Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Henze, Hans Werner. "Tristan." In Music and Politics: Collected Writings 1953-81, 222-29. Trans. Peter Labanyi. London: Faber &Faber, 1982.

This essay, written in 1975, is part of a collection of personal memoirs by the composer. Although many of his works involve borrowings of various kinds, this essay deals with the concept explicitly and presents a subjective, first-hand account of the process. In 1972, Henze wrote a piano piece he called "Prélude" which distantly recalled Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Through further thinking and dreaming, the orchestra piece Tristan began to take shape. Part of the process involved a computer analysis of the first four measures of Act III of Wagner's opera. Tristan, written in 1973, uses tapes generated by the computer analysis of the Wagner excerpt as well as a full orchestra. Other quotations in the work include several bars of Brahms's First Symphony, which Henze explains is intended to represent an enemy, and Chopin's funeral march from his Sonata in B-flat major.

Works: Henze: Prélude (222), Tristan (223-29).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Jessica Sternfeld

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