Friedrich Cerha - Chamber Music
Friedrich Cerha

Friedrich Cerha - Chamber Music

Boulanger Trio

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085533473
Catalog number: AVI 8553347
Releasedate: 25-03-16
- Friedrich Cerha is one of the oldest living composers of our days and pupil of Arnold Schönberg, in 2016 he celebrated his 90th birthday
- most of the recorded works are World Première recordings

Friedrich Cerha’s output has solid roots in an extended musical tradition, while spanning a wide arc from the beginnings of new music all the way to the present. This is not only due to the composer’s respectable age, but primarily to the great number of activities he has pursued in the course of his long life, along with the great variety of influences he has incorporated into his work. At the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music in 1956, he attended seminars given by violinist Rudolf Kolisch and pianist Eduard Steuermann, who had prepared performances of works by Schoenberg, Berg and Webern in collaboration with the composers themselves. Cerha passed on this firsthand knowledge to the next generations in his numerous articles, in his post as Professor for Composition, Notation and Interpretation of New Music at the Musikakademie (which became the Vienna Conservatory of Music), in his performances as a violinist, and last not least as a conductor of ensembles, orchestras and operas, much in demand on the international new music scene.
Cerha then opened up his music to influences from other continents, such as polyrhythm and microtonality. In maqam (1989), the first of four string quartets, he used Arabian scales with quarter-tones and corresponding complex rhythms. Starting with Catalogue des objets trouvés (1969) and fully with the composition of the Brecht-based opera Baal (1974–80), Cerha’s style started featuring direct links with traditional expression, melodiousness, harmony and structures ranging from the Baroque Age to the early 20th century. His most recent duo and trio pieces pay homage to Bach, Berg, Schoenberg and to his own previous works, including a series of direct quotes. Rooted in tradition yet entirely at home in the present, Friedrich Cerha’s music certainly builds new kinds of bridges. Yet these are no flimsy constructions dangerously suspended over a yawning chasm; instead, his pieces are like sturdy viaducts with several arches firmly planted in different varieties of soil.

The German newspaper Die Welt described a performance of the Boulanger Trio as “irresistible”, while Wolfgang Rihm wrote in a letter: “To be interpreted in this way is surely the great dream of every composer.” 
Formed in Hamburg in 2006 by Karla Haltenwanger (piano), Birgit Erz (violin) and Ilona Kindt (cello), the trio is now based in Berlin. Already in 2007 the ensemble won the 4th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway, followed by the Rauhe Prize for Modern Chamber Music in 2008. The ensemble has received crucial musical guidance from Hatto Beyerle, Menahem Pressler and Alfred Brendel.
In the past years, the trio has gained an excellent reputation in the world of chamber music, and it was invited to prestigious venues such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, Wigmore Hall London and Philharmonie Berlin. The musicians also regularly appear at festivals like the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Heidelberger Frühling, the Dialoge at Mozarteum Salzburg, Ultraschall in Berlin and the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker.

In addition to works of the classical and romantic period, the commitment to contemporary music is an important focus within the trio’s repertoire. The ensemble is collaborating with some of today’s foremost composers including Wolfgang Rihm, Johannes Maria Staud, Friedrich Cerha, Toshio Hosokawa and Matthias Pintscher. They also regularly appear with chamber music partners like Nils Mönkemeyer, viola, Andrè Schuen, baritone and Sebastian Manz, clarinet. In 2012, the trio started its own concert series, the Boulangerie, in Hamburg and Berlin. At every one of these concerts, a classical composition is performed alongside a piece of contemporary music. The composer of the contemporary work is always present at the concert and talks with the three musicians about his or her oeuvre.
The ensemble, which already released four CDs with works by Brahms, Schönberg, Shostakovich, Schumann, Vasks, Beethoven etc., is named after the sisters Nadia and Lili Boulanger, whose exceptional personalities and uncompromising devotion to music continue to be a great source of inspiration to the trio.
The CD with works by Brahms, Liszt and Schönberg received the Excellentia Award of Luxemburg, the CD with works by Shostakovich and Vasks received the Supersonic Award.