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German première of Cerha’s Drei Sätze

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 August 2017

Friedrich Cerha (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Friedrich Cerha’s Drei Sätze [Three Movements] will receive their German première on 20 and 21 August at the OsnabrückHalle. Andreas Hotz conducts the Osnabrücker Symphonieorchester.

Friedrich Cerha on Drei Sätze:

The vitality of the first piece depends on contiguity, the interplay of rhythmised layers. The cor anglais and the flute, deployed in soloistic contemplation, dominate the second movement; initially, the orchestra has mere interjections and short interludes, gaining its own character only in the final section and ending with pianissimo string chords. The third piece is lively concertante, with one rather sombre episode in the middle. It requires a plenitude of virtuosity form the orchestra.

View the full study score

Open Spaces in Salzburg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 August 2017

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Yasuko Ueda-Haas

Martin Grubinger (c) Felix BroedeOpen Spaces has connections with the music of the American composer James Tenney, who died in 2006, and whose musical thinking and radical compositions have exercised a strong influence on my work. In Open Spaces I make use of Tenney’s technique of freely ‘wandering’ between the notes of an overtone chord, as well as the slow glissando in a gentle tremolo from his solo violin piece KOAN. (Georg Friedrich Haas)

On 11 August Peter Rundel conducts the œnm at the sold-out performance of Georg Friedrich Haas’ Open Spaces at this year’s Salzburg Festival. On percussion: virtuoso Martin Grubinger.

View the full score

70 years ago: Dantons Tod at the Salzburg Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 August 2017

Gottfried von Einem (c) Archiv der Universal Edition, ed. Johannes Feigl

In 1939, at the age of 21, Gottfried von Einem came across the first play written by 22-year-old Georg Büchner – and was overwhelmed. The result of this encounter, Dantons Tod, was the first opera by a living composer to be premiered at the Salzburg Festival – exactly seventy years ago, on 6 August 1947.

Unlike in Büchner’s play, the people – the revolution – play one of the leading roles and the chorus scenes are among the most effective that were composed by von Einem in his basically tonal score. The work has maintained its important role in the opera repertoire to this day.

New critical edition of A Florentine Tragedy in Macao

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 July 2017

Alexander Zemlinsky (c) Universal Edition; ed. Johannes Feigl

Antony Beaumont’s new critical edition of Alexander Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy will be performed for the first time in Macao on 29 July. Lü Jia conducts the Macao Orchestra in this concert performance.

Read Beaumont’s preface

Bach and Pärt at the Reykholt Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 July 2017

(c) Reykholt Festival

Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Messe, Magnificat and Da Pacem Domine will be performed on 28 July together with works by Johann Sebastian Bach at this year’s Reykholt Festival, one of the oldest and most established music festivals in Iceland. Hörður Áskelsson conducts the Schola Cantorum and the Reykholt Festival Chamber Orchestra.

Find out more about the festival

Pintscher on Schwartz: “he’s a Schubert of our time”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 July 2017

Jay Schwartz (c) Universal Edition

the most conservative orchestras, the most specialized small groups, they all at some point recognize the genius, greatness, and modesty of what he does.

At the same time, he’s obsessed with how it has to be, he would never move an inch to the left or to the right. For me, he’s a Schubert of our time. (Matthias Pintscher on Jay Schwartz)

Jeffrey Arlo Brown of VAN Magazine talked to German-born, New York-based composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher about Pierre Boulez, whether it’s more fun to conduct or to compose, and about fellow composer Jay Schwartz.

Read the interview on VAN: English | German

Katya Kabanova returns to London

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 July 2017

Leoš Janáček (c) Janáček Museum Brno, ed. Universal Edition, JF

On 15 July Leoš Janáček’s Katya Kabanova made a welcome return to Opera Holland Park in Olivia Fuchs’ highly-regarded production. Sian Edwards conducts the City of London Sinfonietta, with Julia Sporsén in the title role.

Find out more

Wolfgang Rihm awarded the “Preis der Europäischen Kirchenmusik”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 July 2017

Wolfgang Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

The Schwäbisch Gmünd Festival Europäische Kirchenmusik honours Wolfgang Rihm with their annual “Preis der Europäischen Kirchenmusik.” Rihm would have accepted the prize on Saturday, 15 July, however he won’t be able to attend the ceremony due to a severe illness. At 8pm works by Rihm will be performed under the baton of Jörg-Hannes Hahn.

Find out more about the award

Pintscher on Schwartz: “he’s a Schubert of our time”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 July 2017

Jay Schwartz (c) Universal Edition

the most conservative orchestras, the most specialized small groups, they all at some point recognize the genius, greatness, and modesty of what he does.

At the same time, he’s obsessed with how it has to be, he would never move an inch to the left or to the right. For me, he’s a Schubert of our time. (Matthias Pintscher on Jay Schwartz)

Jeffrey Arlo Brown of VAN Magazine talked to German-born, New York-based composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher about Pierre Boulez, whether it’s more fun to conduct or to compose, and about fellow composer Jay Schwartz.

Read the interview on VAN

Bartók’s Piano Concerto No 1 premièred 90 years ago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 July 2017

Béla Bartók (c) public domain, ed. Johannes Feigl

Béla Bartók wrote the first of his three piano concertos in the autumn of 1926. The Concerto No 1 was intended for Bartók’s own concert appearances, and the first performance was given exactly 90 years ago, on 1 July 1927, in Frankfurt am Main as part of the International Society for Contemporary Music Festival, with Bartók as soloist under Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Due to its technical difficulty and its innovative approach – the instrument is treated rather like a percussive instrument than a piano – the work only slowly won recognition, which led the composer to defend it: “The piano concerto is far better and significant than the Dance Suite.”

Read more

Berio’s Glosse premièred 20 years ago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 June 2017

Luciano Berio (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch; ed. Johannes Feigl

The birth of a musical work is a complex and mysterious matter – although often unintentionally so. It is perhaps for this reason that the composer is often reticent to describe the genesis of his works. (Luciano Berio)

Luciano Berio’s Glosse was premièred today exactly 20 years ago by the Lotus String Quartet. If you want to find out more about the story behind Berio’s string quartet, just follow this link:

Luiano Berio on Glosse

Arvo Pärt: featured composer at the LIACCC

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 June 2017

LIACCC

Arvo Pärt is featured composer of this year’s London International A Cappella Choral Competition (LIACCC), which runs from 25 June until 1 July. This year 16 choirs from 11 countries will be competing. Each group must prepare one work by featured composer Arvo Pärt, one piece of Renaissance Polyphony, plus music of the group’s own choice.

A highlight of the event will the concert by Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars on Friday 30 June, when they will be performing Arvo Pärt’s Nunc Dimittis and Triodion.

The Tallis Scholars: Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli; GimellIn 2015 the Tallis Scholars’ released their highly acclaimed CD Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli. Visit the website of Gimell to read the liner notes and listen to excerpts of the recording’s 23 tracks.

The composer on Arvo Pärt: Tintinnabuli:

I am delighted to hear of this CD's success. I have been very impressed not only by The Tallis Scholars' excellent and precise interpretation but also by the way this recording is presented, it proves a deep understanding of the system on which my compositions are based. An exemplary, flawless project which gives me much pleasure.

Nagano conducts Schönberg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 June 2017

Arnold Schönberg: Gurre-Lieder; ed. Johannes Feigl

Kent Nagano conducts Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder tonight at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Schönberg worked on his Gurre-Lieder from 1900-1911, a period in which he left the work’s style far behind. For him its completion represented the documentation of a compositional style and spiritual attitude no longer his own.

Still, at its 1913 première in the Vienna Musikverein the piece enjoyed overwhelming success; Schönberg’s pupil Anton Webern wrote: “What a moment of my life! Unforgettable… The sensation of this tumultuous noise thrills me to the point where I swoon …”

Child’s play in Germany

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 June 2017

Wolfgang Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch; ed. Johannes Feigl

The title of Lichtes Spiel might be translated as “Light Game” or “Light Play”, and can be taken as a pun on the German expression “leichtes Spiel”, meaning “an easy job”; or what one might call “Child’s Play”. Rihm has said that he intended it as “a transparent orchestral movement … something light, but not ‘lightweight’”.

The orchestration of Lichtes Spiel is based on that of Mozart’s concertos and it will be performed together with works by Mozart on 14 and 15 June in Würzburg and on 16 June in Fürth. Leo Hussain conducts the Bamberger Symphoniker (Bart Vandenbogaerde, vln).

View the full score and the performance details

Grubinger plays Cerha

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 June 2017

Martin Grubinger (c) Felix Broede

While I was writing it I had not yet heard Grubinger play […] Yet today I read that I had written the piece as if tailor-made for him and – although he described it as the most difficult thing he had ever played – he made it his own so brilliantly that the description seemed to fit. (Friedrich Cerha)

Tonight virtuoso percussionist Martin Grubinger presents the Monegasque première of Friedrich Cerha’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra at the Auditorium Rainer III. Kazuki Yamada conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo.

View the full score of the first movement