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Music about a Painting: Moritz Eggert’s “Interior at Petworth” in Erlangen

The ars nova-ensemble under its director, Werner Heider, has a case of “premiere fever.” On 13 November 2005 in Erlangen, they will give the world premiere of the new work “Interior at Petworth” for septet (a work commissioned by the BR Studio, Franconia) by Moritz Eggert.

Eggert has written the following comments concerning his work:

“Interior at Petworth” is the most mysterious of J. M. W. Turner’s late paintings, and has puzzled generations of art historians. The puzzle already begins with the fact that no one really knows what is actually represented in the painting. (…) But even more than the painting itself, I have always been fascinated by the idea of this kind of painting. Turner’s painting denies all interpretation, but without being non-representational. The interior in Petworth is a space in which all borders are completely done away with, a more or less associative collection of apparently recognisable objects which, in their structure, break out of the corset of the recognisable. (…) In a certain way, my eight variations on a painting of J. M. W. Turner are an expression of my increasing dissatisfaction with new music, an increasingly self-reproductive, self-referential genre, and of my boredom with pieces whose beginnings already evoke a clearly defined “style,” a definite course and ending; so often they are lacking in vitality, freedom, real surprise. My work also expresses a distrust of the renunciation of all meaning in favour of total indeterminacy, perhaps in the sense of Cage, since an elimination of boundaries is only possible within recognisable limitations, of course. It is not for nothing that the “Interior at Petworth” is an interior that more or less turns outwards.”

Moritz Eggert: “Interior at Petworth”

World premiere on 13 November 2005, 5:00 PM in Erlangen (Music Institute)

ars nova-ensemble, cond. Werner Heider

Additional performances on 14. November, 7:30 PM Bayreuth (Piano manufacturer Steingraeber & Sons), 15 November, 8:00 PM, Nürnberg (Germanic Museum)