Richard Strauss/Thomas Hennig - Reflection
Walter Braunfels - Te Deum
- Yvonne Friedli, Soprano
Hans-Georg Priese, Tenor
- Berliner Oratorien-Chor
Fortis (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
- Berliner Symphoniker
- Conductor Thomas Hennig
In 1903, Richard Strauss set the patriotic ballad of „Taillefer” (by Ludwig Uhland) to music while adapting it to the expectations of the imperial times. Nearly half a century and two world wars later, the now seasoned and reclusive composer started composing his last work in 1949: “Besinnung” (“Reflection” or “Contemplation”). The piece is based on the poem of the same title written by Herman Hesse and has remained unfinished after Strauss’ death. Conductor and composer Thomas Hennig recently obtained permission to complete the work based on the original sketches and fragments. The belated completion of master Richard Strauss’ work will be performed in a worldwide premiere that evening.
In the second half of the concert, the rarely performed “Te Deum” (1922) by Walter Braunfels will be heard. Born into a family of Jewish ancestry and baptized as a protestant, Braunfels converted to Catholicism after his experiences during World War I. The reality of the horrors of war and the question of a higher meaning shaped this work. With 110 performances, the “Te Deum” was quite a successful piece at the time. Unfortunately, due to the rise to power of the National socialists, the composer was eventually shunned, and his works became nearly forgotten. When World War II was over, Braunfels was tasked by Konrad Adenauer with rebuilding the music academy in Cologne. His creative output, however, is only recently being rediscovered.