1970 Concert

Music for Viola and 22 Players (Musik für Viola und 22 Spieler)

„Compases para preguntas ensimismadas” (Tempi for questions to oneself)
Commissioned by Paul Sacher

Period of composition 1969-70
Duration 26 minutes

For Maja and Paul

World premiere

World premiere 11. February 1971


Basler Kammerorchester
Viola Hirofumi Fukai

Conductor Paul Sacher


“Compases para preguntas ensimismadas” is compounded of small, formal cells; some of them are to be played in strict time, and others in groups of notes whose durations are regulated by second-timings, and whose rhythmic execution is left to the players’ discretion. The core of the work consists of a cantilena, a long, continuous, horizontal line, which, right up to the end of the piece, secures for itself ever greater breath. This music is like short notes taken on transient moods, the vibration of the strings like the rustling of leaves in the wind. There are letters, which could not be written, because the nature of their content can only be imparted through sound, just as sound itself accomplishes communication of a sort, which cannot be realized in any other way.

Hans Werner Henze


1 Flauto a becco contraltoanche Flauto a becco tenore
1 Flauto anche Ottavino e Flauto contralto
1 Oboeanche Corno inglese
1 Clarinetto anche Clarinetto basso
1 Fagotto
1 Corno
Percussione IBoo-bam
Shell chimes
Percussione IIBambù sospeso
Log drum
4 Campane da gregge
Pianoforteanche Celesta
6 Violini
4 Violoncelli
1 Contrabbasso