for ensemble
Ensemble/Chamber Orchestra
Number of performers
A-clarinet · soprano saxophone · horn · trombone · percussion (3 performers) · guitar (amplified) · accordion (button accordion) · organ · violin · viola
Composition year(s)
World premiere
Klosterneuburg, Schömerhaus · die reihe · Friedrich Cerha, conductor
Extra title
Auftraggeber: Schömerhaus Klosterneuburg
Schömerhaus Klosterneuburg
Comment of the composer on the work

The title is a reference to the fact that in conceiving the piece I have attempted to explore the roots from which my musical ideas are derived.  Perhaps this has also something to do with the grave illness I had recovered from - I have felt the need to draw a balance sheet of my musical means - to take a critical look at the repertoire of my fantasy, so to speak, and to eliminate everything that seemed to have proved itself too often in the past. There has remained more than enough in the way of  idiosyncrasies of the musical idiom, of gestures and tools. But the "Sources" of my musical inspiration were meant to come to the surface more clearly and distinctly - even (and especially) there where they may not appear to be "up to date".

The contemplative character of the piece corresponds to this particular phase in my life: simplicity and stillness are called for. The first section ends abruptly  with a series of fortechords which are to recur at the ending of the piece. Polymetric strata placed on top of each other, based primarily on African rhythms, build "busy" islands within the overall meditative mood. A passage from Langegger Nachtmusik No 3, my latest orchestral piece, has also been included.  What is unusual for me is the absence of bass instruments over long stretches of music - something that makes the sound "hang in the air".

Friedrich Cerha

Universal Edition