Universal Edition - Blog

Cantio available on CD

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 April 2015

Vykintas Baltakas: CantioBaltakas is an enormous talent; he knows exactly what he wants and what he can justify musically - and he doesn't succumb to convention. (Reinhard Schulz, NMZ)

As a contribution to the discourse on opera's future, Cantio definitely has its qualities. (Gerhard Rohde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

The recording of Vykintas Baltakas’ chamber opera Cantio from the festival Ultraschall in 2013 is now available as CD and accessible via all major online distributors. The CD was recorded in January 2013 at the Konzerthaus Berlin.


Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 April 2015

Wolfgang Rihm: ET LUX, ECMIn this work text fragments from the Roman requiem liturgy can be heard; however not 'intact' and not in the correct liturgical order. They appear more as components reminiscent of a progressively realised whole. (Wolfgang Rihm)

ECM has released a recording of the Huelgas Ensemble and the Minguet Quartett performing Wolfgang Rihm’s ET LUX for vocal quartet and string quartet.

The CD includes a booklet with an introductory statement by Wolfgang Rihm and liner notes by Paul Griffiths and Wolfgang Schreiber.

Watch an interview with Wolfgang Rihm on ET LUX (German interview with French subtitles):

Victoria Borisova-Ollas: two Russian premières

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 März 2015 (Kommentare: 1)

Victoria Borisova-Ollas (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch“With her expressive and methaphysical attitude, Victoria Borisova-Ollas is absolutely unique in Sweden. In her Symphony No. 1, there is the same nervous touch, the same high tension and hot-temperedness, the same passion for an almost erotic game, with colliding harmonies and extended climaxes, as in Skriabin`s Le divine poème. The excitement lasts through the whole piece. Borisova-Ollas is able to create a charged atmosphere and she knows perfectly well how to use her weapons.” (Thomas Anderberg, Dagens Nyheter)

Tonight pianists Ludmila Berlinskaya and Nikolai Mazhara, conductor Nikolai Alexeev and the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia present the Russian premières of Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ Symphony No. 1 and her fantasia on the themes by Robert and Clara Schumann titled Wunderbare Leiden at the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia.


Pierre Boulez – 20th Century

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 März 2015

Pierre Boulez – 20th CenturyWhen Boulez turned 90 on March 26, he did so as perhaps the world’s most complete musician, and without doubt one of its very greatest conductors. The old stereotype has been almost perfectly inverted: Boulez is now lionized not only for his mastery of modern and contemporary works, but for the ability to elicit fresh sonic and structural details in works stretching back to the 19th century.

David Weininger on the Deutsche Grammophon’s 44-CD set “Pierre Boulez – 20th Century”. Find the full review on The Boston Globe.

Spectrum of sound: the music between the notes

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 März 2015

Georg Friedrich Haas’ “Ich suchte, aber ich fand ihn nicht.” for ensemble will have its UK première this Saturday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Thierry Fischer conducts the London Sinfonietta.

A pre-concert talk by professor Jonathan Cross explores the use of texture, timbre, microtones and overtones as compositional techniques in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The London Sinfonietta has published a trailer for this second part of a two part series:

View the full score of “Ich suchte, aber ich fand ihn nicht.”

Pierre Boulez at 90

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 März 2015

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

The relationship between Pierre Boulez and Universal Edition, which has been publishing his music since 1953, can only be described as serendipitous. Boulez has endowed the UE catalogue with many of his masterpieces and conquered new terrain with his use of electronics. Boulez is a pioneer whose roots are firmly embedded in tradition, including the one which UE publishes.

As a conductor, his unflagging commitment to the Vienna School has affirmed its place in the repertoire.

His esteemed and exemplary performances of music by Mahler, Bartók, Janáček, Szymanowski, Berio and many other UE composers crowns the good fortune of our collaboration.

Universal Edition congratulates Pierre Boulez on his 90th birthday.

Pierre Boulez at 90

Pierre Boulez at 90 on Flipboard

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 März 2015

Jonathan from UE has made a Flipboard magazine for Pierre Boulez at 90 – you can flip through it here:

View my Flipboard Magazine.

Listening Lab wins the Best Print Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 März 2015

Best Print Award

Music Teacher Award

Listening Lab has won the Best Print Award at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence held on the 12th March in London.

The Listening Lab series provides music educators with practical and inspiring approaches for children, young people and adults to connect with contemporary music allowing for a deeper understanding of the work.

The series so far (by Constanze Wimmer / Helmut Schmidinger and Veronika Großberger / Johannes Voit) has also received recommendations from the Association of German School Musicians.

For more information and sample pages go to:

Happy 85th birthday Cristóbal Halffter!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 März 2015

Cristóbal Halffter (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Happy 85th birthday Cristóbal Halffter!

Find an interview with the composer in our digital magazine MusikSalon.

Steve Reich and Colin Currie on Clapping Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 März 2015

Steve Reich’s intricate ‘phase’ technique is encapsulated in Clapping Music as one performer repeats the same line while the other moves out of synch and back again.

Sinfini Music has recently published a video series in which Steve and Colin demonstrate how Reich’s techniques work.

UK première of Arvo Pärt’s Our Garden

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 März 2015

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

The UK première of Arvo Pärt’s cantata Our Garden for children’s choir and orchestra takes place on 25 March at the St John’s Smith Square in London and will be sung by Forest School’s Boys’ and Girls’ Senior Chapel Choirs, accompanied by the School’s Chamber Orchestra.

Find out more on the websites of St John’s Smith Square and Forest School.

In praise of Pierre Boulez at 90

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 März 2015

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition, Alfred Schlee

“Ultimately I think Boulez is a great optimist, despite the shadows that coloured his early years. In the end what he believes is simple: today’s music has to be different from the music of the past.

That’s a natural thing. Western music continues to evolve and transform and change. And those that don’t agree, well … they’re wrong!” (George Benjamin, The Guardian, 20.03.2015)

In his article “In praise of Pierre Boulez at 90” composer George Benjamin salutes Pierre Boulez. Find the full article on The Guardian.

Other recent articles that you might like:

Musicians discuss the influence of Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez at 90: reviews from the archive

Total Immersion: Boulez at 90, Barbican Hall, review

Messages et Esquisses – Hommage à Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 März 2015

Johannes Maria Staud’s Donum will be premièred by cellist Marc Coppey on 22 March at the Amphithéâtre Paris. Altogether, Coppey will play 10 commissions by the Philharmonie de Paris, and, together with 6 cellists, he will also perform Boulez’ Messagesquisse.

The full programme is available on the website of the Philharmonie de Paris.

Marc Coppey (c) Adrien Hippolyte

Horizons 2009—2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 März 2015

Horizons“Horizons” summarizes the most interesting events held by the Lithuanian Ensemble Network between 2009 and 2014 and documents its best recordings, including Lied and O, King by Luciano Berio, Nichtstück and Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Vykintas Baltakas and Am Horizont by Wolfgang Rihm.

Find out more on the website of the Lithuanian Ensemble Network.

Watch a stream of Jakob Lenz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 März 2015

Jakob Lenz, free stream

La Monnaie | De Munt is offering a free stream of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz in Andrea Breth’s production with Wolfgang Nigl as the protagonist of the same name.