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Ein Landarzt / Das Ende einer Welt

Product number: WER 66662
Edition: CD with 96-page booklet incl. libretti in slipcase
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In the beginning of the 1950s, Hans Werner Henze wrote two radio operas for the former North West German Radio. The genre was developed around the 1930s and means a form of opera without any visual elements and hence without a stage. Under such circumstances the plot has to reach the listeners’ ears by other means – by making the text exceptionally easy to follow, and by means of acoustic special effects like echo or sound collages.
With this CD, WERGO publishes the première of the revised versions on Sept. 27, 1996, in the Philharmonie in Cologne: Franz Kafka’s oppressive surrealism in "Ein Landarzt" (A Country Doctor) and Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s scathing satire in "Das Ende einer Welt" (The End of a World). In “Das Ende einer Welt”, Henze himself took the role of the narrator, which underlines how topical the subject matter of this work remains for him.
On the occasion of the première of the revised versions of these two operas the composer wrote of the “inner connection” between the works: “There is, first, the state of a man who has taken leave of his senses, of being exposed, of the most terrible isolation, as if ‘ordered’ by invisible powers acting on a ‘higher level.’ There is talk of deception, of self-deception, of deceiving and being deceived, of the volatility and unreliability of life matters, beginning with the most simple (or most banal) and ending with the metaphysical and the grotesque.” It is also conceivable that the increasing disquiet that took hold of Henze in the early fifties with regard to an evolving society that nonetheless remained the same at its core (“Everywhere the old was not yet old enough, while the new pointed to a future that did not look very promising,” wrote the composer in his essay “Nach dem Krieg” [After the war]) took musical form in his two radio operas: on the one hand, a nightmare vision of horror; on the other, a cynical farce.


A Country Doctor
Radio opera after the short story by Franz Kafka
Revised version
- The End of a World
Radio opera with prologue and epilogue
Libretto by Wolfgang Hildesheimer
Revised version


Hans Werner Henze: speaker (Narrator) / Roland Hermann: baritone (Country Doctor) / Frieder Lang: tenor (Fallersleben) / Daphne Evangelatos: alto (Mother/Marchesa Montetristo) / Roderic M. Keating: tenor (Stable Boy/Dombrowska) / Jonas Dickopf: boys’ soprano (Patient) / Isolde Siebert: soprano (Rosa, Daughter/Signora Sgambati) / Matteo de Monti: bass (Father/Golch) / Robert Bork: baritone (Professor Kuntz-Sartori) / Kölner Domchor (Eberhard Metternich) / WDR Rundfunkchor Köln (Godfried Ritter) / WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln / conductor: Markus Stenz

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Ein Landarzt / Das Ende einer Welt
CD with 96-page booklet incl. libretti in slipcase
63 ′27 ′′

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Product number:
WER 66662
0,19 kg

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