Universal Edition - Blog

Happy 80th Birthday Harrison Birtwistle

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 Juli 2014

Harrison Birtwistle (c) BCMG

Celebrations for Harrison Birtwistle’s 80th already took place earlier this year with the Barbican Centre’s Birtwistle at 80 season, a production of Punch and Judy at the Neue Oper Wien, the publication of Fiona Maddocks’ Harrison Birtwistle: Wild Tracks – A Conversation Diary With Fiona Maddocks, the rerelease of a recording of Gawain by NMC Recordings and a filmed portrait of the composer.

Ö1Nevertheless, you shouldn’t miss out on Ö1’s radio portrait on the composer by Rainer Elstner, which will be broadcast today, on the day of his birthday, at 23:03. Listen live.

Happy Birthday Harrison Birtwistle!

Lorin Maazel (1930–2014)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Juli 2014

With Lorin Maazel a conductor passed away last Sunday who was closely connected with the repertoire of Universal Edition. His commitment to the music of Gustav Mahler and the world première of Luciano Berio’s Un re in ascolto at the Salzburg Festival will never be forgotten.

Our sympathy goes to his family.

Audite publishes previously unreleased live recording of Bluebeard’s Castle

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Juli 2014

Rafael Kubelík, auditeOn the occasion of Rafael Kubelík’s 100th birthday on 29 June 2014, Audite has published a previously unreleased live recording of Kubelík’s memorable concert performance of Bluebeard’s Castle at the 1962 Lucerne festival.

Tim Ashley of The Guardian writes that “the extraordinary pairing of Irmgard Seefried's Judith with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's Bluebeard, both totally immersed in their roles, ensures an interpretation like no other.”

Read the full review on The Guardian.

Cristóbal Halffter on france musique

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 Juli 2014

Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier of france musique has recently presented a one hour long portrait on Cristóbal Halffter.

france musiqueListen to a recording of the broadcast on france musique.

Cristóbal Halffter and Wolfgang Haendeler, the librettist of Schachnovelle


Bluebeard’s Castle at the Tyrolean Festival Erl

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 Juli 2014

Wood engraving by Gustave Doré, public domainWhen the première of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle did not achieve the success he had hoped for, the composer withdrew for a long time from public life. Today, the one-act opera is one of the undisputed masterpieces of the 20th century. Bartók’s only opera will be performed today and tomorrow at the Tyrolean Festival Erl in a production by Gustav Kuhn.

Béla Bartók: Bluebeard’s Castle
opera in 1 act | 60'
11.07.2014; 12.07.2014, Festspielhaus Erl; Bluebeard, István Rácz, Andrea Silvestrelli; Judith, Svetlana Kotina, Marianna Szivkova; Orchester der Tiroler Festspiele Erl, cond. Tito Ceccherini


Two angry men: Harrison Birtwistle and Peter Maxwell Davies

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 Juli 2014

The Telegraph, Photo: Eamon McCabe/RedfernsIvan Hewett of The Telegraph has written an article on the differences and similarities of Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, two old friends and rivals.

Read the full article on The Telegraph.

Wolfgang Rihm awarded the Robert Schumann Prize for Poetry and Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 Juli 2014

Wolfgang Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Wolfgang Rihm
has been awarded the Robert Schumann Prize for Poetry and Music 2014. This is the second time the prize has been awarded, with Pierre Boulez being the awardee of the prize in 2012.

The award ceremony will take place on 6 November at the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz.

Neither in Berlin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 Juli 2014

to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow
from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither

Morton Feldman’s Neither has recently been performed together with Samuel Beckett’s Footfalls at the Staatsoper Berlin.

Watch director Katie Mitchell talk about how the composer and the novelist and playwright met at the Schiller-Theater in Berlin in the 1970s, how Beckett said that he hates opera (“Mr Feldman, I don't like opera.” […] “I don't blame you!”), how Feldman fell over in the Schiller-Theater and how Neither came into existence:

Read a (German) review of the production on nmz online.

Daniel Slater introduces The Cunning Little Vixen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Juli 2014

Watch an interview of director Daniel Slater introducing Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen:

Slater’s critically acclaimed production of the Vixen will be performed today and on 12 July at the Garsington Opera, Stokenchurch.

micatonal: portraits of Haas, Cerha and Furrer

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 Juli 2014

micatonal, music austria’s new webradio for contemporary music from Austria, will be broadcasting portraits on Friedrich Cerha, Beat Furrer and Georg Friedrich Haas within the next days. 

Tune in at the following times to listen to portraits on:

Friedrich Cerha: 5. July, 18:00
Beat Furrer: 8. July, 19:00
Georg Friedrich Haas: 11. July, 19:00

View the full programme on micatonal.

Music From the End of Time: Franz Schreker

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 Juli 2014


Franz Schreker: Die Gezeichneten (c) Universal EditionMichael Haas, author of Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis, has published a virtual exhibition on Franz Schreker on his website – a highly recommended guide to the most important ‘missing link’ in the history of 20th century music.

Conductor Ingo Metzmacher on Schreker:

Schreker was undoubtedly one of the last composers of this generation. A new aesthetic developed after the war. His personal fate as a “degenerate” artist in Berlin, who was driven out of office in 1933, attempted to emigrate and then died in 1934, is an additional factor. Like many others, he was simply forgotten – passed over. The Nazis did a good job on him.

Watch an interview with Ingo Metzmacher on the music of Franz Schreker.

★★★★ Morton Feldman: String Quartet No. 1

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 Juli 2014

Morton Feldman, mode recordsAndrew Clements of The Guardian has reviewed Mode’s new release of a CD and DVD box set of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 1, the Three Pieces, and Structures, all recorded by the FLUX Quartet.

Read the full review on The Guardian.

Excerpt from the liner notes by Linda Catlin Smith:

The String Quartet No. 1 is a work of far-reaching scope, even grandeur. It is long enough to get lost in, and yet it has many recurrences or near-recurrences that offer moments of familiarity within this strange and beautiful music. The piece ranges through many different territories: the chorale-like succession of soft chords followed by the quietest of single notes; dense pizzicato thickets and lonely pizzicato tones...

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos to design a new home for the Arvo Pärt Centre

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 Juli 2014

Arvo Pärt Centre by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

The Spanish office Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has won a competition to design the new home for the Arvo Pärt Centre in the woodland of Laulasmaa, west of Tallinn.

The winning proposal is conceived as a sequence of interconnected public and private spaces below a large single roof, for which not a single tree of the forest will be felled.

The new building for the Arvo Pärt Centre will open its doors to the public in 2018.

View a gallery of the project on dezeen.

Bystrouška in Hukvaldy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 Juli 2014

Leoš Janáček, Monument of The Cunning Little Vixen in Hukvaldy (c) Kazuo Ikeda, crative commonsWhat he did, what he did not do – no law governed him except his persona. His music, his ideology – both are completely inaccessible if one does not find them spellbinding. Of course they enrapture the spellbound by luring them into an ocean of beauty with its own laws, where a slow, cautious approach is absolutely forbidden and impossible. (Max Brod on Leoš Janáček)

Today 160 years ago Leoš Janáček was born Hukvaldy, Moravia. 

View the study score of the first act of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in the newly revised edition by Jirí Zahrádka.

ICWID! interview with David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 Juli 2014

David Fennessy at the rehearsals for Hauptstimme (c) Richard Greer

Photo (c) Richard Greer

Thomas Butler of I’ll Cadence When I Die has recently invited David Fennessy to talk about the composer’s latest works, including Hauptstimme and Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon).

Listen to the full interview on ICWID!