February 2017 | Project Paula
After finishing Alles schmeckt nach Abschied, a work for mezzo-soprano and piano focusing on the last half-decade of the life of the East German writer Brigitte Reimann, Jan-Willem van Herpen is now starting a series of smaller compositions based on the diaries and letters of the German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907).
Art was at the center of Modersohn-Beckers life. Despite the social conventions of her time, she would always choose for her own freedom in order to develop a personal voice as an artist. This search involved moments of doubt, longing, impatience, joy and loneliness.
The first piece in the series will be a solo work written for the German soprano Irene Kurka. A second piece will be scored for soprano and violoncello. The commitment to art and the artists search for an individual style can be considered the common thread running through the series.