Friedrich Cerha: Baal

Friedrich Cerha Baal
Baal

Friedrich Cerha: Baal

Year of composition:
1974-1980
Subtitle:
Bühnenwerk in 2 Teilen
Composer:
Friedrich Cerha
Librettist:
Friedrich Cerha
Writer of pre-existing text:
Bertolt Brecht
Roles:
Baal, baritone Ekart, bass Johannes, tenor Emilie, mezzo-soprano Johanna, soprano Sophie, soprano several small parts: soprano, alto, 2 tenors, 2 baritones, basses, 2 speaking parts
Instrumentation:
2 3 3 3 - 4 3 4 1, timp, perc(4), hp, acc, e-org, sax(2), guit, str(12 10 8 8 6); behind the scene: picc(2), cl(2), bass cl, alto sax, cbsn, jazz tpt, tbn, perc(1), acc, org, cb
Instrumentation details:
flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe (+c.a)
1st clarinet in A
2nd clarinet in A
3rd clarinet in A
soprano saxophone in Bb (+alto sax(Eb))
alto saxophone in Eb (+t.sax(Bb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
contrabassoon
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 (+flhn)
1st trombone (+t.hn(Bb))
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
4th trombone
tuba
1st timpani
2nd timpani
1st percussion
2nd percussion
3rd percussion
4th percussion
5th percussion
harp
guitar
accordion

violin I(12)
violin II(10)
viola(8)
violoncello(8)
contrabass(6)
cont.aind the scene: 1st piccolo
2nd piccolo
1st clarinet in A
2nd clarinet in A
bass clarinet in Bb
alto saxophone in Eb
contrabassoon
trumpet in Bb
trombone
percussion
accordion
contrabass
Scenery:
25 (teilweise gleiche Dekorationen)
Commission:
Bundesministerium für Unterricht und Kunst
Duration:
195’
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Audiosamples

Baal
00:00

Work introduction

Baal’s actual impulsion is the vital, ineradicable human longing for happiness, the search “for the land where living is better,” as he sings in his final song. He is seeking it here because he is “dependent on the terrestrial,” where he encounters limits of all kinds.

My choice of tools increasingly determines what I want to achieve. An alienating stylisation, detachment from the exposition of events, juxtaposition of levels ( … ) are the wrong tools here. What I want can only be attained by hints or clues of affinity. There can be no question of making Baal likeable, endearing – he will remain “unloved,” but he must also be “lovable” – accessible, in a way that makes the audience become part of what interests me – and the music, I hope, will help.

Friedrich Cerha

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World première

Location:
Salzburg
Date:
07.08.1981
Orchestra:
Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor:
Christoph von Dohnányi

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