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Friedrich Cerha: 3 Sätze

  • for orchestra
  • 3 2 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(4), hp, str
  • Duration: 13’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute (+1stpicc)
    3rd flute (+2ndpicc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe (+c.a)
    1st clarinet in A
    2nd clarinet in A
    3rd clarinet in A (+cl(Eb)
    bass cl(Bb))
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    3rd 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
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    bass tuba
    1st percussion
    2nd percussion
    3rd percussion
    4th percussion
    violin I
    violin II
    double bass
  • Composer: Friedrich Cerha
  • Commission: Auftragswerk der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien

Work introduction

With regard to my work, reference has often beenmade to its stylistic variety, its differing material and treatment of the latter, whereby I occasionally detected a touch of discrimination in the sense of arbitrariness in that material. In fact works of very different character came into being in temporal-contiguous proximity, the responsibility lying in the fact that, in several stages of my development, I have proceeded from one point in pursuing various evolutionary strands which grew apart as they developed. Thus a direct comparison of simultaneously created [works] can lead to a somewhat hapless detection of “variety.”

Given that interest exists in pursuing the consistency of a development (which is not necessary for the recipient of a single work), a piece must be placed in a relation to earlier works of the corresponding strand of development in order to gain insight into the logic of a line of evolutionary development. (Incidentally, perception and deliberate parallel pursuit of varying notions and ways of thinking of music were already salient features of my work in the 1940s; I was emphatically emboldened in this by my friend Paul Kont, who was involved with similar concepts).

The sketches for the Drei Sätze für Orchester were already completed in 2011 while I was working on the Drei Orchesterstücke [“Three Orchestra Pieces”]; I finished the full score in March and April 2012.

The eruptive, dramatic element, the subversive protesting of the Intermezzo from the Drei Orchesterstücke are eschewed here, as is the statuary aspect of “Tombeau”.

The vitality of the first piece depends on contiguity, the interplay of rhythmised layers.

The cor anglais and the flute, deployed in soloistic contemplation, dominate the second movement; initially, the orchestra has mere interjections and short interludes, gaining its own character only in the final section and ending with pianissimo string chords.

The third piece is lively concertante, with one rather sombre episode in the middle. It requires a plenitude of virtuosity form the orchestra.

Friedrich Cerha

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Musikverein, Großer Saal, Wien (AT)
ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Cornelius Meister
Main soloists:

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