The Kennedy Center

Trauer-Ode for Margaret Geddes for 6 Celli

About the Work

Hans Henze Composer: Hans Werner Henze
© Richard E. Rodda

In 1993, the Academy of Kronberg, Germany, near Frankfurt, established a biennial festival honoring outstanding cellists. The inaugural festival was dedicated to Pablo Casals, the second (1995) to Emanuel Feuermann, and the third (1997) to Mstislav Rostropovich. For the closing concert of the 1997 festival, Henze composed his Trauer-Ode [? Ode of Mourning ?] für Margaret Geddes for six cellos; Rostropovich led the work's premiere on October 19th. In a preface to the score, Henze wrote, ?This piece was composed in memory of my admired and beloved friend, the Princess Margaret von Hessen und bei Rhein. It is written in the manner of a six-voice motet, and reflects pain, loss and grief. Johann Sebastian Bach's comforting chorale Meine Seele erhebet den Herrn [? My soul doth magnify the Lord '] appears in the center amid the elegiac counterpoint of my own music.?