Poppe: WP of Prozession and Blut

Poppe: WP of Prozession and Blut

„Something happened here in a way I have never before written.”    — Enno Poppe


for ensemble
1.1.2(2=sax).0 – – 4perc.2synth.egit – – dir
world premiere: 22.11.2020, Leipzig
Duration: 49’

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If the audience cannot come to Enno Poppe’s premieres, he’ll bring them to your home. In November and December, two new ensemble works celebrated their live streamed premieres conducted by the composer himself.

On November 22nd, the Ensemblefestival Leipzig presented Poppe’s Prozession in a digital concert by Ensemble Musikfabrik, who commissioned the work together with Bernd and Ute Bohmeier, the Estonian festival for contemporary music AFEKT and the Kunststiftung NRW. Poppe dedicated Prozession to his sister Lydia for her 60th birthday. The live premiere of the work was eventually presented at Musikfest Berlin 2021.


22.11.2020 (WP)
Ensemble Musikfabrik, Enno Poppe (cond.), Ensemblefestival Leipzig

05.09.2021 (Live premiere)
Ensemble Musikfabrik, Enno Poppe (cond.), Musikfest Berlin

About the work

„Music from Lockdown. Five years ago, Enno Poppe started work on Prozession, but stopped at minute eight. At some point, he’d start again. The piece, Poppe thought, might last 15 minutes; it has become three times as long. When he put the score back on his desk in mid-March as nothing was happening outside, it suddenly began to take shape of its own accord – to expand and unfold. As early as 2015, he planted the seeds for the development himself and had designed a pattern of growth and a concrete logic of proportion, but even he was surprised at how far it carried him. 

[…] Poppe’s silence with regards to the meaning of his titles is legendary. Prozession does however, leave a comparatively concrete trail. A procedure follows a certain plan continuously. A procession however, follows a specific direction in pursuit of a certain goal – geographically precisely located, but intellectually open. As a walk a procession leads to a destination; as an inner movement it goes on forever. And to a certain extent it has led Poppe into infinity, for him a heretofore unknown point in his compositional work: “Something has happened here in a way I have never before written.

One might speculate what this means, and what this great movement of Prozession stands for. As listeners, we experience it as a movement in waves which become ever higher and more powerful. Externally, an energetic climax of acceleration and dynamics is reached already in the sixth part, but rather than ebbing away afterwards the process of intensification shifts to the inside. Contours disappear, along with our sense of scale. Rhythmically, even the final traces of a pulse are lost, and there is little to hold onto harmonically in microtonally compressed chords – nothing to which we might relate.

This total disorientation is no catastrophe however, but rather appears to be a promise for boundless freedom and happiness. 'At some point, everything is right. Nothing is wrong anymore.'”

Excerpt from the program note by Raoul Mörchen

Score of "Prozession"

Blut. 12 Lieder für Sopran und Ensemble

Text von Else Lasker-Schüler S - – – perc – mand – guit – hp – cel – harm –
world premiere: 28.11.2020, Amsterdam
German premiere: 01.12.2020, Köln
Duration: 7‘

His song cycle Blut, based on a text from Else Lasker-Schüler, was digitally premiered by Ensemble Modern and soprano Caroline Melzer at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on November 28th. The German premiere of the Ensemble Modern commission, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, took place only three days later with the same performers in a streamed concert of the Kölner Philharmonie.

Enno Poppe dirigiert das Ensemble Modern bei der UA von Blut
Enno Poppe conducting the Ensemble Modern in Amsterdam.

Score of "Blut. 12 Lieder für Sopran und Ensemble"

Photos: Kai Bienert
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