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  • Format: 2CD [WER67102]
  • Shipping Weight: 0.14kg
  • Label: Wergo

"El Cimarron" is one of the most important examples of politically engaged music – a milestone in the history of Hans Werner Henze’s oeuvre, musical theater that had not been known or mastered previously. In his "recital for four musicians", Henze tells the story of Esteban Montejo, an escaped Cuban slave who, at the age of 104, was interviewed extensively about his life by the Cuban ethnologist and writer Miguel Barnet. Barnet's book provided the model for a libretto by the German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger which was translated into English by Christopher Keene. In Henze’s composition, there is a narrative gesture that derives from Esteban Montejo’s speaking style, which was captured on tape. And there is the basso continuo, the musical foundation from which the whole thing grows and produces its new blossoms. It was derived from and developed on ancient African (Congolese-Cuban) percussion music. That is the often quite but often loud pulse of our Cimarron.

"Several weeks ago I had an opportunity to see and hear the rehearsals of my recital 'El Cimarron' by the El Cimarron Ensemble of Junge Kultur in Hallein. I was very impressed by the energy, the artistic elan, and the human commitment they manifested in an almost overwhelming way. In Michael Kerstan's staging this 'performance' becomes a very impressive, moving, and enthralling action, and I wish them luck and great success and thank them for their outstanding work." (Hans Werner Henze, June 1999)

El Cimarron Ensemble: Angelo de Leonardis: baritone / Gundl Aggermann: flute / Christina Schorn: guitar / Ivan Mancinelli: percussion / Michael Kerstan: artistic director

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