In tempus praesens, concerto for violin & orchestra (2007)
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Just like many 20th-century creators, the problem of time concerns me to the greatest extent possible. I am concerned with how time changes in connection with the changing psychological conditions of man, how it elapses in nature, in the world, in society, in dreams, in art.
Art is always situated between sleep and reality, between wisdom and folly, between the statics and dynamics of everything that exists.
In ordinary life we never have present time, only the perpetual transition from the past to the future.
And only in sleep, in the religious experience and in art are we able to experience lasting present time.
I think that musical form serves this very function: during its course it undergoes many events. A few of these turn out to be most important. (I call these architectonic nodes of form.) And they can make a kind of generalized shape, the shape of a pyramid, for example. (The episode of ritual sacrifice stands at the pinnacle of the pyramid of "In tempus praesens.") The integral experiencing of this pyramidal form produces lasting present time.
"In tempus praesens"--"for the present time."
Art by Bracha Ettinger