Universal Edition - Friedrich Cerha – Spiegel II

Friedrich Cerha

Friedrich Cerha
Spiegel II

Year of composition: 1960/1961
Scored for: for 55 strings
Composer: Friedrich Cerha
Instrumentation: 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 0, vln.I(14), vln.II(7), vla(5), vc(5), cb(4)
Instrumentation details:

Duration: 13′
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Audio Excerpt

Spiegel II

World Première

Location: Stadthalle Donaueschingen / Germany
Date: 18.10.1964
Orchestra: SWF-Sinfonieorchester
Conductor: Ernest Bour

Work Introduction

The optical aspect played an essential part in all phases of creating the Spiegel. When writing down the scenic draft (1961) it was always clear to me that there cannot be a single, compulsory bracing of the optical and acoustical level; instead, the combination of both creates a field of overlapping in which various individual solutions are possible. The director and the choreographer should therefore feel as little bound or even patronised as possible, to have space to unfold their personal creativity.

The descriptive record of my own ideas seems to contradict that, and it is a procedure which can entail misunderstandings. Nevertheless I decided to do it to provide an image of impressions to be released. It is only the fundamental tendency of the process described in the draft which is binding. Looking at the overall concept, a number of rules for the presentation can easily be derived.

The isolated essence, its individual development, its destiny, is not the subject of presentation. Life always appears as a community; expressionistic accents are to be avoided. In a specific historical situation, obvious symbolic content should never be made plain with force. The inventory of classical ballet movements is unsuitable for executing the tasks presented in this piece. The actors’ movements are often similar, but not identical; only in isolated, exceptional cases are they simultaneous. Similarity of movement and temporal coordination are stronger if the task is common to all.

Among its individual parts, the music comprises strong formal references, variants and varied reprises. These are likewise intended in the optical area, yet the two relational systems do not always cover each other, although the optical events are to be fundamentally developed from the music. The cooperation of the two levels is intended in this way to attain complexity in the relationships. It would be correct if – in analogy to the music – the optical aspect (proceeding from adequately chosen material) would reveal aesthetic and dramatic events as essential in the formally governed composition, acting in response to emotional and intellectual principles as the music does.

Friedrich Cerha

study score - Spiegel II

Spiegel II
  • for 55 strings
  • Edition type: study score

study score - Spiegel II

Spiegel II
  • for 55 strings
  • Edition type: study score

Future Performances

28.08.2017 - Lucerne Festival
Location: KKL, Luzern (CH), Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Conductor: Matthias Pintscher

Location: Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (D), Orchestra: Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Conductor: Matthias Pintscher

3 Ensembles that have played this work:

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