Hans Werner Henze R.I.P.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hans Werner Henze has died, aged 86. As usual, The Guardian has done the best job in the obituary department with a lengthy contribution from Guy Rickards on 27th October.

I first encountered Henze’s music back in my vinyl days, and a much-prized item in my LP collection was a Deutsche Grammophon box set of Symphonies 1 to 6, conducted by the composer. Also in my collection was a recording of Henze’s cantata The Raft of the Medusa, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau making a wonderful contribution and demonstrating once again his championing of contemporary music during his career.

The Guardian obituary deals extensively with the left-wing political slant of much of Henze’s output, and is well worth a read.