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The last known portrait of Hans Werner Henze

Francesco Maria Colombo visited the composer at home on July 11, 2012. ‘HWH was very fragile that day,’ he tells us, ‘but his incredible, disturbing gaze, the gaze of a man close to death, was there.’ Henze died in Dresden yesterday, aged 86.

Francesco, a former critic for Corriere della Serra, is presently conducting Donizetti in Rio de Janeiro. The portrait is rights-protected.

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  1. I was lucky enough to meet Hans and Fausto in Marino in their villa, with Max. The weather was beautiful, we ate olives from the grove in their garden, and Tristan and Isolde, the two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs who had been recently acquired, were snuffling blindly around each other in a corner of the garden as albino peacocks assessed us from afar. Halcyon memories of old artistic warriors together musing. I am grateful for the strength of personality and determination that they showed to have gotten that far.

    • Thanks for sharing this!

      I hope we soon get the recording of “Elogium” – those who heard it rate it extremely high.

  2. The picture in this article says that it is from 11 september 2012.

  3. Can anyone whistle a tune by Henze ?

  4. Carlos Fischer says:

    There’s no need to be ‘whistling music” to be good music…Henze was a great composer who wrote lots of non-whistle music.

    • DrewLewis says:

      Listen to Henze’s Fourth Symphony – a continuous stream of melody that I find totally memorable and eminently singable.

  5. William Safford says:

    I particularly like “L’Autunno.”

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