FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, Impulse for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 06N076
Description: The concerto is a thrilling sonic spectacular, as such things are predisposed to be. By the late 1990s, when it was written, Cerha was no longer concerned with his status in the avant garde, and the piece is full of rich, chordal textures and clear rhythmic drive that sound more of the early and mid-20th century than its end. He seems to have delighted in writing a big virtuoso concerto for soloist and amply employed orchestral forces, and the range of percussion timbres and textures put to the service of the music is astonishing. The first movement brackets a complex, layered, hypnotic section with passages of eruptive dynamism; the second movement is sonorously resonant and calm, though with a powerful, almost Sibelian climax, and the last has the character of a hectic, frenzied scherzo. Impulse is in similar idiom; serially organized with complex durational and rhythmical relationships, it is also emotionally compelling, with granitic nature-landscapes and fierce volcanic outbursts alternating which quieter philosophical elegy, harmonically rich and with the orchestral variety and virtuosity of a concerto for orchestra. Martin Grubinger (percussion), Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Peter Eötvös, Pierre Boulez (Impulse).