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Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel VII

  • for large orchestra
  • 5 4 5 4 - 4 4 6 2 - perc(10), hp(2), cel, hpsd, pno, t.sax, bar.sax, wagner tuba(4), str
  • Duration: 17’
  • 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
    celesta
    harpsichoird (amplified)
    1st harp
    2nd harp
    piano
    violin I(14)
    violin II(13)
    viola(10)
    violoncello(10)
    contrabass(8)
  • Composer: Friedrich Cerha

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

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Musikverein, Wien (AT)
Date:
28.01.1972
Orchestra:
ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Conductor:
Friedrich Cerha

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