Universal Edition - Blog

The Guardian talks to Luke Beford about living in Berlin

Posted on 17 March 2011

Luke BedfordBritish artists flock to set up home in liberating Berlin

Charlotte Higgins reports in the Guardian on a growing number of young (and not so young) artists who have chosen Berlin as their home.

“When you say you are a composer it feels really normal in Berlin”, says Luke Bedford. “In Britain people often don't seem to think you can actually be a composer; people are rather confused by it and think you must write music for TV, or something.”

The full article is here.

Here’s a full list of works by Luke Bedford.

His new opera, Seven Angels, will be premièred by the Opera Group and BCMG this June.

Jay Schwartz’ Narcissus & Echo at the Salzburg Biennale

Posted on 11 March 2011

Jay SchwartzJay Schwartz’ chamber opera Narcissus & Echo receives its Austrian première this Saturday at the Salzburg Biennale.

The work is scored for counter-tenor, viola, percussion and organ. The composer is leading this performance from the organ, joined by Charles Maxwell (counter-tenor), Werner Dickel (viola), Sebastian Hausl and Adrian Schmid (percussion). Stage direction is by Tilman Hecker.

More information on the work, including an audio excerpt, is here.

The next performance of Narcissus & Echo is the Spanish première on 23 March at the Teatros del Canal, as part of Operadhoy.

Update 14.03.2011

German reviews from the Salzburg production:

Magie von Klang und Raum (Das Werk „gelingt durch ungewöhnliche Besetzung und Raumklangwirkungen von magischer Eindringlichkeit.“ Karl Harb, Salzburger Nachrichten)
Narcissus & Echo (Tiroler Tageszeitung)
Wandertag für einen Countertenor (Reinhard Kriechbaum, DrehPunktKultur)

Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Posted on 10 March 2011

Amsterdam SinfoniettaThis March, Theo Verbey’s completed arrangement of Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite for string orchestra goes on tour with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, in a new programme staged by Pierre Audi with the title Liebestod (The Death of Love).

Read more about the programme, which also includes Wagner’s Prelude from Tristan and Isolde and a new work by Michel van der Aa.

Performances start today in Stockholm, followed by Luxembourg, Brussels, Amsterdam, London and Hamburg.

Video introduction:

(view on YouTube)

Berio’s Recital for Cathy with Measha Brueggergosman

Posted on 10 March 2011

Measha BrueggergosmanMeasha Brueggergosman and Ensemble Intercontemporain revive their 2008 production of Luciano Berio’s Recital for Cathy this March. Peter Eötvös conducts.

Performances start today in Barcelona, followed by Cologne, Lisbon, Antwerp and Amsterdam. See the Ensemble Intercontemporain website for details, as well as a video excerpt of the 2008 performance. 

In a break from rehearsals in Paris, Measha Brueggergosman gave us her impression of Berio’s work.

(View on Vimeo)

Gustav Mahler at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Posted on 09 March 2011 (comments: 1)

The new Gustav Mahler exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay opened this week in Paris.

The exhibition shows a fascinating collection of material from the archives of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna and the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler in Paris. Many of the objects are on display for the first time ever.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a facsimile of the complete manuscript score of the 4th Symphony. As the music plays from loudspeakers (Jascha Horenstein’s 1970 recording with the London Symphony Orchestra) lights illuminate the relevant page in the score.

Curator Pierre Korzilius spoke to Universal Edition about the exhibition.

The exhibition is on until 29 May 2011.

Press reports:

Naturbursche und Musiktyrann (Deutschlandradio Kultur)
Gustav Mahlers Leid an der Seine (Die Presse)

Christoph Marthaler’s Katya Kabanova returns to Paris

Posted on 04 March 2011

Christoph Marthaler’s celebrated production of Janáček’s Katya Kabanova, first seen at the Salzburg Festival in 1998, returns to the Opéra de Paris with Angela Denoke in the lead role.

The clip above is from the DVD of the Salzburg production, available from Kultur.

“Nicolas Joel programmes Christoph Marthaler? Spot the mistake,” is the sarcastic comment of Le Figaro.

Have you seen this production? Are you going? Comments are always welcome.

Happy Birthday to the UE Website!

Posted on 01 March 2011

UE websiteThe new UE Website is one year old today. How time flies. Happy Birthday to us!

We’ve been very busy behind the scenes these last twelve months, and have put a huge amount of text, photos, audio excerpts, covers, sample pages and a whole lot more online. There’s a lot to discover. We hope you like it.

Here are some things you might not yet have seen on the site:

Audio Excerpts

You can click play on the audio excerpts on the front page and just sit back and listen to hours of music. Just refresh the page and you’ll get a whole new selection. The excerpts are also shown next to each composer and next to each respective work.

Ensembles that played this …

At the bottom of the page for every work is a list of five ensembles that have performed it. If you click on their names, you can see five other works that they’ve performed. Try this one for example.

Catalogues galore …

On this page you can browse our printed catalogues with an online viewer.

Performances and Radio Broadcasts

Our performance calendar now has a much more powerful search function, and it loads much faster. If you click the link at the top of the list, you can also see forthcoming radio broadcasts of our works.

Music for Film and TV

Our film section gives you inspiration for your next Hollywood blockbuster.

Facebook and Twitter

Yes, we're there as well. Follow us here and here.

The Musical Language of Pierre Boulez

Posted on 01 March 2011

Jonathan Goldman - BoulezWe’ve just received the new book by Jonathan Goldman: The Musical Language of Pierre Boulez – part of the Cambridge University Press “Music Since 1900” series.

From the jacket:

“Pierre Boulez is arguably the most influential composer of the second half of the twentieth century. Here, Jonathan Goldman provides a fresh appraisal of the composer's music, demonstrating how understanding the evolution of Boulez's ideas on musical form is an important step towards evaluating his musical thought generally.”

You can read the preface and a large part of the introduction at the Cambridge University Press website.

Order online at Amazon, Cambridge University Press or others.

Zemlinsky’s Zwerg at the State Opera in Munich

Posted on 25 February 2011

Der Zwerg new production at the State Opera MunichThis Sunday, Grzegorz Jarzyna’s new production of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (The Dwarf) opens at the State Opera in Munich, in a double bill alongside Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Kent Nagano conducts John Daszak in the lead role.

The première will be broadcast live on BR-Klassik Radio at 7pm on Sunday 27th February (Munich time).

Visit the State Opera website for a podcast on the production (in German); see their blog for photos and news; and find them on Facebook for more updates.

Update 28.02.2011

Video introduction to the Munich production (in German):

See more photos from Munich.

An Alma Mahler world première

Posted on 25 February 2011

Alma MahlerIt’s not so often that we have a Mahler world première to announce, so we’re particularly happy about the new arrangements of Alma Mahler’s 3 Frühe Lieder, which Clytus Gottwald has arranged for a cappella choir.

The SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart gives the world première tomorrow, conducted by Marcus Creed.

See more Clytus Gottwald arrangements.

Mike Cornick’s new piano tutor for adult beginners

Posted on 24 February 2011

Play the Piano!One of the most interesting new editions in our spring collection is Mike Cornick’s Play the Piano!, a “complete step-by-step guide for beginners”.

The book is specifically targeted at adult beginners and those we call “returning beginners”.

Play the Piano comes with a CD with play-along tracks and audio exercises. Check out the example pages, audio samples and a range of free downloads on our website.

Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel in San Francisco

Posted on 21 February 2011

Morton FeldmanMichael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra present a combination of two profound works this week: Mozart’s Requiem and Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel.

Read a programme note on the SFS website, and listen to an audio excerpt online.

Performances are from Wednesday 23rd to Saturday 26th February at the Davies Symphony Hall.

Update 25.02.2011

The first reviews of this concert have appeared:

“The piece is a virtuoso display of minimalist lyricism, and the few performers onstage gave it a mesmerizing performance.” (A Superb Rothko Chapel, Joshua Kosman in the San Francisco Chronicle)

“[Michael Tilson Thomas] recreated the unique sound world that set the composer apart from his colleagues.” (Alan Ulrich, Financial Times)

From Twitter:

Alex Ross
In all of 20-century music there is nothing more hauntingly beautiful than Rothko Chapel.

‘in vain’ back in New York – Georg Friedrich Haas

Posted on 18 February 2011

in vainIn the New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer looks forward to the next performance of Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain, performed by the Argento Chamber Ensemble.

Vivien Schweitzer’s 2009 review of their first New York performance is here: Growls and Harps, in the Dark

Friedrich Cerha celebrates his 85th birthday

Posted on 15 February 2011

Friedrich CerhaThis Thursday, Friedrich Cerha turns 85. Among the celebrations is a concert dedicated to his honour at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

Various articles have already been spotted in the Austrian press, such as Die Presse, Der Standard and also at the ORF.

The new third act of Lulu comes to Oslo

Posted on 12 February 2011

Lulu OsloStefan Herheim's production of Lulu, first seen in Copenhagen last autumn, now comes to the Norwegian Opera in Oslo.

The production includes the new realisation of the third act by Eberhard Kloke.

Opening night is 16 February.


Video excerpts from the Copenhagen production:

The German première of the new third act will be given in Erfurt this June.