Universal Edition - Blog

Uk première of in vain

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2013

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Lucerne Festival, Priska KettererPhilip Cashian, composer and Head of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music, writes about Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain on the London Sinfonietta’s blog. André de Ridder and the London Sinfonietta will perform the UK première of in vain on 16 November at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

“it often seemed that supernatural forces were at work […] it was often hard to believe that these otherworldly sounds were coming from acoustic, not electronic, instruments […] a masterpiece.” (The New York Times)

Sawer’s Flesh and Blood shortlisted for the 2013 British Composer Awards

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2013

2013 British Composer Awards Amazing news from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA): David Sawer’s Flesh and Blood has been shortlisted for the 2013 British Composer Awards in the “vocal” category. The 11th British Composer Awards will take place on 3 December 2013 at Goldsmiths' Hall, London, BBC Radio 3 will provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the Awards on 7 December.

More about the awards.

View the full vocal score and find our more on David Sawer’s Flesh and Blood.

How to get into Stockhausen’s head:

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2013

Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Boulez conducting the rehearsals for the world première of Gruppen on 24 March 1958 in Cologne.
Tom Service of The Guardian writes about last Saturday’s Hear and Now on BBC Radio 3. The programme focused on Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen and took “a closer look at the German composer's electronic masterpiece from the same period, Gesang der Jünglinge,” featuring excerpts from previously unbroadcast session tapes. The stream will be online until Sunday.

Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cathy Berberian and Luigi Nono (in the background) meet in Darmstadt in 1956.Talking about Gruppen: here is Andrew Clement’s review of the London Sinfonietta’s performance of the piece for 3 orchestras (the orchestra was joined by the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble), conducted by Martyn Brabbins, Baldur Brönnimann and Geoffrey Paterson. Plus there is a collection of reviews from the orchestra’s own blog.

Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 is Ivan Hewett’s Classic 50 No 42

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2013

Béla Bartók (c) Universal EditionThe third movement of Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 has made it on Ivan Hewett’s list of 50 classics by the world’s greatest composers.

Hewett on Bartók: “He wanted to escape from Germanic ideas of what music should be like, with its ‘tyranny of major-minor’ as he called it. And here, in the villages of his homeland, was a music that was miraculously free of those ideas. It was modal, and full of odd asymmetrical rhythms - as were the Rumanian, Bulgarian, and Turkish melodies that found their way onto Bartók’s cylinder recorder, as he tramped around Eastern Europe in search of old melodies.”

Find the full article on The Telegraph.

Simon Rattle premières Rihm’s IN-SCHRIFT 2

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2013

Wolfgang Rihm, Simon Rattle (c) Universal Edition, Schaufler
Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker dedicated their gala concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Philharmonie on 20 October to the theme of “space music”. Among the pieces performed was the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s IN-SCHRIFT 2. The 15-minute orchestral work is closely linked to IN-SCHRIFT, which is one Rihm’s most performed orchestral works.

(German) reviews of the evening are available on Der Tagesspiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Berliner Zeitung.

Happy Birthday Georges Lentz!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2013

Georges Lentz (c) Stanley CicconeHappy Birthday Georges Lentz!

Find out more about the composer.

Lentz’ Birrung for 11 strings will be performed by the Bourbaki Ensemble on 27 October at the Boronia Park Uniting Church, Sydney.

Georges Lentz: Birrung
for 11 strings | 9'
vln(6), vla(2), vc(2), cb(1)
27.10.2013, Boronia Park Uniting Church, Sydney; Bourbaki Ensemble

Contemporary music month on bachtrack

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2013

Arvo Pärt (c) Roberto MasottiOctober is bachtrack’s contemporary music month, and it is great to see that Arvo Pärt is featured in the special on Minimalists, and that Pierre Boulez – together with Stockhausen, Berio, and others – is regarded as one of conemporary music’s “Cutting-Edge Heavyweights”: A generation of composers growing up amongst the carnage of Hitler’s Europe [that] turned their faces away from the traditional language of music, which seemed forever tainted by that world, in search of a new musical grammar.

Boulez on Boulez:

Helmut Lachenmann, Nuria Schönberg-Nono and Christopher Fox: a discussion

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 October 2013 (comments: 1)

Tom Service (c) Tom Service, The GuardianHelmut Lachenmann, Nuria Schönberg-Nono and Christopher Fox talk about new music (and about John Cage at the Italian quiz show Lascia o Raddoppia) in the post-war music discussion of the Southbank’s Rest is Noise festival.

The discussion is about one hour long, and it is definitely worth listening to:

Find out more about the interview on Tom Service’s blog.

Rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme at the hcmf

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 October 2013

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerPhotos from another (intensive) day of rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme, showing the composer, violist Garth Knox, conductor Garry Walker, and the Red Note Ensemble. The piece for amplified solo viola and ensemble will be premièred on 16 November at the huddersfield contemporary music festival.

David Fennessy on Hauptstimme:

The notion of the individual and how he/she contributes or functions in a group setting as well as how that group can meaningfully make a collective statement has been central to a number of my works over the years – starting with graft for string quartet (2000), through to 13 Factories for ensemble (2009). Once again, it seems to be at the core of this new piece for solo viola and ensemble.

For much of the time, the solo viola is buried in a thick ensemble texture with the primary goal merely to be heard. Once it has achieved this, a more complex question emerges – what to say?

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerAlso on the programme: James Dillon's New York Triptych, the third and final instalment in a series of three-part pieces, and Bruno Mantovani's D'un rêve parti, a brief homage to the auld alliance.

Many, many thanks to Richard Greer for taking – and sending us – these photos!

Find a blog entry by John Harris, chief executive and artistic co-director of the Red Note Ensemble, in which he writes about the preparations for the ensemble’s concerts at the hcmf on the festival’s guest blog.

UE Newsletter October 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 October 2013

Universal Edition Newsletter

Here it is: our latest newsletter, focusing on 8 UE world premières that take place within the next 29 days.

If you want to receive our newsletter via e-mail, you can of course sign up for it here.

Full Stream of Jagden und Formen – Sasha Waltz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 October 2013

Jagden und Formen, Sasha Waltz, La Monnaie/De Munt The La Monnaie/De Munt offers a stream of the full performance of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jagden und Formen (Zustand 2008), with choreography by Sasha Waltz. The video was recorded on 14 and 15 September, Franck Ollu conducts the Orchestre symphonique de la Monnaie.

You can watch the full performance by clicking here or on the image to the right. The video will be online until 20 October 2013.

Birrung in Sydney

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 October 2013

Bourbaki Ensemble (c) Gary Urquhart.jpg
Georges Lentz’ Birrung for 11 strings will be performed in Sydney by the Bourbaki Ensemble on 20 and 27 October at the St. Stephen's Anglican Church and at the Boronia Park Uniting Church, respectively.

View the full study score of Birrung.

Georges Lentz: Birrung
for 11 strings | 9'
vln(6), vla(2), vc(2), cb(1)
20.10.2013, St. Stephen’s Anglican Church; 27.10.2013, Boronia Park Uniting Church; Bourbaki Ensemble

101 years Pierrot lunaire

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 October 2013

Pierrot lunaire, first written copy (c) Universal Edition
Dear Mr Schönberg. [...] You put all ideals of an artist’s fantasy into sounds – It is wonderful, I can’t say anything else! I am entirely cocooned by these harmonies, partly sweet and partly expressing the soul’s final screams. People who have encountered suffering will be familiar with that. (Albertine Zehme to Arnold Schönberg, Mid-March 1912)

Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire had its official première exactly 101 years ago, on 16 October 1912, at the Choralion Hall in Berlin. Eduard Steuermann wrote of that occasion: [...] And the success? There was, of course, a scandal […] but also an intense ovation. (Juilliard News Bulletin)

pierrot lunaire companion, cover (c) Arnold Schönberg Center Privatstiftung, Wien 2012; ISBN 978-3-902012-13-7From the preface of the Arnold Schönberg Center’s recently released pierrot lunaire companion:

In terms of its genre, Pierrot lunaire was historically unique at the time Schönberg composed it and marks the high point of his expressionistic period: The famous melodrama is placed in the extreme danger zone of post-Romantic composition. Pierrot, “with waxen countenance”, is a bizarre and nervous figure, enticed into a counterworld of nighttime phantasms and hopeless passions. A cosmos of tonal shading in the colorful realm between singing and speaking.

Unrestricted freedom of tone!

(Eike Feß, Therese Muxeneder)

Here are excerpts from the pierrot lunaire companion of how the work was received and how it is viewed today:

I was too occupied with the copy of the score Schönberg had given me to notice anything else. I also remember that the audience was quiet and attentive and that I wanted Frau Zehme to be quiet too, so that I could hear the music.
(Igor Stravinsky on the performance of Pierrot lunaire, cited from Robert Craft, 1968)

Pierrot lunaire, conducting score, Vienna 1914 (c) Universal EditionYou should never be afraid of imitating. I joined the Schönberg school to write my Poèmes de Mallarmé.
(Maurice Ravel, La revue musicale, 1931)

Pierrot is a transitional discipline, a Zwischenfach for which there is neither school nor tradition to speak of today. […] It is certainly a work which – once you have become immersed in it – never lets you go again.
(Friedrich Cerha, Zur Interpretation der Sprechstimme in Schönbergs Pierrot lunaire, 1974)

Find further information regarding future performances of Pierrot lunaire on our performance calendar.

View the study score of Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 October 2013

Watch the trailer for the Teatro Real’s production of Wolfgang Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico [The Conquest of Mexico] here (further performances will take place today, and on 17., 18., and 19.10.2013):

Furthermore, the full study score is now available online:

Wolfgang Rihm: Die Eroberung von Mexico [The Conquest of Mexico]
opera | 120'
3 4 4 1 - 3 3 3 1 - timp, perc(5), hp, pno,, e.bass(2), vln(2), vla(2), vc(6), cb(4) - wind machine
Teatro Real, Madrid; Nadja Michael/Ausrine Stundyte, Montezuma; Georg Nigl/Holger Falk, Cortez; Coro y Orquesta Titulares del Teatro Real; Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, cond. Alejo Pérez
Further performances: 15., 17., 18., and 19.10.2013

Patrice Chéreau (1944–2013)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 October 2013

Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau at the office of Universal Edition, 2007 (c) Marion Kalter
Universal Edition mourns the death of Patrice Chéreau, to whom we owe ground-breaking productions of the Universal Edition core catalogue. 

In 1979 Chéreau staged the world première of the 3-act version of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu in Paris, arranged by Friedrich Cerha (conductor: Pierre Boulez).

In 1994, he staged Alban Berg’s Wozzeck as an inescapable psychodrama, also in Paris (conductor: Daniel Barenboim).

In 2007, he proved that Leoš Janáček’s From the House of the Dead does indeed have a continuous plot line (conductor: Pierre Boulez).

Rarely has a director staged UE-works as pervasive and full of substance as Chéreau.

He will be missed.