Music theatre Ballet 1950 1990

The Vocal Scarf of the Primadonna Rosa Silber (Das Vokaltuch der Kammersängerin Rosa Silber)

Exercise with Stravinsky about a picture of Paul Klee

Choreographic poem

Commissioned by the RIAS Berlin

Year of composition 1950
Revision 1990
Duration 18 minutes

Dedicated to Boris Blacher

World premiere

Concertante world premiere 8. May 1951

Berlin · Titania Palast, Rias-Sonderkonzert
Conductor Ferenc Fricsay


Scenic world premiere 15. October 1958


Choreography Lisa Kretschmar
Conductor Siegfried Köhler


World premiere of the Revision 14. January 1991

London · Barbican Hall · Parnassus Ensemble
Conductor Hans Werner Henze


This bitter-sweet divertissement of my early years draws on many impressions and influences from my Berlin days of 1950, including Paul Klee and the colours of his “vocal scarf”, classical ballet, Boris Blacher and Stravinsky. The folksong “C’est le mai, c’est le mai” is used as a variation theme. I thoroughly revised the piece in 1990.

Hans Werner Henze


1 Ottavino
1 Flauto 
1 Oboe
1 Corno inglese
1 Clarinetto
1 Clarinetto basso
2 Fagotti
2 Corni
2 Trombe
2 Tromboni
1 Tuba
PercussionePiatto sospeso piccolo
Piatti a due
Tamburo piccolo
[per 1]