Universal Edition - Blog

Pärt and Milhaud released on Brilliant Classics

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 August 2014

Many classical music listeners will be familiar with the name Darius Milhaud, but how familiar are they with his output? The owner of a bold, individual style, Milhaud was active for much of the 20th century, a modernist who is counted among the group of composers known as ‘Les Six’ (a term coined by the music critic Henri Collet in 1920) and who was much influenced by jazz, polytonality as well as the sounds of Brazil.

Brilliant Classics will release two new double CDs on 25 August: view the full track lists and introductory texts of Arvo Pärt: Für Anna Maria, Complete Piano Music and Milhaud: Orchestral Music on the website of Brilliant Classics.

Arvo Pärt (c) Brilliant Classics

Darius Milhaud (c) Brililant Classics

Happy Birthday Johannes Maria Staud!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 August 2014

Happy 40th birthday Johannes Maria Staud!

Johannes Maria Staud (c) Universal Edition, Jonathan Irons

Johannes Maria Staud is this year’s composer-in-residence at the Lucerne Festival, which runs from 15 August until 14 September. Among the works performed by the composer will be the world premières of his new violin concerto Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) (performed by “Artiste étoile” Midori and the Luzerner SO) and his opera Die Antilope (libretto: Durs Grünbein).

We wish you all the best!

View the full score of Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II):


UE Newsletter August 2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 August 2014

Universal Edition NewsletterWe’ve just sent out our latest newsletter:

Midori plays Staud at the Lucerne Festival

Rihm’s Horn Concerto premièred in Lucerne

Karol Szymanowski: 6 Songs of the Fairy Tale Princess at the Proms

Full study scores:

Staud’s Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II)

Rihm’s Piano Concerto No. 2

Szymanowski’s 6 Songs of the Fairy Tale Princess

View the newsletter online: German | English

Subscribe to our newsletter: German | English

Trio Catch plays Feldman in Darmstadt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 August 2014

Trio Catch (c) Trio Catch

Dana Barak, Nils Kohler and Trio Catch will perform Morton Feldman’s 3 Clarinets, Cello and Piano tonight at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music.

Find out more on the website of the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt.

Morton Feldman: 3 Clarinets, Cello and Piano
for 3 clarinets, violoncello and piano | 8'
12.08.2014, Orangerie; Dana Barak, Nils Kohler, cl; Trio Catch

From the archives: Universal Edition in 2004

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 August 2014

Universal Edition was 103 years old when we published the first edition of our 2004 new-look UE newsletter, the predecessor of the Musikblätter.

“Æstonishing” Arvo Pärt is at the centre of a whole series of concert events, Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s 70th birthday is celebrated by the South Bank Centre and the Lucerne Festival, Luciano Berio’s artistic legacy is internationally honoured and the operas of Leoš Janáček experiences an unparalleled renaissance.

Read about this and more in our newsletter from autumn 2004:

Download a pdf of the UE newsletter.

Wolfgang Rihm: Harzreise im Winter

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 August 2014

The Austrian première of Wolfgang Rihm’s musical setting of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Harzreise im Winter [Winter Journey in the Harz Mountains] was performed last Tuesday by baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber at the Salzburg Festival.

Read reviews on Der Standard and FAZ.

Spirit in Sound and Space – A Conversation Inspired by Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 August 2014

New York’s celebration of Arvo Pärt earlier this year offered an opportunity to explore the spiritual content of the composer’s music, and to discover how the spaces in which music is performed can amplify its emotional power. In this program, neuroscientist Robert Zatorre explains how music can engage the reward system deep in our brains – the same system that responds to food and sex. Architect Steven Holl describes making spaces for music, and shows how music influences his work. Theologian Peter Bouteneff talks about the thread of spirituality that weaves throughout Pärt’s masterpieces.

Spark is hosted by Julie Burstein, author and Peabody Award–winning creator of public radio’s Studio 360.

Recorded June 11, 2014

Credits: This event is a collaboration between The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Will Sound More Again

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 August 2014

Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music

Wolfgang Rihm’s Will Sound More Again for ensemble will be performed today, 8 August, at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music by the Studio musikFabrik (cond. Peter Veale).

The following works from the UE catalogue will be performed in Darmstadt within the next few days:

Wolfgang Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschWolfgang Rihm: Will Sound More Again
for ensemble
08.08.2014, Lichtenbergschule; Studio musikFabrik, cond. Peter Veale

Georg Friedrich Haas: Introduktion und Transsonation
for 17 instruments and tape | 17'30''
10.08.2014, Böllenfalltorhalle; Klangforum Wien, cond. Sylvain Cambreling

Morton Feldman: 3 Clarinets, Cello and Piano
for 3 clarinets, violoncello and piano | 8'
12.08.2014, Orangerie; Trio Catch

Morton Feldman: Piano and String Quartet
for piano and string quartet | 90'
16.08.2014, Centralstation; Heloisa Amaral, pno; Anon String Quartet

Haas, Reich, Lubman and Fineberg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 August 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas, with Steve Reich, Brad Lubman and Joshua Fineberg (c) Georg Friedrich Haas

“What a wonderful afternoon. Hearing my second concert of Steve Reich, and then being able to tell him how he showed me how new music happens where it is never expected.” (Georg Friedrich Haas with Steve Reich, Brad Lubman and Joshua Fineberg)

Der Lindberghflug, 1929

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 Juli 2014

Bertolt Brecht, Der Lindberghflug, 1929; Original radio setting | © Bertolt BrechtKurt Weill’s and Bertolt Brecht’s  Der Lindberghflug (also Der Ozeanflug / The Flight across the Ocean) was premièred 85 years ago, on 27 July 1929 at the Kurhaus Baden-Baden.

Aged just 26, Kurt Weill realised that radio offered the potential for a new genre of art. Subtitled ‘Radiolehrstück’ (teaching piece for radio), Der Lindberghflug was a product of this idea. It consists of 16 short sections, the shortest lasting barely a minute and the longest four minutes. The rapid alternation of soloists (narrator, tenor, baritone, bass), choir passages and instrumental interludes, as well as of styles – recitative, ‘sprechgesang’ (speech-song), baroque-style passages for choir, Weill’s typical bitter-sweet melodies – creates immense dramatic tension. It is not surprising that Weill also envisaged the work for stage.

Happy Birthday David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 Juli 2014

David Fennessy (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

I think each piece has its own individual technique but what people hear is something much deeper and profound and long lasting. It’s the thing they recognise as a composer’s voice. Of course it does manifest itself in technical things like intervals, but there’s some kind of bedrock on which your voice is built.

Happy Birthday David Fennessy!

Listen to an interview with David Fennessy on I’ll cadence when I die!


Zemlinsky’s Mermaid in Sydney

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 Juli 2014

The Australian première of Antony Beaumont’s critical edition of Alexander Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau [The Mermaid] will be performed on 24 July by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Simone Young. The critical edition contains the “Mer-witch episode”, a rediscovered and up to now unknown scene.

View the full study score.

Antony Beaumont on The Mermaid:

Simone Young (c) Klaus Lefebvre  Zemlinsky first envisaged The Mermaid as a through-composed symphony in two movements, each subdivided into two sections. During the process of composition (February 1902–March 1903) he recast the work into three separate movements.

The first of these follows the well-known story by Hans Christian Andersen from a murky opening (‘at the bottom of the sea’) to the moment where the Mermaid rescues the shipwrecked Prince from drowning. The second, in extended ternary form, focuses on a subsidiary scene in Andersen (a ball in the palace of the Mer-king) before moving on to the crucial confrontation between the Mermaid and the Mer-witch. The third depicts the Mermaid transformed into a mortal, her anguish, suicide and transfiguration.

Read the full text online in our Musiklätter 2.

Alexander Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau
for orchestra | 45'
Critical edition; arranger: Antony Beaumont (2011)
prem. 24.07.2014, Opera House, Sydney; Sydney SO, cond. Simone Young
Further performances: 25. and 28.07.2014

Mahler on the silver screen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 Juli 2014

Simon Rattle, Orquesta Sinfonica Infantil Nacional de Venezuela, Salzburg FestivalSimon Rattle’s performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with the Orquesta Sinfonica Infantil Nacional de Venezuela at last year’s Salzburg Festival will be shown this Sunday at the open-air square of Vienna’s City Hall.

Find out more on the website of the Sommerkino Vienna.

Harrison Birtwistle on BBC Radio 3 and Ö1

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 Juli 2014

The strength of Birtwistle’s music, and his way of showing time passing at different speeds are for me very striking, much more striking than any other English composer of his generation. (Pierre Boulez on Harrison Birtwistle)

Read more birthday tributes to Harrison Birtwistle on The Telegraph.

Harrison Birtwistle (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Tom Service will introduce an all-Birtwistle programme on BBC Radio 3 in this Saturday’s episode of Hear and Now. Tune in to BBC Radio 3 on 19 July at 23:30 and listen live.

Rainer Elstner has recently dedicated a Zeit-Ton portrait to the composer. Find out more about the show and can listen to a recording of the broadcast on Ö1.

Boulez’ Pierrot lunaire reissued on CD

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 Juli 2014

tl_files/News_Bilder/Blog/2014/boulez_pierrot_wergo_230.jpgArnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire, conducted by Pierre Boulez with Helga Pilarczyk as Sprechstimme, was the first ever long-playing record to be released on the German label WERGO, which was founded in 1962.

This historic recording – a highlight of the label’s early catalogue – has recently been reissued on CD, together with an 80-page booklet.

Find out more on the website of WERGO.