Friedrich Cerha

on the concerto for percussion in the Gewandhaus Leipzig

LEIPZIGER VOLKSZEITUNG, 4/11/2011 --- There are wonderful melodies whirling throughout the concert hall, forming a counterpart to the berserk energy of outside - and demonstrating quite incidentally that as an adagio composer, that is to say a composer of the greatest form of pitch arrangement, Cerha is one of the greatest.
on the concerto for percussion and orchestra in the Große Festspielhaus Salzburg

on the concerto for percussion and orchestra in the Große Festspielhaus Salzburg

SALZBURGER NACHRICHTEN, 5/10/2009 --- The world premiere of the modest concerto for percussion and orchestra and orchestra, a new work by the 83-year-old Friedrich Cerha, released an awe-inspiring abundance of auditory finesse and incredible energy thrusts. (...) The strings' song during the transition to the slower section was wonderful, virtually "Mahleresque", and pervaded by the most delicate and tender vibraphone tones. The time and effort needed for the work is great, but everything is always used to serve a music, that comes wonderfully to terms with itself: a strong masterpiece that received great ovation.

DREHPUNKT KULTUR, 5/10/2009 --- The Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg has, along with the Viennese Johannes Baum-Koller, commissioned Friedrich Cerha to write a concerto for percussion and orchestra. He fills the work with pulsing, enthralling rhythms and opulent, symphonic sensuousness. One never hears that the composer is 83 years old.
That virtuous concerto for percussion and orchestra is yet another prime example of Friedrich Cerha's ability to masterful shift between a modern and a traditional language of sound.

about the CD 'Spiegel I-VII - Monumentum für Karl Prantl - Momente', SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg (Sylvain Cambreling), ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna (Dennis Russell Davis, Friedrich Cerha), 13002KAI

KLASSIK.COM, August 2010 --- Visionary music!

FONOFORUM, October 2010 --- A milestone. One of the most remarkable productions of the year.

SCHERZO, October 2010 --- Exceptional. [In Spain, the production was named one of the top 10 productions of 2010 worldwide]

Marcelo Toledo, 5/3/2010, Vienna --- We can be sure that these seven pieces stand up in themselves together with Charles Ives' unfinished Universe Symphony, Varèse's Arcana, Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps and few other orchestral pieces from the second part of the XX century as part of the tradition of utopian works of modern music.

Beat Furrer, 26/2/2010, Vienna --- Particularly the Spiegel series, written during the 1960s, is pioneering and radical in terms of its development of form from the sound itself; to this day, the cycle retains every bit of its original strenght and freshness.

Hans Zender, 19/2/2010, Freiburg --- When today, looking back over 50 years, one encounters the Spiegel pieces by the young Cerha, one is uncertain just what one should admire more: the mastery in the handling of means that were new at the time, the appearance of a clearly recognizable individuality within a texture more prone to negating the individual, or the determination of the composer, later on, to depart from the - narrow - basis of the recognizable compositional brand that he had hit upon, and to do so just as soon as possible.

Helmut Lachenmann, 2/2/2010, Stuttgart --- I have finally heard cerha's Spiegel cycle - twice! These are indeed impressive soundscapes, composed with a feel for sound that is simultaneously assured and prophetic.

György Kurtág, 26/1/2010, Salzburg: Friedrich Cerha's Spiegel deeply impressed me. The impulsive drama, the constant - sometimes quite low-velocity - emotional movement had me captivated so such an extent that I almost didn't notice that I had already listened to 80 minutes of music.

Pierre Boulez, 21/12/2009, Paris --- I have always regarded Friedrich Cerha as one of the most important personalities of his generation. I have followed his composing with great interest whenever I had the opportunity to listen to a work or read it during its creation. I am delighted that an album has now appeared which makes it possible to get an impression of his music's remarkable development. I hope that this will serve to create an awareness of his true significance.


OBERÖSTEREICHISCHE NACHRICHTEN, 3/9/2007 - on the „Musiktage Mondsee" --- Finally, the clarinet quintet (2004) by Friedrich Cerha, composer in residence: full of effervescent ideas (...). A substantial, sonorous chamber music work performed so passionately that the enthusiastic audience requested a Da Capo.

DIE PRESSE, 8/11/2006 - Of: " Spiegel" at the Konzerthaus Vienna --- Friedrich Cerha's seven-part cycle "Spiegel" [Mirrors], 1960/61 conceived as "Bühnenwerk für Bewegungsgruppen, Licht und Objekte" [Dramatic Work for Movement Group, Light and Objects], however not performed yet as such, was premiered at Wien Modern in its rare complete version. (...) and a work of such plastic, thrilling intensity as "Spiegel" can captivate even a present-day audience for almost one hour an a half. That works only, because Cerha has used architechtonic dodges (groups around a pivot pitch; reflections) in order to structure and restrain the huge colour waves and progressions on his screen. Moreover, Sylvain Cambreling and his Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra followed Cerha's request with meticulousness, sensuality and enormous vehemence, from daunting concentraition to subtly chased capillary sounds. Cheers and appreciation, not least for Cerha himself.

ÖSTERREICHISCHE MUSIKZEITSCHRIFT, May 1998 (on: Six Pieces for Solo Violin, Premiere) --- However, the highpoint of the evening (and one of the highpoints of the festival) was Friedrich Cerha's Six Pieces, some of the best work to come from Cerha in recent years. Concise in their tonal language and reminiscent of Cerha's early style in their transparency, but without even the least lapse in excitement, the first three pieces were particularly convincing.

DIE PRESSE, 27 April 2006 (on: Quintet for clarinet and string quartet, premiere) --- Once more, Cerha has succeeded, despite his weakness for finely crafted constructions, in writing a work that is accessible from the first hearing and highly expressive.

DIE PRESSE, 20 December 2005 (on: Violin concerto, premiere) --- If the 27 year old composer had, back in the 50's, managed to push through a performance of this eruptive, genius work, it would certainly have caused sensation as well as scandal. But even today, the independence and boldness of the composition still impress to the utmost.

WIENER ZEITUNG, March 1994 (on: For K, Festival Hörgänge) --- This (...) daring work left no wish unfulfilled. With clear formal concepts, Cerha manages to create an atmosphere that reaches from humorous passages to lethargic phrases. Bravo.

DIE PRESSE, 17 March 1999 (on: Alles Licht, Premiere) --- This was the most joyous part of the evening, that music was presented that exists apart from the heavy intellectual quest for the new, that moves freshly forward, testing out new possibilities of expressing itself in sound.