Drei Tentos from Kammermusik (1958) by Hans Werner Henze (1926–2012)
These famous short works for solo guitar come from Hans Werner Henze’s larger work Kammermusik (chamber music) written in 1958, and originally dedicated to Benjamin Britten. Kammermusik is a 12-movement chamber piece for tenor, guitar and eight instruments set to texts by the poet Friedrich Hölderlin. There are also three songs for tenor and guitar that come with the solo score of the work. The Drei Tentos (and Kammermusik) were premiered by guitarist Julian Bream and tenor Peter Pears, and are frequently performed alone as modern guitar repertoire. Henze’s compositional style changed over the years but the influence of the serial music around him and his loosening of the style with richly melodic lines, beautiful orchestration, and sensible musicality contrasted the music of his contemporaries.