Universal Edition - Blog

Klangforum Wien: Sound as Will

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Oktober 2014

Here's a look at the rehearsals of Wolfgang Rihm’s Sound As Will with the Klangforum Wien. The 20-minute piece for trumpet and ensemble will be performed for the very first time at the Donaueschinger Musiktage this Saturday morning, 11:00.

Klangforum Wien (c) Klangforum Wien

In the photo: conductor Ilan Volkov, composer Wolfgang Rihm, trumpet player Marco Blaauw and members of the Klangforum Wien.

The concert will be broadcast by SWR2, listen live.

World premiére of Cerha’s Nacht in Donaueschingen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Oktober 2014

Friedrich Cerha (c) Frank Helmrich

The world première of Friedrich Cerha’s orchestral piece Nacht will open the Donaueschinger Musiktage tonight together with premières by Hans Zender, Manos Tsangaris and Hanspeter Kyburz.

SWR2The concert starts at 20:00 and will be broadcast by SWR2, listen live.

Cerha on Nacht:

“Composers are expected to operate as men of literature. They are supposed to write introductions to their works, author essays, give lectures. That means there are then musical elements in the foreground which are well presentable using linguistic means, or else – which is more often the case – ideologically and fashionably coloured aspects which are not necessarily crucially germane to the work concerned. Therefore scepticism could indeed be appropriate when considering what composers write; in reality, they are considered an authority in an area in which they are in fact dilettantes.”

Read the composer’s full work introduction.

Friedrich Cerha: Nacht
für Orchester | 20'
17.10.2014, Donaueschingen; SWR-SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Dir. Emilio Pomàrico

Vox Clamantis pay tribute to Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Oktober 2014


On the occasion of the Gerhard Richter exhibition at Fondation Beyeler, the renowned Estonian Gregorian chant ensemble Vox Clamantis paid homage to Arvo Pärt this August.
The Fondation Beyeler has uploaded a video of the stunning performance on YouTube:

Pärt had dedicated his choral work Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima to Richter, which was performed for the very first time at the exhibition.

Adrian Searle of The Guardian has recently published an article on the art of Gerhard Richter. Richter on his Double Grey paintings and Arvo Pärt: “We tried to make something together. He wrote a composition, and I made these.”

Read the full article on The Guardian.

Arvo Pärt receives the Praemium Imperiale

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 Oktober 2014

On 15 October the Japan Art Association in Tokyo presented Arvo Pärt with the prestigious Praemium Imperiale cultural award, considered equal to the Nobel Prize in the field of culture.

Watch a video of the press conference on YouTube:

Read more about the event on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.

Find out more about Arvo Pärt on our Blog titled Arvo Pärt in his 80th year.

Hungarian première of Vykintas Baltakas’ Lift to Dubai

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Oktober 2014

Can sound alone grasp the feeling of a city?

Vykintas Baltakas (c) Astrid AckermannVykintas Baltakas’ Lift to Dubai, which was composed in 2009 in the frame of the music project into…, will have its Hungarian première on 16 October at the Budapest Music Center. The première will take place as a part of a fringe event of the Anno 2004… concert, which celebrates ten years of the Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation.

The concert is preceded by a public meeting with Peter Eötvös, Vykintas Baltakas, Genoël von Lilienstern and Dai Fujikura. A newly revised version of the work for ensemble and electronics will be performed.

View the newly revised score of Lift to Dubai and read an introduction by the composer.

Vykintas Baltakas: Lift to Dubai
for ensemble and electronics | 28'
Hungarian prem. 16.10.2014, Budapest Music Center, Budapest; UMZE Kammerorchester, Dir. Ulrich Pöhl

Live: Punch and Judy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Oktober 2014 (Kommentare: 1)

Punch and Judy (c) ARTE

Director Leonard Prinsloo’s and conductor Walter Kobéra’s new production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy will be live streamed tonight by arte.

The“tragical comedy or comical tragedy in 1 act” is performed at the Armel Opera Festival at the Erkel Theatre in Budapest.

View the full score of Punch and Judy.

The stream starts in a little less than 6 hours from now, at 19:00 CET/CEST, and will be available until 14 April 2015.

Harrison Birtwistle: Punch and Judy
A tragical comedy or comical tragedy in 1 act | 110'
14.10.2014, Erkel Theatre, Budapest; Jennifer Yoon, Pretty Polly (witch); Manuela Leonhartsberger, Judy (fortune-teller); Richard Rittelmann, Punch; Lorin Wey, Lawyer; Till von Orlowsky, Choregos (Jack Ketch); Johannes Schwendinger, Doctor; Evamaria Mayer, Dancer; Amadeus ensemble-wien, cond. Walter Kobéra

Richard Uttley launches Ghosts & Mirrors

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 Oktober 2014

Pianist Richard Uttley will present his latest recording Ghosts & Mirrors on Wednesday 15 October at 8pm at The Forge in Camden.

Richard Uttley: Ghosts & MirrorsAt the CD launch, Uttley will play a selection of the pieces from the disc and will be joined onstage by Nat Urazmetova, a London-based visual artist who created the artwork for the disc and will mix live visuals in response to the music.

Included on the CD are the Luciano Berio’s 6 Encores and the first recording of Alban Berg’s/Marvin Wolfthal’s Lulu Fantasy, a paraphrase of Alban Berg’s great opera Lulu in the spirit of Liszt’s virtuoso opera arrangements (it was also Richard Uttley who performed the UK première of the piece).

The pianist on working with Nat Urazmetova:

I wanted to work with Nat as the aesthetic of her work is the closest thing I could find to a visual representation of my feelings on the atmosphere and concerns of the works I chose to record for Ghosts & Mirrors. Themes explored by the music include hauntings, rebirth, symmetry and warping – all of which are expressed either directly or obliquely by Nat’s images.

Read the full text on his blog.

“An excellent ‘first contact’ recording”: The Finnish RSO plays Ligeti

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Oktober 2014

Ligeti (c) Ondine“My music is not an island. It is part of a complex web of life and experiences.” (György Ligeti)

Aimed to present an overview to the development of György Ligeti’s compositional technique over a period of 30 years, violinist Benjamin Schmid, conductor Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra have recently released a recording of orchestral works by Ligeti on Ondine.

With the Examiner reviewing it is “an excellent ‘first contact’ recording” and Music Web International describing it an “ideal place to obtain a good sampling of Ligeti’s music”, they most definitely have succeeded at that.

The recording includes Atmosphères, which is part of Universal Edition’s Listening Lab series. Here are sample pages of the bilingual publication:

The Guardian reviews Katrien Baerts, Het Collectief and Reinbert de Leeuw

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 Oktober 2014

Berg, Zemlsinksy: Lieder (c) Zig Zag TerritoiresAndrew Clements of The Guardian has reviewed a recent release by soprano Katrien Baerts, the Flemish ensemble Het Collectief and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw. The CD includes Berg’s Seven Early Songs (arranged by de Leeuw himself), Zemlinsky’s Six Maeterlinck Songs and Webern’s Passacaglia.

Read the full review on The Guardian. You can order the CD, listen to excerpts and view the complete booklet on the website of Zig-Zag Territoires.

The NYT reviews dark dreams

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Oktober 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Astrid AckermannThe New York Times’ review of Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams, performed for the first time in America by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic last Monday, is out.

Find out whether this “fascinating 23-minute piece” managed to persuade the audience on the New York Times.

Distant Blue: Sotelo’s Urrutiko urdin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 Oktober 2014

Limes Biennale Musica

The Italian première of Mauricio Sotelo’s Urrutiko urdin will be performed by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi (cond. José Ramon Encinar) on 10 October at the Biennale di Venezia. Sotelo dedicated the orchestral piece to the orchestra, who premièred it in 2013.

The composer on Urrutiko urdin:

Marucio Sotelo (c) Mauricio SoteloUrrutiko urdin azul de lontananza or “Distant Blue” – is a vibrant sonic landscape and a frame for remembrance composed for and dedicated to the Orquestra Sinfónica de Euskadi. The Spanish name lontananza (borrowed from Italian) uses pictorial language to describe the zone farthest away from the foreground. Blue, the fifth colour of the solar spectrum, is also an adjective for the hue of cloudless sky and the sea; it also stands for space and distance.

Read more.

View the full score of Urrutiko urdin.

Mauricio Sotelo: Urrutiko urdin
for orchestra | 7'
national prem. 10.10.2014, Teatro alle Tese, Venice; Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi, cond. José Ramon Encinar

★★★★★ Lebrecht Album of the week: Kleiber’s Lied von der Erde

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 Oktober 2014

Carlos Kleiber: MahlerCarlos Kleiber’s historical rendition of Mahler’s Lied von der Erde, recorded at the Konzerthaus Vienna on 7 June 1967 and performed by Waldemar Kmentt, Christa Ludwig and the Wiener Symphoniker, is Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the week.

Read the review of the recording, which “offers a rare and extraordinary portrait of a celebrated conductor”, on Sinfini Music.

Rattle brings dark dreams to New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 Oktober 2014

Photo: Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Priska Ketterer

The US première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams takes place tonight, 6 October, at Carnegie Hall in New York with Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.

We’ve prepared a two-minute audio excerpt, an interview between Georg Friedrich Haas and Karsten Witt and also the full digital score for you.

Watch an excerpt of dark dreams:

The Examiner reviews Rihm’s Harzreise im Winter

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 Oktober 2014

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein - Goethe in the Roman Campagna, from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Stephen Smoliar of the Examiner has reviewed the North American première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Harzreise im Winter by baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber. The two of them had premièred Rihm’s musical setting of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Harzreise im Winter earlier this year at the Mozartfest Würzburg.

Read about the evenings programme, which “amounted to a journey through Goethe’s poetic achievements”, on the Examiner.

Watch live: Arabella Steinbacher plays Berg’s Violin Concerto

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 Oktober 2014

Star violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the NDR Sinfonieorchester (cond. Thomas Hengelbrock) will perform Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “To the Memory of an Angel” tonight at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg. Watch the whole concert on the website of Arte – the broadcast begins at 20:00:

Arabella Steinbacher (c) Sammy Hart

Read a German interview with Steinbacher on the Violin Concerto on Arte.

The Violin Concerto is part of Universal Edition’s Listening Lab – Materials for communicating music series. Here are sample pages of the bilingual publication: