15 November 2014

Ensemblekollektiv Berlin

Back in September, the annual Musikfest Berlin took place yet again, with several performers and musicians performing a series of classical music concerts in the German capital. Last year, I have watched a performance of András Schiff and Hanno Müller-Brachmann, which was also the first time I attended a performance in the Berliner Philharmonie. This time, I attended a performance of the Ensemblekollektiv Berlin, performing Speicher I-VI by German composer Enno Poppe, who also happened to be conducting that night.

Ensemblekollektiv Berlin is actually the conglomeration of four different chamber ensembles. After all, the pieces needed a huge collection of musicians, so one ensemble wasn't enough. The six pieces all required a variety of instruments, from strings, to woodwinds, to a huge percussion section, even a celesta (for the final piece). Overall, it was a musically very varied setup.

The pieces were six different pieces, but it looked like it was intended to be played in one full sweep, with one piece smoothly transitioning towards the next. And while it was definitely modern music (there ain't no melody), everything was still structured, so to speak. It is controlled chaos, if I were to use that term.

See, I liked how every piece was similar yet at the same time different from each other. Each piece had some motif that was repeated and passed across various different instruments. I also liked how the composer used the whole range and spectrum of loudness in these pieces. There were passages that were very quiet, and slowly it would transition to passages that were very loud.

Overall, we enjoyed this evening. It was modern music at its finest, and to top it off, the composer was there to conduct it himself. Oh Berlin, it's amazing to be here, seriously.