To hear his early work Fasce once again was a great wish of Friedrich Cerha - now the performance at the Wien Modern Festival with the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna conducted by Bas Wiegers on 15 November turned into a memorial concert for the composer who died in February.

It took 16 years until his revolutionary early work Fasce, composed in 1959 - even before the Spiegel cycle - was premiered. Friedrich Cerha, whose 100th anniversary will be celebrated in 2026, was preoccupied with cybernetic theories around the time of its composition, which he recalled as a "time of feverish designing, conceptualising, conquering". The result was a large-scale composition, which the composer had not initially expected to be performed right away because of the difficulty, the unfamiliar notation and the large orchestration.

You can find a detailed analysis of Fasce on

In reaction to the performance on November 15, the newspaper Der Standard called the work a "masterpiece and pioneering work of the avant-garde" and wrote: "With Fasce, Friedrich Cerha opened new doors in 1959, moving away from a musical art of motifs and melodies towards spacious sound surfaces - so finely patterned and grained that the ear would not tire of them. The RSO under conductor Bas Wiegers subtly demonstrated the extent to which the thrill of the Fasce is also due to a clever dramaturgy of volume, an interplay between opulent sound development and intimate reduction (to a single tone): "Chapeau!"

Wien Modern

    © Photo Manu Theobald