HANS WERNER HENZE (b.1926): Gogo no Eiko.
Catalogue Number: 11L084
Label: Orfeo d'Or
Reference: C 794 092 I
Description: This is Henze's extended reworking, from 2003-5, of his 1990 opera after Mishima's novel "The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea', a story of adolescent violence, above all, colored by the sexual overtones and violent fantasies common in Mishima's work. An obsessive - and doomed - adult love story is ultimately negated by the immature nihilism of the following generation. The story of the murderous youths, acting out in the most extreme and brutal manner possible a perverted Peter Pan fantasy in which the existence and behavior of adulthood is an abomination, is set to music of great dramatic tension by Henze, but deferring to his own inimitable sense of operatic storytelling and the stylized elegance of the Japanese original, the music is never ugly nor crude, exuding throughout a growing sense of cumulative menace. Even explosively violent gestures are part of the narrative fabric, never seeming gratuitous. Harmonically rich, with a sense of tonality in the complex, linear development of themes, the music has a sense of symphonic scope rare in opera since Wagner, excepting Britten - the orchestral interludes and entractes sound like extracts from Henze's symphonic œuvre. As the narrative moves towards its irrationally ritualized violent conclusion, the music matches it in its cumulative energy, in one of Henze's most powerful scores. Live recording at the Salzburg Festival, August 26, 2006. 2 CDs. English synopsis. Mari Midorikawa (soprano), Jun Takahashi (tenor), Tsuyoshi Mihara (baritone), RAI National Symphony Orchestra; Gerd Albrecht.