Universal Edition - Blog

Cristóbal Halffter: Congratulations and Happy Birthday

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 March 2014

Cristóbal Halffter (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Happy Birthday and congratulations on receiving the Kieler Kulturpreis 2014!

The Kiel Opera House and Cristóbal Halffter can look back on a long and highly successful collaboration: two of Halffter’s three operas (Schachnovelle and Lázaro) were commissioned by the Opera House, and his Don Quijote celebrated its first German performance there. The award ceremony will take place on 29 June.

Read more on the website of the Kiel Opera House [German].

Cristóbal Halffter on Schachnovelle:

Kodály: The Dante Quartet’s records Kodály’s String Quartet Nos. 1 & 2 ★★★★★

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 March 2014

The Dante Quartet (c) Giorgia Bertazzi
Kodály: String Quartet Nos. 1 & 2 (c) HyperionGeoffrey Norris of The Telegraph has reviewed the Dante Quartet’s recent recording of Zoltán Kodály’s String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, Intermezzo and Gavotte, stating that the Quartet “responds both subtly and animatedly to Zoltán Kodály's piquant, passionate music.”

Read the full review on The Telegraph.

The CD has been released on Hyperion.

The Cunning Little Vixen in Prague

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 March 2014

The Cunning Little Vixen (c) National Theatre, Prague // Národní Divadlo
A new production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen [Příhody lišky Bystroušky] will première today, 20 March 2014, at the National Theatre in Prague. Janáček’s opera will be performed at the theatre for the first time in the last ten years and is the theatre’s contribution to the Czech Music Year programme.

For more information about the opera and the full cast, visit the National Theatre’s website.

Leoš Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen
opera in 3 acts | 110'
4 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, cel, str
20.03.2014, National Theatre, Prague; Czech National Opera Chorus; Czech National Opera Orchestra, cond. Robert Jindra; Stage Director: Ondřej Havelka

Walter Braunfels: 19.12.1882—19.03.1954

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 March 2014

Erbengesellschaft Walter BraunfelsToday 60 years ago – on 19 March 1954 – Walter Braunfels passed away.

His opera Die Vögel (The Birds), which was premièred on 30 November 1920 by Bruno Walter in Munich’s National Theatre, was a sensational success and proved to be his musical breakthrough. The opera was the most successful world première of the National Theatre of Munich in the 20th century: 50 performances followed 1921 and 1922.

The composer described the opera as “a lyrical, fantastical game”, for Bruno Walter it was “one of the most interesting new works” of his time in Munich, and the critic Alfred Einstein, who compared the opera with Wagner’s Meistersinger [The Mastersingers] and Pfitzner’s Palestrina, saw it as “a work of yearning for the pure realm of fantasy, art, poetry, and at once a fulfilment of this yearning, a leap into a world beyond time and bias.”

World première of Walter Braunfels’ Die Vögel at the National Theatre in Munich, 1920Other works such as Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz (Fantastic Appearances of a Theme by Hector Berlioz), Te Deum, Don Gil von den Grünen Hosen (Don Gil of the Green Trousers), the Grosse Messe(Grand Mass) and Don Juan were performed by renowned conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Otto Klemperer and Max von Schillings and soon became part of the repertoire of almost all German theatres and concert halls, making him one of the most widely performed opera composers of 1920’s Germany.

Read more about Walter Braunfels and listen to excerpts of his music on his dedicated page.

Sarah Lavaud: In the Mists

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 March 2014

Sarah Lavaud: Dans les Brumes The French pianist Sarah Lavaud has devoted her first solo CD Dans les Brumes to Leoš Janáček’s most well-known piano pieces together with several late pages characteristic of his mature style.

Lavaud has been described by Jean-Claude Pennetier as “one of those interpreters for whom the rendering of each musical phrase or idea is a vital commitment.”

Dans les Brumes will be released on 19 March on Editions Hortus and includes the eponymous In the Mists, the Sonata IX, On an Overgrown Path, A Recollection and excerpts from Intimate Sketches.

Crowdfunding for Mahler’s Symphony No. 9

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 March 2014

The Camerata RCO of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has started a crowdfunding project for a CD recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in the arrangement of Klaus Simon. Find out more about the project here.

Bachtrack interviews Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 March 2014

Arvo Pärt (c) Roberto Masotti

I do not see myself as a “choral” composer, though I have written quite a lot for choir.

It’s Choral Month on Bachtrack, and for that occasion the online magazine (and event finder) has conducted a short interview with Arvo Pärt, whom they revealed as the most performed contemporary composer of 2013.

Read the full article here.

UE Newsletter March 2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 March 2014

Picture: Onyx Brass by Ben Ealovega

Brass and Iron and Alphorns: our latest newsletter is now online.

UE at the Frankfurt Music Fair

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 March 2014

MusikmesseAll is well at the Frankfurt Music Fair, the international fair for musical instruments, sheet music, music production and music business connections. The Musikmesse is the world's leading trade fair for the world of music. Here you will find a complete range of products with everything required for making music, not to mention innumerable workshops, concerts, demonstrations and discussion events.

Come and meet us at Universal Edition’s Stand (Hall 3.1 Stand C42).

Here's a selection of our new publications. In the centre there is Klaus Dickbauer’s new Groove Connection – the cool way to practice.


We’re also present at the Leipzig book fair, but more on that soon.

The “new” in the New Music Dublin festival?

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 March 2014

Harrison Birtwistle (c) Marion KalterHere is the Irish Times’ take on last week’s New Music Dublin Festival, which took place at the National Concert Hall. The festival was attended by Harrison Birtwistle, who was on stage for a pre-performance discussion and gave a public interview.

On the programme were, among other works, Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 1 and “In iij. Noct.”,and Birtwistle’s Earth Dances.

Read the full article on the Irish Times.

Another review of the festival ist available on Golden Plec: “The [Arditti Quartet’s] performances are beyond belief, with a scintillating sound and commitment to the music” - congratulations!


Music for human rights

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 March 2014

Peter Matić (c) Manfred WernerPeter Matić, the ORF Radio-Symphonierochester Wien and the Chor der Oper Graz will perform Arnold Schönberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw under Krzysztof Penderecki tonight at the Congress Graz.

Furthermore, Penderecki’s concerto grosso and Kaddisch will be performed.

The Austrian radio station Ö1 broadcasts the whole concert, which starts at 19:45 CET/CEST (i.e. Berlin, Paris, Vienna). Listen live.

The Arditti Quartet turns 40

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 March 2014

The Arditti Quartet with composer Luke Bedford at Wien Modern on 28 October 2013.
Exactly 40 years ago, on 7 March 1974, the Arditti Quartet performed their first concert ever at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since then, they have given more than 2000 concerts and premièred a significant amount of works from the UE catalogue, the latest of which were Wolfgang Rihm’s Epilog at the Eclat Festival and Luke Bedford’s Wonderful Four-Headed Nightingale at Wien Modern.

Irvince Arditti (c) Robin D’amoreIrvine Arditti, the founder of the quartet, has talked to Karsten Witt about the Arditti Quartet’s long and rich history. You can find the full conversation here.

The first major event to celebrate the Quartet’s anniversary takes place on 26 April at the Barbican.

Congratulations from all of us!

dark dreams in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 March 2014

dark dreams, Musikverein

Tonight at the Musikverein, Vienna: the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle with their sold-out performance of Brahms, Debussy and the Austrian première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ highly acclaimed dark dreams.

Read the New York Times’ review of dark dreams.

View the full study score:

Arvo Pärt’s messenger pigeon has landed in Zurich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 March 2014

The Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Anu Tali, Nastja and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Nora and Arvo Pärt and Sergej Nakariakov (from left to right) at the Tonhalle (c) Thomas Entzeroth

Arvo Pärt composed his Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’ in 2008 and dedicated it to the imprisoned Russian Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The two of them met for the first time on 4 March 2014 at the performance of the concert given by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. The Estonian Anu Tali conducted the orchestra. A further highlight of the evening was the appearance of the world-famous trumpeter Sergej Nakariakov.

From the Zurich Chamber Orchestra’s press release:

Just after Putin released Mikhail Khodorkovsky in December 2013, Moritz Reissenberger, librarian and member of the artistic department of the orchestra, discovered the personal dedication to Khodorkovsky in Pärt’s score.

Nastja and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Anu Tali, Arvo and Nora Pärt, Sergej Nakariakov (from left to right) at the Tonhalle (c) Thomas Entzeroth“With my work I seek to hold out my hand to the prisoner and with him, to all those who are imprisoned, deprived of their rights, in Russia. I dedicate my 4th Symphony to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and wish him peace of mind, in spite of the situation in which he finds himself, all else is beyond my power. I do not know if Mikhail Khodorkovsky will ever hear my composition. Nevertheless, I hope that my messenger pigeon will one day reach distant Siberia.”

Johannes Maria Staud: On Comparative Meteorology

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 March 2014

Johannes Maria Staud (c) Mateo TaibonThe New York Times has reviewed last week’s performance of Johannes Maria Staud’s On Comparative Meteorology, describing it as a “colorful and highly engaging work [that] conjures moments of Surrealism, impish humor and foreboding — sometimes all at once.” The concert was performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (cond. Franz Welser-Möst) at Carnegie Hall.

Read the full review here.

You can listen to a recording of the concert at WQXR.