Orchestral and ensemble works 1994


Fantasy on “The Ocean Betrayed”

For large orchestra
Commissioned by the Wiener Philharmoniker

Period of composition 1993/94
Duration 12 minutes

World premiere

World premiere 25. march 1995

Wien · Großer Musikvereinssaal
Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor Christoph von Dohnànyi


In my music drama “The Ocean betrayed”, written in the late 1980s, which bears the Italian title “Lo sdegno del mare” there is a number of ritornellos and interludes which, like bridges and links, serve to lead from one scene to the other while sustaining the thematic and motivic relationships between them.

In the one-movement fantasy presented here, I have combined excerpts from those instrumental sections, though not in their original order and succession, but rather according to the purely musical logic of a symphonic discourse. The human passions and emotions of the plot are mixed like the glass fragments in a kaleidoscope. Their musical equivalents are brought into new relationships with one another, undergoing strong changes in illumination and meaning, like the reflections on the surface of wildly agitated, angry waters.

Hans Werner Henze


3 Flauti2° anche Ottavino
3° anche Flauto contralto
1 Oboe
1 Oboe d’amore
1 Corno inglese
2 Clarinetti
1 Clarinetto basso anche Clarinetto contrabbasso
1 Sassofono soprano
4 Fagotti4° anche Controfagotto
4 Corni
3 Trombe
1 Trombone contralto
1 Trombone tenore
1 Trombone basso
1 Trombone contrabbasso
Percussione3 Piatti sospesi
2 Gong
Tamtam basso
Gong cinesi
Cimbali antichi
Trinidad steel drum
6 Tomtom
Tamburo piccolo
Tamburo militare
Cassettina di legno
[per 5]
2 Arpe