Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel III

Friedrich Cerha Spiegel III
Spiegel III

Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel III

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for large orchestra
Friedrich Cerha
5 4 4 0 - 6 4 4 0 - perc(4), hp(2), cel, cemb, pno, vln.I(12), vln.II(12), vla(8), vc(6), cb(4)
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute
4th flute
5th flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe
4th oboe
1st clarinet in A
2nd clarinet in A
3rd clarinet in A
4th clarinet in A
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
5th horn in F
6th 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
1st, 2th percussion
3rd, 4th percussion
5th, 6th percussion
7th, 8th percussion
1st harp
2nd harp
1st, 2th violin I
3rd, 4th violin I
5th, 6th violin I
7th, 8th violin I(12)
9th, 10th violin I(12)
11th, 12th violin I(8)
1st, 2nd violin II(6)
3rd, 4th violin II(4)
5th, 6th violin II
7th, 8th violin II
9th, 10th violin II
11th, 12th violin II
1st, 2nd viola
3rd, 4th viola
5th, 6th viola
7th, 8th viola
1st, 2nd violoncello
3rd, 4th violoncello
5th, 6th violoncello
1st, 2nd double bass
3rd, 4th double bass
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Spiegel III

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

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World première

Stockholm (SE)
Stockholms Philharmonisch Orkest
Friedrich Cerha

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