FRIEDRICH CERHA (b.1926): Und du... for 5 Speakers and Orchestra, Verzeichnis for 16 Voices, Für K for Ensemble.
Catalogue Number: 04N101
Description: Und du is the main work here, a 1963 commentary and warning about the dangers of the nuclear situation as it then appeared during the Cold War. An ambitious sonic collage, the work weaves together suitably apocalyptic texts, spoken and amplified, with a richly textured orchestral and electronic soundscape, fluid and plastic, devoid of any kind of melodic or rhythmic signposts. The texts are subsumed by the music, which ultimately fades out, to be replaced by an unaccompanied spoken essay on the apparent certainty of a self-imposed end of times (printed in translation in the booklet). Verzeichnis employs a complex collage of vocal styles, from speaking, sprechstimme, conventional singing and extended techniques, as well as the stamping of feet. The text is a list of people executed for witchcraft in Würzburg, and the piece dramatically condemns such arbitrary condemnations and murders. The much more recent Für K was composed for the 70th birthday of sculptor Karl Prantl, and is a good deal less obviously experimental. Metallic sounds suggesting chisel on stone punctuate a busy chain of events - sometimes abstract, sometimes frankly melodic - with constantly changing meter and timbre. ORF Choir, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble "die Reihe"; Friedrich Cerha.