Hans Werner Henze-Fünf Nachtstücke

Posted on January 13th, 2010 by

PSS in conversation with Hans Werner Henze 1998

PSS in conversation with Hans Werner Henze 1998

Hans Werner Henze-Fünf Nachtstücke

Film of the whole thing with Score-recorded with Aaron Shorr 2004


 Listen Zwei Hirtenlieder: 2 Hirtenlieder

PSS with Aaron Shorr, Nashville 2008

Live performance

Hans Werner Henze’s ‘Fünf Nachtstücke’ were written over the winter of 1989-90. The composer had taken a holiday on what he had been promised was a deserted, quiet Caribbean island, and was looking forward to a peaceful break after the rigours of the year before. However, the hotel turned out to be anything but peaceful, and the nights were riven  with the sound of motorcycles being revved up in the streets and loud blasts of disco. In order to while away the consequently sleepless hours, Henze composed these five ‘Notturni’. They are dedicated to the British violinist, Peter Sheppard Skaerved, who premiered them with the American pianist, Aaron Shorr on the South Bank in May 1990. Since then, he has played them all over the world, from Korea to the Balkan Republics, and they have been recognised as masterpieces of the genre. In many ways, the five pieces could be said to serve as a ‘arcadian’ pendant for the epic Viola Sonata, composed 10 years earlier, and their extraordinary concision and colour can be said to say to be a distant echo, or after shock, of that work’s Titanic drama.

 The five movements are;

 ‘Elegie’-‘Capriccio’-‘Hirtenlied 1’-‘Hirtenlied 2’- Ode.