FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): Bruchstück, geträumt for Ensemble (Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling), 9 Bagatelles for String Trio (Zebra Trio), Instants for Orchestra (Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Rundel).
Catalogue Number: 07N111
Description: Two things have happened to Cerha's music in more recent years; a conscious avoidance of rigorous structural elaboration of musical ideas in favour of small episodes of 'spontaneous inspiration'; and a decidedly autumnal feel, a sense of time running out. Old habits die hard; the harmonic thinking is still very much that of his beloved Second Viennese School, and the small disparate fragments - such as the very diverse movements that make up the Bagatelles - nonetheless form a convincingly unified whole. Bruchstück is very quiet, static, with bells and the imitation of the ticking of clocks marking the inexorable passage of time. Instants begins in compete stasis, from which a sequence of more active 'moments' of greatly contrasting character - vigorous and motoric; ethereal and calm; echoes of pastoral romanticism from far away - arises. The Bagatelles are strongly differentiated miniature character pieces which form a sequence with a convincing dramatic shape, while each fragment, however brief, has its on internal narrative.