Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel VII

Friedrich Cerha Spiegel VII
Spiegel VII

Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel VII

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for large orchestra
Friedrich Cerha
5 4 5 4 - 4 4 6 2 - perc(10), hp(2), cel, hpsd, pno, t.sax, bar.sax, wagner tuba(4), str
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 (+cl(Eb))
3rd clarinet in A (+cl(Eb))
4th clarinet in A (+bass cl(Bb))
5th clarinet in A (+bass cl(Bb))
tenor saxophone in Bb
baritone saxophone in Eb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st contrabassoon
2nd contrabassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st wagner tuba in B
2nd wagner tuba in B
1st wagner tuba in F
2nd wagner tuba 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
5th trombone
6th trombone (+cb.tuba)
1st tuba
2nd tuba
1st percussion
2nd percussion
3rd percussion
4th percussion
5th percussion
6th percussion
7th percussion
8th percussion
9th percussion
10th percussion
harpsichoird (amplified)
1st harp
2nd harp
violin I(14)
violin II(13)
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Spiegel VII

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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

Musikverein, Wien (AT)
ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Friedrich Cerha

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