Looking Back Forwards
New Music within the Flow of Time
»Ecstasy was his [Anton Webern’s] natural intellectual attitude – his compositions were to be understood as musical visions.« This recommendation by Erwin Stein, who was a student of Arnold Schoenberg at the same time as Anton Webern (1883–1945), is still valid. However, it has taken a long time for Webern’s works, with their »unavoidable topicality«, as Henri Pousseur put it, to gain a fixed place in musical consciousness. In 1983, when Ensemble Modern and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie performed Webern’s entire oeuvre at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, the widely acclaimed concert marathon ›Opus Anton Webern‹ sent a decisive signal. His music became an essential point of reference for the ensemble’s artistic work. And yet, on the whole, Webern’s uncompromising and compressed sound cosmoses are rarely performed. During its anniversary year, Ensemble Modern joins conductor and composer Enno Poppe (b. 1969) in tracing its own Webern history: select and ground-breaking jewels by Anton Webern are here juxtaposed in a vivid dialogue with current pieces by today’s composers, who are undoubtedly – albeit in very different ways – influenced by Webern.