Universal Edition - Blog

Music of Today: Luke Bedford

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 Dezember 2012

(c) Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Manu Theobald

Two works by composer Luke Bedford are being performed as part of the Philharmonia Orchestra's Music of Today series on Thursday, 6 December at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

The composer describes the six movements of Or Voit Tout En Aventure as “settings of three texts written in medieval French and Italian, which are linked in some way by the theme of music. They all exist as songs written in the latter part of the 14th century, which I have shamelessly torn from their original musical context and treated purely as texts.” For By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold, Bedford tried to capture “the ‘essence’ of Johannesburg”.

By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold
for 18 players | 18’
1 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 0 - perc(2), pno, vln(2), vla, vc(2), cb

Or Voit Tout En Aventure
for soprano and 16 players | 14'
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, acc, vln(2), vla, vc, cb
6.12.2012, London; Yunkyung Lee, s; Philharmonia Orchestra, cond. Peter Hirsch

The Rest is Noise

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 Dezember 2012

(c) Benjamin EalovegaIn January 2013, the Southbank Centre will launch a year-long festival based on Alex Ross' book The Rest is Noise, with the aim to tell the story of 20th century music. In anticipation of the festival, The Guardian has asked various artists about their favourite classical works. It’s good to see pieces by Stockhausen, Reich, Berg, Schönberg, and Webern among the influences mentioned.

Baltakas: Rehearsals for Cantio in Berlin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2012

Cantio (c) Vykintas Baltakas

Vykintas Baltakas is right in the middle of the rehearsals for the January performances of Cantio in Berlin, and he let us know how he feels about them:

I’ve just returned from the rehearsals of the new production of my music theatre Cantio. The rehearsals are going great, the team is very professional and will be working on a daily basis in the following month. The new Berlin production of Cantio is not a simple repetition of the initial piece. The main text and the musical score are fixed, but there is an additional open layer, which can be interpreted in many different ways for instance by an actor or in combination with other media such as dance, film, sounds, etc. In this way each new production is given enough space for creativity and experiments. Sharon Joyce’s original text was translated by Erika Ria Otto, which is why the narrator will now be speaking in German, thus giving the work a new perspective. As you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to the premiere.

Vykintas Baltakas

Find out more about Cantio on the composer's homepage.

Texts on Cantio.

for narrator, soprano, tenor, bassbaritone, ensemble and electronics
world première of the new version, 17|19|20/1/2013, Berlin
Margret Giglinger, s; Florian Feth, t; Tobias Hagge, b; Lithuanian Ensemble Network

David Fennessy in an interview with the London Sinfonietta

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2012

David Fennessy (c) Eric Marinitsch, Universal EditionThe London Sinfonietta has asked David Fennessy 5 questions – in their blog, the Irish composer talks about sources of inspiration, his favourite projects and his musical background. Find the full interview on the London Sinfonietta’s Blog.

Fennessy's latest piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun) for 4 samplers and electric guitar premieres on 12 December at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam.

Arvo Pärt receives honorary doctor

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 November 2012

Arvo Pärt (c) Eric Marinitsch, Universal Edition

Arvo Pärt is awarded the honorary doctor of the Faculty of Theology in Lugano, the celebrations take place on Saturday, 1 December. Congratulations!

Find the full programme online.

Happy Birthday Hans Zender

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 November 2012

A Link to a guide to Morton Feldman's music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2012

Tom Service BlogSomething strange starts to happen when you listen to American composer Morton Feldman's long, long – and I mean long – late chamber pieces. I'm talking about the 80-minute Piano and String Quartet, the four and a half hours of For Philip Guston (which you can hear live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival on 21 November 2012) or the biggest of them all, the five-hour Second String Quartet.

This is how Tom Service starts his latest blog entry, in which he writes about Morton Feldman, providing a nice introduction to the composer, his music and his contemporaries. The full article is available on The Guardian.

Vykintas Baltakas' Pasaka at Instants Chavirés

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 November 2012

(c) Céline LoryVykintas Baltakas' Pasaka will be performed on 15 November 2012 in Montreuil at the Instants Chavirés by Brussels-based musician Stephane Ginsburgh. The composer has described the text of the piece, which was written between 1995 and 1997 and has been described by critics as “obsessive and astonishing”, as being “based on different parts of Indian mythology - creation of the world, creation of the night, born of the death, Markandea's visions, etc. But the relationship beetween them, succession, presence of the speaker, evolution in the music create a new dramaturgic level - which is not less important as the basic story.”

for piano and tape | 8‘
15/11/2012, Montreuil; Stephane Ginsburgh, pno

György Kurtág receives prize for composition

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 November 2012

(c) Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest, Judit KurtágGyörgy Kurtág won this year's prize for composition of the Finnish Wihuri Foundation. Congratulations!

Georges Lentz: New Release

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 November 2012

Lentz timpaniGeorges Lentz' pieces Guyuhmgan, Monh and Ngangkar have been released on a new CD on Timpani, Emilio Pomarico conducts the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and Tabea Zimmermann.

 The critic Omer Corlaix wrote an enthusiastic review: „Je n’ai qu’un mot, sublime! Emilio Pomarico et l’Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg sont parfaits. La qualité d’enregistrement est à la hauteur du projet.“

Listen to his conversation with Emilie Munera on france musique.

World première of Yukiko Watanabe's ver_flies_sen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 November 2012

Yukiko WatanabeIn 2011 Yukiko Watanabe won the Ö1-Talentebörse-Kompositionspreis, a cooperation of ORF/Ö1 Talentebörse, Oesterreichische Natöionalbank and Universal Edition. We are happy to announce that the world première of her piece ver_flies_sen will take place here in Vienna on 10 November at the Radiokulturhaus.

The young artist describes the music of the piece as being “in constant motion, sometimes losing its shape inscrutably, like tiles in the water or vague old memories as one looks back on them.”

On 10 November at 19:30 the concert will be streamed live from the RadioKulturhaus.

for violin, violoncello and piano | 15’
10/11/2012, Vienna; David Frühwirth, vln; Friedrich Kleinhapl, vc; Anika Vavic, pno

UE on the Radio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 November 2012

The Austrian radio station Ö1 will stream various concerts of Wien Modern (live broadcasts as well as recordings), including the world premières of Friedrich Cerha's two new pieces for organ.

Listen to the live streams of the following concerts on Ö1:

György Ligeti: Atmosphères
live broadcast
5/11/2012, 19:30; ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, cond. Susanna Mälkki 

Jay Schwartz: Music for Orchestra II
recorded on 28 Oct, Wien Modern
6/11/2012, 23:03; Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, c. Bradley Lubman

Georg Friedrich Haas: 2. Streichquartett
recorded on 2 Nov, Wien Modern
12/11/2012, 23:03; Arditti Quartet

Beat Furrer: Aer
recorded on 3 Nov, Wien Modern
13/11/2012, 23:03; Klangforum Wien

Pierre Boulez: Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna
live broadcast
16/11/2012, 19:30; ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, cond. Cornelius Meister

Friedrich Cerha: 9 Präludien
Friedrich Cerha: 9 Inventionen

recorded on 3 Nov, Wien Modern
20/11/2012, 23:03; Martin Haselböck, org

All times are Central European Time!

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World première of Schönberg's Chamber Symphony op. 9 for orchestra

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 Oktober 2012 (Kommentare: 2)

Composed in 1906, the Chamber Symphony op. 9 for 15 solo instruments represents a point of culmination in Arnold Schönberg’s artistic development. The reasons that motivated Schönberg as early as 1914 to arrange this Chamber Symphony for orchestra were not only related to practical performance aspects, however (enabling performance at larger concert halls), but were also connected to the fundamental problem that originated quasi-intrinsically from its hybrid position between orchestral and chamber music. The orchestral version from 1914 was never published and is now available for the first time as completely new orchestral material. A later orchestral version, which is further from the original, was produced by Schönberg when he was already in American exile.

The world première of the Chamber Symphony op. 9 for orchestra will take place on 1 November 2012, followed by performances on the 2 and 3. Philippe Jordan conducts the Münchner Philharmoniker.

Chamber Symphony No. 1, op. 9
for orchestra | 22’
prem. 01/11/2012, Munich; Münchner Philharmoniker, cond. Philippe Jordan

The Robert Schumann Prize goes to Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 Oktober 2012

Pierre Boulez, Venice, (c) Eric Marinitsch

Boulez will receive the award on 1 December in Mainz, Germany. Congratulations!

Szymanowski: 6 Songs of the Fairy Princess

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Oktober 2012

(c) Heikki Tuuli and OctaviaBased on a series of poems by his sister Zofia, Karol Szymanowski composed the colourful and glittering 6 Songs of the Fairy Princess in 1915. The princess of the six songs remains mysteriously undefined; Love is her only, recurrent theme.

By withdrawing into internal phantasy during a time of war, Szymanowski found an opportunity to retreat into a dream-world, and composing songs remained an important part of his lifelong work; in 1933 he arranged three of the six princess songs for voice and orchestra. However, it took nearly 80 years until the Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo arranged the other three songs, so that now, for the first time, all of the Songs of the Fairy Princess Songs for voice and orchestra can be heard.

Sakari Oramo conducted the first complete performance of the six songs in April 2012; from 31 October until 1 November they will be performed at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt am Main by Anu Komsi and the hr-sinfonieorchester under Sakari Oramo.


6 Songs of the Fairy Princess
for high voice and orchestra | 15’
31/10/2012 – 1/11/2012, Frankfurt am Main; Anu Komsi, s; hr-sinfonieorchester, cond. Sakari Oramo