This piece, written during the winter months of 2000-2001, consists of one movement, Allegro con fuoco, in which an old score is revisited, raided and ravished by its composer. The earlier music had been written in the mid-fifties for a stage work Maratona di Danza and for its maker, the director Luchino Visconti.
Elements from the older piece reappear on and off like shadows under the surface of new ones, like more or less vague memories, images of young people suffering pain and despair in their struggle for survival in a barbaric, pitiless modern world.
My new composition is a kind of concerto for very large symphony orchestra, an étude on constant and often rapid musical changes of mood and colours, built on a variety of rhythmic figures, incessantly and brutally pushing the music ahead. Sometimes, it is as though voices are weeping, sometimes crying out loud with pain, with anxiety, under the cold hearted pressure of an overwhelming violence. Hans Werner Henze
Commissioned on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of das neue werk, Hamburg. Premiered on 29th June 2001. Duration 15 minutes.