Moritz Eggert’s “Silly Symphony” to premiere in Augsburg

The composer Moritz Eggert has once again produced a highly original musical work that breaks with conventions and embraces experimental approaches. Inspired by the “Silly Symphonies” series of early Walt Disney films, Eggert has composed a “Silly Symphony” for three solists and orchestra. The new work is to receive its premiere on 14 November 2019 in a performance by the Augusburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by DomonkosHéja.

Describing his work, the composer Moritz Eggert comments:
“There’s dignity in the ridiculous. This idea is obvious to anyone, for example, who has seen a film by Charlie Chaplin. We Germans have a difficult relationship with the ridiculous. That’s the reason why we don’t have any musical comedians in the style of Erik Satie or Gerard Hoffnung. For us, eccentricity and satire are forms of disrespectfulness.
But silliness isn’t just about rejection. Anarchic resistance to, say, authority (think of Chaplin’s police chase in 'The Kid') is also a philosophical statement, namely that the individual and free will cannot be suppressed, that we need the impertinence to overcome inflexible conventions and slavish bowing to authority. That’s why we feel with the pupils in 'Die Feuerzangenbowle', why we secretly enjoy the mischief of Max and Moritz. We enjoy the fact that life itself can’t always be controlled, that it doesn’t obey us and that it isn’t always subservient to authority. Secretly we are well aware that obedience doesn’t only have positive effects, even though our society often demands it.
The 'Silly Symphonies' were comedy cartoons packed with absurdity and fantasy that contributed heavily to Disney’s success, chiefly perhaps through the brilliant music of Carl Stalling who continues to exert a powerful influence on the aesthetics of film music to this day. Often attributed to Leopold Mozart, the 'Toy Symphony' is a work that enjoys great popularity because of the contrast between a “serious” orchestra and 'toy' instruments that are, on the face of it, not suited to making music.
I have always been a great fan of 'unsuitable' instruments (the range of these kinds of instruments is far bigger now than in Mozart’s day). That’s because I love combining things that might not appear compatible at first glance, like a grand piano and a whistle, or violins and objects that make squeaky noises, for example. The origin of creativity is, however, always a surprising combination of things. My 'Silly Symphony' is an attempt to lend unsuitable and ridiculous instruments a kind of dignity of resistance. Overall, the five movements of my work are intended in a serious way as a commentary on certain obsessions of our times, which is underlined by their titles. I hope that the contrast between the so-called ridiculous and the serious creates an intensity that can’t be attained with a “normal” piece of music.
And let’s be honest: What is 'normal', anyway? Who decides what’s 'normal'?

1.    Cofveve
2.    Exodus
3.    Frightened of the Future
4.    Talk show
5.    Occident
(Moritz Eggert, 16.10.2019)

Premiere Moritz Eggert,                                        
“Silly Symphony” for 3 Solists and Orchestra                           
(Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Domonkos Héja)

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