Vocal pieces 1963

Ariosi

For soprano, violin and orchestra

To poems by Torquato Tasso
Commissioned by the Edinburgh Festival Society

Year of composition 1963
Duration 27 minutes

Dedicated to the Earl of Harewood

World premiere

World premiere 23. august 1964

Edinburgh Festival

London Symphony Orchestra

Soprano Irmgard Seefried
Violin Wolfgang Schneiderhan
Conductor Colin Davis

Comment

The subject of my work is an imaginary love story, or more precisely, reflections on the end of a love affair.The first movement, “Qual rugiada” (Was it dew), describes the mourning of nature over the beloved person’s departure, a mourning which continues in a warmer and more concrete way in the second movement, “Compianto” (Lamentation). The third movement, “Maraviglioso fior del vostro mare” (No earthly flower), is to be taken as a reflection on the lover’s beauty who is imagined to have descended from a distant sea shore. The fourth movement, “Estro” (Caprice), describes the trouble and confusion caused by the lover’s caprice and leads into the final movement, “Deh, vieni, morte soave” (Come, sweet death), which gives expression to the pain of lost love.

Hans Werner Henze

Instrumentation

3 Flauti 3° anche Ottavino
2 Oboi
1 Corno inglese
2 Clarinetti
1 Clarinetto basso
2 Fagotti
1 Controfagotto
4 Corni
3 Trombe
2 Tromboni
1 Tuba
Timpani
Percussione

3 Bongos
Tamburo militare (con la corda)
Grancass
Glockenspiel
Vibrafono

Arpa
Celesta
Archi