For a Beethoven festival to begin with a work commissioned from a contemporary composer says a lot about this particular series of events, which has set itself the task of demonstrating the enduring influence of the composer born in Bonn.
Fitting this year's festival motto "In the Light," investigating the myth of the artist, a highly inspired young composer was awarded the commission. Moritz Eggert's "Number Nine VIII: Timed Work" is a retrospective of the 60-year history of the Federal Republic of Germany, including sampled statements by famous people from Konrad Adenauer, the country’s first chancellor, to American President John F. Kennedy to Andreas Baader, a leftist terrorist during the 1970s. To driving, sometimes jazzy rhythms from the orchestra, the composer himself plays solo piano, operates a synthesizer resembling a colorful toy instrument placed atop the grand piano and performs a couple of gags such as launching a paper airplane into the audience.
Considerably more serious in mood is Alban Berg's Violin Concerto, written in memory of the life and death of a young girl the composer was acquainted with. In the second half of the concert: Beethoven’s "Eroica" Symphony, rendered by conductor Ingo Metzmacher with eloquence, nearly no bombast and with extreme clarity.
Moritz Eggert (1965-):
"Number Nine VIII: Timed Work" for soloist and orchestra (world premiere, commissioned by the Beethovenfest Bonn)
Alban Berg (1885-1935):
Violin Concerto ("To the Memory of an Angel")
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 ("Eroica")
Moritz Eggert (piano, sampler)
Christian Tetzlaff (violin)
German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin
Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
Performed on Sept. 4, 2009 in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn and recorded by Deutsche Welle.
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