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Cerha: Cello Concerto; Schreker / Eötvös, Schiff, Et Al


Release Date: 04/01/2008 
Label:  Ecm   Catalog #: 001071902   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Friedrich CerhaFranz Schreker
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff
Conductor:  Peter Eötvös
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



A powerful case for Cerha from the concerto's dedicatee

ECM has performed another valuable service in releasing a major work by Friedrich Cerha who, now in his early eighties, remains best known for completing the third act of Berg’s Lulu. His own music is poorly represented but the Cello Concerto is certainly representative of his recent output. It began life in 1989 as a “Phantasiestück” that, seven years on, was made the centrepiece of the present three-movement work. And it is this movement, its serene outer sections enclosing a scherzo of limpid delicacy, that makes the strongest impression. Those either side intensify Cerha’s combative
Read more post-Romanticism, but their rather dutiful alternation between relative dynamism and stasis does not always generate the momentum needed to power the 35-minute whole, for all that dedicatee Heinrich Schiff is effortlessly in command of its interpretative challenges.

Whether or not Cerha occupies a niche corresponding to that of Franz Schreker at the beginning of the 20th century (as Hans-Klaus Jungheinrich’s booklet-note seems to imply), his Chamber Symphony (1916) makes an apposite coupling: a work that both reflects the Straussian opulence of his previous operas and anticipates the impressionistic subtlety of those that followed. Peter Eötvös emphasises the latter and throws the ingenious four-movements-in-one format into constructive relief. With its luminous textures alluringly caught by the superb recording, this is now the version to have and the whole disc offers an unfailingly absorbing listen.

-- Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone [12/2007]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Cello by Friedrich Cerha
Performer:  Heinrich Schiff (Cello)
Conductor:  Peter Eötvös
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2003 
Venue:  MCO Studio 5, Hilversum, The Netherlands 
Length: 13 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Austria (1989 - 1996). 
2. Chamber Symphony for 23 Instruments in A major by Franz Schreker
Conductor:  Peter Eötvös
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2003 
Venue:  MCO Studio 5, Hilversum, The Netherlands 
Length: 25 Minutes 54 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Concerto for violoncello and orchestra (1989/1996): I
Concerto for violoncello and orchestra (1989/1996): II
Concerto for violoncello and orchestra (1989/1996): III
Chamber Symphony in one movement

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