Die Tiefe des Raumes (2021)
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Ania Vegry, Tugend (soprano)
Ruth-Maria Nicolay, Laster (mezzo-soprano)
Simon Bode, Spieler (tenor)
Hans Christoph Begemann, Journalist (baritone)
Peter Geisberg, Alt-Internationaler (speaking part)
Daniel Herzog, Reporter (speaking part)
Wowo Habdank, Trainer (speaking part)
Chor und Orchester der Musikakademie der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Christian Jeub, chorus master
Moritz Eggert, conductor
DIE TIEFE DES RAUMES. A FOOTBALL ORATORIO
Moritz Eggert did not have much to do with sport until the end of 2004, when he was asked whether he would like to write a “Football Oratorio” for the Ruhrtriennale 2005. He finished the composition in only five months, working from the beginning of March until the end of July. After its premiere at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, the piece was also made a part of the cultural program for the 2006 World Cup, with two performances at the Komische Oper Berlin. Along with the Oratorio came further football-works, such as Ballack, du geile Schnitte (roughly: “Ballack, you cool cat”) or Am Ball – Ein Fußballett, which in 2008 caused a furore with its conservative audience at the Vienna Opera Ball. Overnight, Eggert became the “football composer” and is today one of the most well-known and, as he himself says, “adventurous” contemporary composers.
However, his favourite football piece remained Die Tiefe des Raumes (“The Depth of the Space”). Given in the traditional sense of an oratorio, the piece recounts the trials of a player who achieves the status of football god. “Die Tiefe des Raumes is a kind of passion play,” explains the composer, “in whose center stands not the figure of Jesus, but rather a football player and his path to a deciding World Cup goal. But as in a Baroque passion play, the main figure is accompanied by allegorical figures such as virtue and vice. The Evangelist role from the classical oratorio is taken by the figure of the Journalist. Three other speaking roles complete the picture: an older player, who has already played in a few World Cup tournaments; a trainer and a sports reporter.”
The piece consists of two 45-minute halves, with preliminary reporting and an overtime period, and it sonically binds the atmospheres of music and of the stadium. “Naturally, a theme such as football presents a great opportunity for a composer to reach an audience that he or she might not otherwise find for New Music. In view of the ‘Ivory Tower’ phenomenon, I find it also completely worthwhile for the music theatre to deal with material which lies outside the Paul Celan and Walter Benjamin circles. With Die Tiefe des Raumes, I have sought to write a piece in which people who are not necessarily connoisseurs of new music, but who are interested in football, can still find themselves. To give a point of access to this public was for me a primary concern.”
Inken Meents / Moritz Eggert
Translation: Tim Summers
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