We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience. Most of these are essential and already present.
We do require your explicit consent to save your cart and browsing history between visits. Read about cookies we use here.
Your cart and preferences will not be saved if you leave the site.

Soundohm

play
Best of 2022

Henning Christiansen

Op. 163 Penthesilea / Op.176 Penthesilea (2LP + 5CD Box bundle)

Label: The Henning Christiansen Archive

Format: 2LP + 5CD Box bundle

Genre: Sound Art

Preorder

€76.00
+
-

This bundle includes the two latest Henning Christiansen Archive releases:

Henning Christiansen "Op. 163 Penthesilea"(2LP)
Henning Christiansen "Op. 176 Penthesilea"(5CD Box)



Henning Christiansen "Op. 163 Penthesilea"(2LP)

*Limited edition of 300 copies.* Beautiful, haunting and sombre, this 2LP presents the entire recording from Henning Christiansen’s Heinrich von Kleist tribute at Rene Block’s Rosenfest festival, Berlin, 1984. The Reality is a Ghost in My Mind (LP1) is a work that unfolds patiently with a mix of field recordings; wind, bird song and the sound of snow being crushed underfoot all unite in a foreboding atmosphere. IN Penthesilea Höhle (LP2) features electronic treatments to the original field recordings found on The Reality is a Ghost in My Mind, a representation of psychological reorientation perhaps?

A deep ground tone (or ROOT as Henning calls it) leads the listener through a variety of realistic and unrealistic environments. As Henning says in his essay reprinted on the back sleeve: “Then comes a section where the field recordings of the sea, the storm, birds, cars and other things, are built together so that the realism of these sounds become unreal. For example the cars drive into the sea and the birds are singing within the storm. When you hear footsteps in the show, it’s Kleist sneaking past Deutsche Schauspielhaus. When you hear a deep, human sleeping noise, it’s Achilles sleeping. When you hear hammering it’s the weapon smith working. When you hear a stone being thrown it means the unanswered question: “Who threw the first stone?” These recordings lead to the finale where Carla Tatò’s haunted vocals into her singing mournfully along with Jan Tilman Schade’s violoncello and tuba, then a chainsaw appears.



Henning Christiansen "Op. 176 Penthesilea"(5CD Box)

*Limited edition of 300 copies.* 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.

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 narrative intensifies…Pentheseila is one of the most ambitious works in the entire Henning Christiansen oeuvre. A large-scale work from the mid eighties based on the play of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist (1808). Both Henning and his widow, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, were enthusiastic about Kleist’s text, both making works around the themes within this portent text. Henning Christiansen first developed a work around this text for the Rosenfest festival performed in Berlin in 1984. Rosenfest was curated by René Block and featured a variety of composers presenting works in response to Kleist’s work including Robert Ashley, "Blue" Gene Tyranny etc. Henning formulated a composition utilising tape, field recordings, voice, soprano, and violoncello alongside the home made instruments of Werner Durand. The live presentation was then expanded upon and first performed two years later at Teatro Olímpico, Rome on the 8th November 1986 as directed by Carlo Quartucci.

Details
Cat. number: HC4 / HC5
Year: 2022

More by Henning Christiansen