Friedrich Cerha: Like a Tragicomedy

Reading time: 1 min. Friedrich Cerha Wien Modern

On 20 November Friedrich Cerha’s Like a Tragicomedy will receive its Austrian première during the Wien Modern Festival. The composer writes:

The term “tragicomedy” in the title refers to the way in which all our conflicts, all our contradictions, all the drama and meaning in our lives become almost comic when observed from a distance. As Thomas Berhard put it, “when one thinks of death, everything becomes absurd”.

I was inspired to the use of the [German] word “Wie” [“as/like”] in the title by the work of my friend, the painter Max Weiler, who often gives his pictures titles beginning with "Wie ...", as for example in his work “Wie eine Landschaft" [Like a Landscape]. It is an indication that the work is symbolic and not programmatic.

Friedrich Cerha: Like a Tragicomedy
for large orchestra
Austrian première: 20.11.2011
Wien Modern Festival, Konzerthaus Vienna
RSO Vienna, c. James MacMillan

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