Ensemble Modern Orchestra And Enno Poppe

Friday, 28 September 2018 | Prinzregententheater | 7.00 pm

Introductory talk: 5.45 pm


Ensemble Modern Orchestra (c) Katrin Schilling
Ensemble Modern Orchestra (c) Katrin Schilling
Part 1

Anton Webern [1883–1945]

op. 27

Two Lieder 
op. 8

Five Pieces
op. 10

Four Lieder 
op. 13

Six Bagatelles 
op. 9

Three Orchestral Lieder
op. post.

op. 30


part 2

Mathias Spahlinger [*1944]

passage/paysage [1988–90]
for orchestra


Caroline Melzer, soprano
Ensemble Modern Orchestra
Enno Poppe, Conductor

The Ensemble Modern Orchestra consists of members of Ensemble Modern, graduates of the International Ensemble Modern Academy and other guest artists.

A production of Ensemble Modern, Bavarian Radio’s musica viva series and the Berlin Festival, sponsored by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

About the programme

Sometimes art must fall silent in order for it to allow us to experience it anew in all of its immediacy. The works of Anton von Webern have rarely been heard in the concert hall in recent decades and, indeed, have been performed less and less frequently, whereas only thirty or forty years ago they were regarded as seminal works in the modern consciousness, setting standards by which other works were judged. Enno Poppe is himself a composer and as such he is keen to place traditional pieces in a new light, especially in the case of works that have acquired a historic status, without, however, having lost their ability to provoke their audiences and to renew tradition. Our survey of Webern’s music begins and ends with sets of variations, in other words, with works that like no others have encouraged audiences to debate their composer’s aesthetic outlook. Here is a survey that leads to songs and to music that seeks, however briefly, to pour itself out in song; and it also leads to densely textured instrumental pieces whose prime concern is the sense of fulfilment that comes with the aesthetic moment. The elements that link these works together, while also separating them and motivating the step from one piece to the next, are something for listeners to experience for themselves and as such are comparable to the attitude struck by those people who, fully alert, stroll through the world, including the world of art.

The second part of the concert comprises a work that needs to be experienced as a single great continuum, even if it was composed in the full realization that any continuum that involves movement also demands change and discontinuity if it is to be perceived as such and if it is to be effective. “A passage implies the idea of transit and transition, everything involves the idea of such a transition. Truth can be found only in transition and as a transition,” says Mathias Spahlinger, who has summed up the work and its title by means of a twofold comparison: the image of shop windows in an arcade through which we repeatedly pass and the image of a landscape through which we glide as if in spirals. For composers such as Enno Poppe, passage/paysage is one of the century’s most compelling pieces, a work which, like Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, calls into question all that has gone before it.

The concert on the radio

BR-KLASSIK is broadcasting this concert on the radio at 20:05 on 9 October.


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