Universal Edition - Blog

Susanne Mälkki premières Haas’ concerto grosso No. 1

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 March 2014

Susanna Mälkki (c) Simon FowlerThe world première of Georg Friedrich Haas concerto grosso No. 1 for four alphorns and orchestra will take place on 28 March at the Herkulessaal in Munich. Here, the composer sees the alphorns as “the source of another dimension of intonation (overtone chords), used to create contrast and to expand the traditional twelvetone tuning of the symphony orchestra.” Susanna Mälkki conducts the hornroh modern alphornquartet and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

On 8 April BR-Klassik broadcasts a recording of the world première at 20:03. Listen live.

View the full score of the concerto grosso No. 1.

Georg Friedrich Haas: concerto grosso No. 1
for four alphorns and orchestra | 30'
world prem. 28.03.2014, Herkulessaal, Munich; hornroh modern alphornquartet; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, cond. Susanna Mälkki

Best Edition 2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 March 2014

Universal Edition, Alban Berg, facsimile

The prizes for the Best Edition were awarded in March 2014 at the Frankfurt Music Fair.

Winfried Jacobs, chairman of the classical music committee of the German Music Publishers Association, presented the prizes.

Universal Edition has been awarded a Best Edition prize for the facsimile volume of Alban Berg’s Lulu.

Alban Berg
Complete Works
Section 1, Music works, volume 2.

Lulu, particell of the third act
UE 18152C

UE 18152D

Congratulations to all involved!

Stockhausen: Carré orchestra I

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 March 2014

Here it is: the full study score of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Carré for orchestra I. The work for 4 orchestras and choirs will be performed tomorrow, 28 March, at the Cité de la Musique.

Michel Tabachnik, Ulrich Pöhl, Nathalie Marin and Kaisa Roose conduct the Brussels Philharmonic and Les Cris de Paris (choirmaster: Geoffroy Jourdain).

View the full score:

Happy Birthday Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 March 2014

Pierre Boulez at the Venice Biennale (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Pierre Boulez at the Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in October 2012.

Happy 89th Birthday Pierre Boulez!

Ivan Fedele, director of the Biennale’s music sector, on Boulez:

“This is a recognition of the absolute value of an artist who has lived through the history of contemporary music, offering the entire world compositions that, in the opinion of musicologists and artists from around the world, are true masterpieces of modernity.

The Maestro’s work has also expressed itself in the theoretical field with exemplary books that have served as a guide and model for generations of young composers. Furthermore, as a conductor, Boulez has offered interpretations of the classical and contemporary repertoire that are now considered milestones.”


Tour de Brass!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 March 2014

Watch the Trailer for Onyx Brass’ Tour de Brass, a series of free, outdoor concerts across the UK. On the programme: David Sawer’s Bronze and Iron for brass quintet with bandstand.

View the full study score of Bronze and Iron:


Stockhausen’s Carré in Paris

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 March 2014

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Carré (c) Universal Edition
Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Carré for 4 orchestras and 4 choirs will be performed on 28 March at the Cité de la Musique. Michel Tabachnik, Ulrich Pöhl, Nathalie Marin and Kaisa Roose will conduct the Brussels Philharmonic and Les Cris de Paris (choirmaster: Geoffroy Jourdain).

Stockhausen on Carré:

Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cathy Berberian and Luigi Nono (in the background) in Darmstadt, 1956 (c) Universal Edition, Otto TomekThis piece does not tell a story. Each moment can stand on its own. One must take ones time if one wishes to absorb this music. Most of the changes take place very discreetly INSIDE the tones. I hope that this music may afford a little inner stillness, breadth and concentration; the consciousness that we have much time if we take it – that it is better to come to oneself than get beside oneself, for the things that happen need someone to happen to; someone has to catch them.

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Carré
for 4 orchestras and 4 choirs (4 conductors) | 36'
28.03.2014, Cité de la Musique, Paris; Brussels Philharmonic; Les Cris de Paris; cond. Michel Tabachnik, Ulrich Pöhl, Nathalie Marin, Kaisa Roose

Through His Teeth #16: Rehearsals

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 March 2014

John Fulljames, Associate Director of Opera for the Royal Opera House, introduces the ROH’s A Faustian Pack programme. Watch John Fulljames and sound artist Matthew Herbert talk about the project and view rehearsal photos from Luke Bedford’s upcoming opera Through His Teeth:

Ruth Padel recently joined the rehearsals for Bedford’s Through His Teeth, which she describes as a “Faust without the supernatural. The evil is all human. But there’s lots of it: demonic sex, demonic fraud, demonic psychological abuse.”

Read the full text on Ruth Padel’s blog.

Find out more about Through His Teeth on our dedicated 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.