Orchestral and ensemble works 1997

Sinfonia N. 9

for mixed chorus and orchestra

Poem on Anna Seghers' novel „The Seventh Cross“ by Hans-Ulrich Treichel
Commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Festival
Dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of German antifascism

Period of composition 1995-97
Duration 56 minutes

Dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of German antifascism

I The escape
II With the dead
III Report of the persecutors
IV The plane tree speaks
V The plunge
VI The night in the cathedral
VII The rescue

World premiere

World premiere 11. September 1997

Berlin · Berliner Festwochen

Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester
Rundfunkchor Berlin

Choirmaster Gerd Müller-Lorenz
Assistance Sigurd Brauns
Conductor Ingo Metzmacher


The seventh cross

My Ninth Symphony deals with my German homeland – as it appeared to me when I was a young man, during the war and even earlier. It was written over a period of years, during which time I was intensely involved with the subject, an involvement that I would describe as the most harrowing experience – artistically, too – that I have ever known. This symphony is an apotheosis of terror and anguish, a summation of my creative career, an attempt to come to terms with an arbitrary and incalculable world that assails us at every turn. Instead of hymning joy, the beautiful divine spark, the men and women of my Ninth Symphony spend the evening conjuring up a world of horror and persecution that is still with us today and that continues to cast its shadows over us. This symphony reflects a German reality, but above all it expresses the greatest possible admiration for those people who opposed the Nazis‘ Fascist reign of terror and who gave their lives to safeguard freedom of thougt.

Hans Werner Henze


3 Flauti2° anche Piccolo, 3° anche Piccolo e Flauto contralto
3 Oboi2° anche Oboe d’amore, 3° anche Corno inglese
1 Heckelphon
3 Clarinetti2° anche Clarinetto contrabbasso, 3° anche Clarinetto basso
3 Fagotti3° anche Controfagotto
6 Corni
4 Trombe
5 Tromboni1° contralto, 2° /3° tenori, 4° basso, 5° contrabbasso
1 Tubaanche Tuba contrabbassa
Percussione3 Piatti sospesi, Piatti a due, 3 Tamtam, Lastra di bronzo, 3 Tomtom, 3 Bongos,
Tamburino, Tamburo piccolo, Grancassa (con e senza il piatto), Woodblock, Metal-block, Bacchette a vetro sospese, Castagnette, Maracas, 2 Guiro, Raganella, Frusta, Incudine, Lastra da tuono, Fischietto, Sirena, 3 Flessatoni, Teschini cinesi, Crotali, Campane tubolari, Gonghi cinesi, Glockenspiel, Vibrafono, Marimba [per 7]