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Promenade Concert


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Cantata: Novae de Infinito laudes....Hons Werner Henze
Conducted by the Composer

The London Philharmonic Society commissioned from Henze a large-scale cantata: for text the composer turned to the sixteenth-century Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, whose main works were written and published in Elizabethan England. Bruno. once a Dominican priest, had left the Church to spend a brilliant but restless career at the courts and universities of northern Europe when his heretical beliefs made Italy dangerous for him. He returned to Italy in 1593, and was arrested by the Inquisition. He refused to recant and he went to the stake in 1600. The texts that Henze has set spring from reflections about mutability - the succession of day and night, of the seasons, of the years, of long centuries during which continents may change their shape and countries their climates -perpetual change, yet all of it governed by unchanging laws. This is an idea apt for musical treatment. lending itself to a variety of picturesque and incidental detail. all governed by relationship to the underlying form.
The Novae Laudes is an eloquent and visionary piece, romantically conceived and intricately crafted It was first heard in Venice in 1963. ANDREW PORTER


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Feedback about Promenade Concert, Network Three, 21.05, 27 July 1965
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