El Cimarrón by Hans Werner Henze – A New Approach to Political Song

Jose Mario Ortiz


During the years prior to World War II, a number of composers in Germany were creating music of political content that addressed social issues. By writing El Cimarrón (1970), Hans Werner Henze made a unique contribution to the tradition of political committed music in Germany. Henze was able to go beyond the achievements of his predecessors by giving a documentary character to the work and integrating the results of his own experiments into the composition. This paper discusses the characteristic features of El Cimarrón and Henze’s approach to composing this work.

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