German composer Hans Werner Henze’s (1926–2012) admiration for the great masters of the Baroque and musical Classicism manifested in compositions born from a desire to transcribe, rework and transform 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces into new orchestral textures. The project Travestimenti (Disguises), managed by conductor Marco Angius and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, from which this CD was created, makes reference to Henze’s ‘reinventions’ of masterpieces by Mozart, C.P.E. Bach and Vitali, clothed in new, modern fashion.
For the Drei Mozart’sche Orgelsonaten, Henze takes up three of Mozart’s one-movement Kirchensonaten (church sonatas or trio sonatas). Sonatas 17 and 15 are in an Allegro tempo, whereas the Sonata K.67 is marked Andantino, so Henze, in his transcription, places the latter between the two livelier tempos, thus reconstructing the tripartite structure of a classical three-movement sonata. Scored for an ensemble of 14 players that includes the less common, softer variants oboe d’amore and viola d’amore, it aims to underline the darker instrumental timbres, favouring the sombre sonorities of the alto flute in G, the bass flute in C, the bass clarinet and the bassoon.
During the last year of his life, in 1787, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach composed a Fantasia libera per tastiera sola (Free Fantasia for keyboard alone) which he expanded into the Clavier-Fantasie mit Begleitung einer Violine (Fantasy for harpsichord with violin accompaniment), one of his most personal and expressive works. Henze transcribed it for solo flute, harp and strings, aiming to project the extremely interesting and expressive harmonic material of the composition into a larger instrumental apparatus, thus making its future-oriented harmonic structures more manifest and moulded. He proposed two options for division of the: string quartet + string quintet or string quartet+ tutti (the latter version is recorded here).
Although it was probably composed in the early 18th century, Vitali’s Ciaccona ‘Il Vitalino’ – whose musical form is inspired by dance and consists of variations on a ground bass – was only rediscovered in 1867, published by the German virtuoso violinist Ferdinand David.
Henze’s Il Vitalino raddoppiato – called “raddoppiato” (“doubled”) because of his extension of the composition by means of interpolated variations of each original section in the style of 18th-century doubles – retains Vitali’s bass almost throughout the entire composition. It alternates Vitali’s variations on his chaconne theme with Henze’s variations of Vitali’s variations, in an ever-changing dialogue between the 18th-century past and Henze’s present.
- German composer Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012) had a great admiration for the masters of the Baroque and the Classical Era, which prompted him to transcribing, reworking, and transfiguring 17th and 18th century masterpieces into new orchestral weaves, illuminating the past with a modern light. Examples of this are his transcriptions of the opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria by Monteverdi, and the Oratorio Jephte by Carissimi.
- This new recording project Travestimenti (Disguises) conducted by Marco Angius with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto presents Henze's 'reinventions' of masterpieces by Mozart, C.P.E. Bach and Vitali.
- In the Mozart’sche Orgelsonaten Henze made significant changes to the instrumentation, assigning harp and guitar to large parts of the original solo part. The preference for low instruments gives the work a withdrawn, introverted, almost nocturnal nature.
- Henze about his C.P.E. Bach transcription: “Maintaining exactly the note values of the original, I decided to transcribe the Clavier-Fantasie mit Begleitung einer Violine by C.P.E. Bach for solo flute, harp and strings. My aim was to project the extremely interesting and expressive harmonic material of this composition into a larger instrumental apparatus and thus to make its future-oriented harmonic structures more manifest and molded.”
- Another interesting and original recording project by Marco Angius and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto. Their previous Wagner/Sciarrino (BC 96119) recording met with great critical acclaim in the international press.
- Recorded January & April 2022 in Padua
- Booklet in English contains liner notes by Gastón Fournier-Facio and Elena Minetti and profiles of the orchestra and conductor