Wachau Summer Colloquium 2015 - Friedrich Cerha

Review of the "Wachau Summer Colloquium" 2015

On September 17 and 18, 2015, the "Wachau Summer Colloquium" took place at the Archives of Contemporary Arts for the third time already. Six students and alumni of the University Siegen (Germany) presented the results of their analysis of selected works from different creative periods of the composer Friedrich Cerha . The range of the selection spanned from an early piano concert from 1951-54 to the “3 Pieces for Orchestra”, which just had its premiere in 2014 in Cologne, performed by the WDR Symphonic Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

Friedrich Cerha and his wife, Gertraud, took time exclusively for the participants of the summer colloquium to provide information on the works of Cerha as well as to answer questions.  There were also some off topic conversations on subjects outside of the musical analysis of works. When speaking about the early work “Intersecazioni”, which besides having four keyboard instruments also requires ten percussionists for 59 percussion instruments, Cerha said with a light smirk:

“This is probably my most adventurous piece, even the orchestration is already adventurous. I did not have to compose with feasibility in mind, because I had no prospect of getting my work performed anyway.”

On the second day of the colloquium, selected audio and video materials from Cerha's pre-mortem bequest were presented and the young scholars had the opportunity to perform individual research work.