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Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week: Janáček and Smetana ★★★★☆

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Februar 2014

(c) harmonia mundiThe Jerusalem Quartet’s recording of Janáček and Smetana (published by harmonia mundi) is Norman Lebrecht’s “Album of the Week”: you can listen to excerpts from the CD and find Lebrecht’s full review on Sinfini Music.

Find out more about Leoš Janáček.

Through His Teeth #14: Printing an opera

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 Februar 2014

We've added some photos from our production department to our Facebook feed:

View on Facebook.

Find out more about Through His Teeth.

Pierre Boulez honoured with Distinguished Service Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 Februar 2014

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschToday, 6 February, Pierre Boulez will receive the 18th annual Cleveland Orchestra Distinguished Service Award in absentia.

Executive Director Gary Hanson on Boulez: "This award is in recognition of our genuine appreciation for Pierre Boulez"s decades of service to The Cleveland Orchestra. He has given us the gift of great music, new music, and the joy of music-making. We are grateful for what he has taught us and honored by his peerless international legacy."

Read more on the website of the Cleveland Orchestra.

World première of a reduced version of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 Februar 2014

On 3 May 1921, Alexander Zemlinsky received the following telegram: “have read your opera the dwarf with great enjoyment cologne is prepared to accept sole rights for world premiere would you be prepared to entrust your work to us Klemperer.” Zemlinsky’s opera in one act (librettist: Georg Klaren), which is based on Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale “The Birthday of the Infanta”, received its world première one year later, on 28 May 1922 in Cologne under Otto Klemperer.

The first reduced version of Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, arranged by Jan-Benjamin Homolka, will be premiéred on 6 February at the Wilhelma Theater in Stuttgart. Nicholas Kok conducts musicians of the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart.

Musical experiences with the Ensemble intercontemporain

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 Februar 2014

Matthias Pintscher (c) Edouard CaupeilThe Ensemble intercontemporain (cond. Matthias Pintscher) will perform Pierre Boulez’ Messagesquisse on 9 February as part of their second Turbulences Week-End. Also on the programme: Wolfgang Rihm’s Tutuguri VI (Kreuze), conducted by Michel Cerutti and performed by students of the Conservatoire de Paris.

Through His Teeth #13: The score

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 Februar 2014

Luke Bedford: Score Through His Teet (c) Universal Edition

Luke Bedford: Score Through His Teet (c) Universal Edition Luke Bedford: Score Through His Teet (c) Universal Edition Luke Bedford: Score Through His Teet (c) Universal Edition

The full score, the piano reduction and the instrumental parts of Luke Bedford’s opera Through His Teeth are just about ready to go to print.

Final corrections are being made. The clock is ticking and the pressure is on! We hope to send the material to the Royal Opera House in London this week.

Find out more about Through His Teeth.

Say Yes to culture

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Januar 2014
Universal Edition is proud to support this necessary petition. Please join us:

Creators for Europe.

Through His Teeth: video playlist

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Januar 2014

Here is a collection of our interviews with composer Luke Bedford. Bedford talks about Through His Teeth, his stages of composing, the use of quartertones in his music, working with playwright David Harrower and gives insight into two scenes of his upcoming opera:

Through His Teeth was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and will première on 3 April 2014. Find out more.

Janáček’s Jenůfa at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Januar 2014

Janacek: Jenufa, Piano Reduction (c) Universal EditionGeorge Loomis of the New York Times has reviewed Alvis Hermanis’ production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa, which runs at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels until 7 February.

Read the full review on the New York Times.

Find out more about Jenůfa.

Leoš Janáček: Jenůfa
Opera in 3 acts from Moravian peasant life | 120'
3 3 3 3 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc(2), bells, hp, str - stage music: hn(2), toy tpt, xyl, bells, str(1 1 1 1 1)
31.01.2014; 02, 04, 05, and 07.02.2014, La Monnaie, Bruxelles; Sally Matthews/Andrea Danková, Charles Workman, Nicky Spence, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Carole Wilson, Ivan Ludlow, Alexander Vassiliev, Mireille Capelle, Hendrickje Van Kerckhove, Beata Morawska, Chloé Briot, Nathalie Van de Voorde, Marta Beretta; Choeur de la Monnaie, Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, cond. Ludovic Morlot

Through His Teeth #12: Workshops

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 Januar 2014

In February and August of 2013, theatre director Bijan Sheibani, playwright David Harrower and composer Luke Bedford had two workshops at the ROH, in which they were working on the libretto with actors.

Luke Bedford on the workshops:

Luke Bedford (c) Universal Edition, Jonathan IronsIt might seem strange to have an opera workshop where there are no singers or musicians present, but from the beginning of this project I was clear that getting the text right was crucial before I started writing any notes. Therefore the workshops we had on the piece involved a few days working with actors and trying out various ways of telling the story.

The first idea was to set it all in one flat, where R had two women installed/imprisoned. David had written a few scenes exploring this idea, hints of which you can see in the final version of the text. And while this scenario certainly had intensity, it soon became clear that clamping the story into just one location was too restrictive. Especially when R had forbidden the women to speak to each other. This kind of idea has been touched upon in opera before, but we felt it wasn’t right for the piece that we wanted to make. Also, seeing the actors on the stage told us the mood was simply too dark: too monochrome. So David and I went away and thought about how to take the elements we liked from the workshop but find a better structure for them. After some work, we ended up the framework of the final piece: to focus on just one woman’s story and have a series of snapshots of A and R’s (and her sister’s) relationship, intercut with A being interviewed after the events.

The second workshop was on something close to the final draft of the text. Hearing how the actors read the lines was really useful to me – partly as they confirmed many of my own ideas where the key dramatic moments are, as well as the pacing of the work. And sometimes they would read a line or two very differently to how I’d imagined it – and this was also useful, even if I rejected ‘their’ way in the end. In fact, this has haphazardly evolved into a technique that I now use when working with text. I try and imagine the opposite of how I’ve set some lines, to see whether it works better than my first draft. Often it doesn’t, but just now and then it throws up something wonderfully unexpected – and it ends up in the final piece. One example of this is in scene 12, when R appears at A’s flat and pressures her to leave with him. My first idea was to have very dramatic, crashy, wild music. But then I stepped back and tried to imagine the scene with almost nothing happening and I knew straight away that this was stronger. In the ensemble, there are just six pitched, extremely high notes from the violin, and underneath the whole scene is the distant, otherworldly sound of a thunder tube.

Find out more about Through His Teeth.

Ernst Krenek: three one act operas in Cologne

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 Januar 2014

HfMT Köln: Ernst KrenekTonight, 5.05pm, on WDR: a special on “Musik gegen alle Fronten”, the latest production of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. Listen live.

Performances of Ernst Krenek’s three one act operas Der Diktator, Das geheime Königreich and Schwergewicht oder Die Ehre der Nation will take place on 31 January and on 1 and 3 February.

World première of Swan Song

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 Januar 2014

Marc Minkowski, Arvo Pärt and Matthias Schulz (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Marc Minkowski, Arvo Pärt and Matthias Schulz of the Stiftung Mozarteum at the dress rehearsal for yesterday’s world première of Swan Song at the Großes Festspielhaus in Salzburg.

A recording of the concert will be broadcast by Ö1 on 9 February at 11:03am. Listen live.

View the full study score of Swan Song.

Arvo Pärt: Swan Song
Wiener Philharmoniker, cond. Marc Minkowski
Mozart Week Salzburg; recording of the world première on 29 January, Großes Festspielhaus Salzburg
Ö1 | Listen live
Sunday, 09.02.2014, 11:03


Jay Schwartz on the Radio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 Januar 2014

Here is an excerpt from a (German) interview with Jay Schwartz. The interview was conducted last December by Bernd Künzig for SWR2.

SWR2 will broadcast a recording of the composer’s upcoming Delta – Music for Orchestra IV on 8 February at 8pm, three hours after the its world première. Listen live.

Rehearsals with Dennis Russell Davies and Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 Januar 2014

Arvo Pärt, Dennis Russell Davies (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Arvo Pärt, Dennis Russell Davies (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschDennis Russell Davies and Arvo Pärt with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz at today’s rehearsals for Pärt’s Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’.

The piece will be performed today at the Brucknerhaus in Linz and on 31 January at the Musikverein, Vienna.

Arvo Pärt: Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’
for string orchestra, harp, timpani and percussion | 34'
timp, perc(2–4), hp, str
27.01.2014, Brucknerhaus, Linz
31.01.2014, Musikverein, Vienna
Bruckner Orchestra Linz, cond. Dennis Russell Davies

Victor Ibarra’s Cuatro observaciones sobre lo imaginario in Vienna, Spain and Italy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 Januar 2014

proyecto piano jovenVictor Ibarra’s piano piece Cuatro observaciones sobre lo imaginario, which won the Mauricio Kagel Composition Competition (K2013) in 2013, will be performed on 3 February at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, on 14 March at the Fundación Eutherpe in León, on 4 April at the Real Academia de España in Rome and on 11 April at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música Cristóbal de Morales in Sevilla.

Find out more about the Mexican composer on his website.

Cuatro observaciones sobre lo imaginario and three other works that participated in the competition were published in Universal Edition’s UE36026.