone. Some pieces I find very
beautiful; others bore the snot out of me. One piece I enjoyed quite a
bit is the opera Der junge Lord, which wittily plays with the opera buffa
of Mozart and Rossini.
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