Universal Edition - Friedrich Cerha – Like a Tragicomedy

Friedrich Cerha

Friedrich Cerha
Like a Tragicomedy

Year of composition: 2008-2009
Subtitle: for large orchestra
Scored for: for large orchestra
Composer: Friedrich Cerha
Instrumentation: 3 2 3 3 - 4 4 4 1 - timp, perc(4), hp, alto sax(Eb), mand, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
1st clarinet in A
2nd clarinet in A
bass clarinet in Bb
alto saxophone in Eb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
4th trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
4th trombone
bass tuba
1st percussion
2nd percussion
3rd percussion
4th percussion
violin I
violin II
Commissioned by: BBC Manchester
Duration: 20′
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Audio Excerpt

Like a Tragicomedy

World Première

Location: Bridgewater Hall Manchester / Great Britain
Date: 13.02.2010
Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: HK Gruber

Work Introduction

The term “tragicomedy” in the title refers to the way in which all our conflicts, all our contradictions, all the drama and meaning in our lives become almost comic when observed from a distance. As Thomas Berhard put it, “when one thinks of death, everything becomes absurd”. I was inspired to the use of the [German] word “Wie” [“as”] in the title by the work of my friend, the painter Max Weiler, who often gives his pictures titles beginning with "Wie ...", as for example in his work “Wie eine Landschaft" [Like a Landscape]. It is an indication that the work is symbolic and not programmatic.

In this piece, dramatic scenes alternate with melancholy quieter sections, in which (although this is already interpretation) the measured repetition of tonal phrases points us towards infinity. The finale opens out into what for us lowly mortals appears to be a state of timelessness, in which further change is barely possible.

Friedrich Cerha

study score - Like a Tragicomedy

Like a Tragicomedy
  • for large orchestra
  • Edition type: study score

study score - Like a Tragicomedy

Like a Tragicomedy
  • for large orchestra
  • Edition type: study score

3 Ensembles that have played this work:

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