Hans Werner Henze: Works For Double Bass

Album cover art for upc 4010228739121
Label: WERGO
Catalog: WER73912

Roccato, Daniele; Battista, Tonino; Ludus Gravis; Abruzzese Symphony Orchestra

Hans Werner Henze was during his lifetime probably the most-performed composer of western modern music, and his advanced yet sensuously traditional music remains an important presence on stages around the world today. Henze was deeply attached to Italy, where he spent a large part of his life. The roots of this album go back to a personal meeting between Henze and the Italian double bass virtuoso Daniele Roccato when Roccato was attempting to obtain Henze’s blessing for a theater piece about the composer’s friendship and correspondence with Ingeborg Bachmann. For the occasion, Roccato organized a private performance of his own arrangement (for the six bass players of the Ludus Gravis ensemble) of Henze’s “Trauer-Ode”, which had originally been composed for cellos. Henze was so pleased with the new version of the piece that he added it to his list of published works. This recording includes “Trauer-Ode” for six double basses, as well as two solo works for bass, “Serenade” and “San Biagio 9 Agosto ore 12.07”. But the highpoint of the album is Daniele Roccato’s performance of Hans Werner Henze’s “Concerto per Contrabbasso ed Orchestra”: the piece was a milestone in the history of the double bass that expanded the technical and expressive possibilities of the instrument – and has become an essential part of the standard repertoire for young soloists. Roccato’s deep and personal approach to the music makes this album a “must-have” not only for double bass aficionados, but anyone interested in the music of Hans Werner Henze.

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