Music for a tragedy/play, Penthesilea (tragedy in 24 scenes), by director Carlo Quartucci, playwright: Heinrich von Kleist. First performance at Teatro Olimpico, Rome, Italy, on November 8, 1986.
This four and a half hour audio work heavily expands on the foundation laid out for Rosenfest in 1984 as featured on the HC4 2LP release. This lavish 5CD set presents the full backing tape prepared for the performances at Teatro Olímpico, Rome in 1986 as directed by Carlo Quartucci (the live
recordings of the performances remain elusive to this day).
The most ambitious project Henning undertook, the Penthesilea project is also one of the most successful as it explores the numerous experiments and techniques he had developed throughout his creative life culminating in this ambitious and significant work. Unheard until now and required listening now.
The full narrative of Kleists text unfolds as an audio excursion for the mind to wander. An audiobook presented as sound. The field recordings featured in Rosenfest recordings are featured alongside a wealth of new sonic environments. Horses trot, a boxing match is treated with electronics creating an otherworldly atmosphere. In the piece ‘XIII XIV’ we encounter moments of Henning’s early classical works only to subside in a valley of gentle machines clacking amongst a whispering ghost melody. Elsewhere a thumping proto-techno beat tramples on the once trampled snow we heard in the Rosenfest recordings, a rustic squeak acts as a horn solo, onwards, the wind gets fiercer, the
OP. 176 PENTHESILEA is presented as a deluxe 5CD box set with 32 page full colour booklet featuring writings by Villy Sørensen, Mark Harwood, Werner Durand and Henning Christiansen. The set is all housed in a sturdy slip case with original artwork (by Henning Christiansen, scores and performance photos.