Hans Werner Henze: Two Last Movements of Sonatina 1947 (2019)
I heard Hans Werner Henze’s Sonatina 1947 at the ceremony of his funeral in 2012 at La Leprara, Rome in which the second movement was performed by Christopher Tainton. It was a very moving moment and so beautifully inspiring that I heard it at once for orchestra as often happens to me with piano music. Following the funeral, the work remained in my mind for several years and by creating the orchestral version I was able to engage in more depth and intensity with Henze’s music and also to write an homage.
Hans Werner Henze has been an important supporter of my music over many years even though I never studied with him formally. I cherish his kindness and generosity and there are many vivid and inspiring memories of our encounters. The first time we met was January 1980 in Copenhagen when Henze gave a composition masterclass at the Royal Academy of Music, to which I was invited although I did not study composition but music-theory and music history. I played for him a tape of Winternacht and Stratifications which resulted in him asking me to write Nacht und Trompeten for Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra which was premiered in 1982 with Hans Werner Henze conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Not only his music, but also Hans Werner Henze’s unique and most poetic way of thinking about music has remained important to me ever since.
© Hans Abrahamsen