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)
Arnold 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.
Among this year’s other winners are the South African playwright Athol Fugard, French painter Martial Raysse, Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone and American architect Steven Holl.
Before Pärt, the UE composers Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti, Alfred Schnittke, Luciano Berio and Steve Reich have received the award.
Born in Graz in 1969, the artist Anton Herzl presents his new work series “IMAGING KOMPONISTEN” at the Haus der Musik [House of Music] in Vienna.
Showcasing 68 portraits, some of which original creations for the occasion, the exhibition can be experienced in the grand staircase of the former palais as well as on the other museum floors. “Imaging Composers” runs from 11 June to 30 September.
The portrait series deliberately reaches beyond the Sound Museum’s great masters. Bringing new faces into the game the exhibition builds yet another bridge between music and fine arts and in so doing echoes Haus der Musik’s various other links of the kind.
Anton Herzl – Portrait Series
June 11 – September 30, 2014
Haus der Musik
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.
Nevertheless, 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!
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.
On 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.
When 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
Ivan 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.
The award ceremony will take place on 6 November at the Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz.
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.
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.
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.
Michael 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.