Magazine article Gramophone

Henze: Symphony No 7. Sieben Boleros

Magazine article Gramophone

Henze: Symphony No 7. Sieben Boleros

Article excerpt


Symphony No 7. Sieben Boleros. Ouverture zu einem Theater. L'Upupa--Die blaue Stunde Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra / Markus Stenz

Oehms (F) 0C446 (66' * DDD)


Is it inevitable that Henze's most orthodox symphony is destined to receive more recordings than any of his others? This is the fourth release of the Seventh, following on from Janowski (Wergo, 12/08), Cambreling (Hanssler Classic, 5/03) and, still most visceral and compelling of all, Rattle (EMI/Warner, 11/93). Hunt around online and a broadcast of the 1984 premiere, with the Berlin Philharmonic under Gianluigi Gelmetti, is easy to find too.

Either way, it's a pleasure to see the composer's discography thickening out, particularly in Stenz's firm, assured hands. Forensically detailed and immaculately coloured even when this music is at its most violent, Stenz's unimpeachable Cologne players deliver an eerie mystery in the slow movement, as if recalling Berg in a bad dream, and capture the madness in what Henze called his 'nasty scherzo' with clinical, merciless ease. …

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