Universal Edition - Blog

in vain: the most beautiful work of the new millennium

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 January 2017

The Italian magazine Classic Voice recently announced Georg Friedrich Haas’ work in vain to be the “most beautiful score of the new millennium” – the result of a survey in which 130 experts of European contemporary music participated.

You can watch a five-minute introduction to in vain  recorded in 2016 in Valencia – here:

Arvo Pärt Festival in Portland

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 January 2017

The Arvo Pärt Festival in Portland

The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Arvo Pärt runs from 5 to 12 February. The Arvo Pärt Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon and is presented by the Cappella Romana.

From the press release:

The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.

The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.

View the full programme

in vain wins new music hit parade

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 January 2017

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch, Johannes Feigl

Congratulations! Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain wins the new music hit parade of Classic Voice – find out more in this [Italian] article on Corriere Della Sera.

360 degrees of Wolfgang Rihm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 January 2017

Wolfgang Rihm, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Today’s opening concerts that mark the start of a three-week festival celebrating the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg can be watched in a 360 degree live stream.

Among the works performed is the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Reminiszenz | Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn.

Watch the opening concert live here:

The world’s most performed living composer sixth year running: Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 January 2017

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

“While Bachtrack is yet to officially publish the statistics on its website, it has confirmed in a private tweet exchange that Pärt is, indeed, the world’s most performed living composer sixth year running.” (estonian world)

Congratulations Arvo Pärt!

Find out more

Schreker’s Orchestral Music from the Operas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 January 2017

Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the OperasIt’s an impressive disc, the selections presenting the composer at his finest, and all performed with precision and feeling, and recorded at the high standards associated with the BIS label, still laudably loyal to the SACD format. (Gavin Dixon, Classical CD Reviews)

Gavin Dixon of Classical CD Reviews on “Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the Operas”.

The record is published by BIS Records and has recently been nominated for the Swedish Grammy Awards for classical music.

Read the full review

Franz Schmidt: time to listen afresh

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 December 2016

Franz Schmidt (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

Today marks the birthday of Franz Schmidt, who was born on 22 December 1874 in Preßburg.

In his Guardian-article “How Franz Schmidt became the composer that history forgot” Gavin Plumley pointed out why it is time to listen to the composer’s works afresh.

You can view the full study score of Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 on Universal Edition for free:

Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 2

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen in Kyoto

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 December 2016

World première of Gruppen (c) Universal Edition

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen for 3 orchestras will be performed on 23 December at the Miyakomesse in Kyoto by the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra with conductors Junichi Hirokami, Ken Takaseki and Tatsuya Shimono.

The work was performed for the very first time in March 1958 when it was conducted by Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Stockhausen himself.

Happy birthday, Zoltán Kodály

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 December 2016

Photo: Zoltán Kodály (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

If we want to understand other nations, we first must understand ourselves. There is no better means for this than folk music. Getting acquainted with the folk songs of other countries is the best way to get acquainted with other peoples. (Zoltán Kodály)

Happy birthday, Zoltán Kodály. The composer was born today in 1882.

Read Mihály Ittzés’ essay on Zoltán Kodály with the title “A patriot, not a nationalist” – from which the above quote is taken – on our MusikSalon:

A patriot, not a nationalist

Bosch: The Garden of Dreams

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 December 2016

José Luis López-Linares’ documentary film “Bosch: The Garden of Dreams”, produced by LópezLiFilms and the Prado Museum, features music by Arvo Pärt.

Watch the trailer here:

Krenek’s Orpheus und Eurydike: strikingly effective

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 December 2016

Ernst Krenek: Orpheus and Eurydike, Orfeo

“It’s a bit of a patchy, self-indulgent work, but fascinating; the best of Krenek’s angular, expressionist score, mostly atonal though harking back to romantic tonality, is strikingly effective.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30 November 2016)

Andrew Clements of The Guardian has reviewed Ernst Krenek’s opera Orpheus und Eurydike, recorded at the Salzburg Festival in 1990 under Pinchas Steinberg and now released on Orfeo.

Read the full review on The Guardian

30 years Edition Zeitgenössische Musik

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 December 2016

30 years of Edition Zeitgenössische Musik [EZM]This Saturday, 10 December, 30 years of Edition Zeitgenössische Musik [EZM]will be celebrated at the Deutschlandfunk in Cologne.

Join the event for a free symposium and a concert, including performances by Luís Antunes Pena and Pavlos Antoniadis, Ensemble Garage (cond. Mariano Chiacchiarini), leise dröhnung, Ensemble Musikfabrik, hand werk and Ensemble Modern.

The full programme is available on the website of the Deutscher Musikrat:

View the full programme

RTÉ Contempo Quartet tours Fennessy’s bow your head

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2016

 Bartók Project

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangThere’s something uniquely sensual and physical about string music that attracts me as a composer. […] It’s not just about pitches and rhythms – there’s also something in the quality of the sound, something about the effort it takes to produce the note that gives us clues as to the musical meaning. It’s the massive difference between an up-bow with its build up of tension and a down-bow - the release, the out-breath. This piece is all about the right arm – the bowing arm. (David Fennessy on his string quartet bow your head)

The RTÉ Contempo Quartet will perform David Fennessy’s bow your head as part of their “Bartók Project” on 1 Dec at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, on 3 Dec at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork and on 4 Dec at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Find out more

“Pierre Boulez: Die Partitur der Geste und das Theater der Avantgarde”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 November 2016

Martin Zenck: Pierre Boulez: Die Partitur der Geste und das Theater der AvantgardeProf. Dr. Martin Zenck’s book Pierre Boulez: Die Partitur der Geste und das Theater der Avantgarde was presented on 18 November at the Academy of Music in Mainz in a memorial concert for the great composer who passed away this January.

Pianist Pi-Hsien Chen performed both versions of Boulez’ Troisième Sonate pour piano.

Find out more about the book

Hans Zender celebrates his 80th birthday

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 November 2016

Hans Zender (c) Karsten Witt, Wolfram LamparterComposer and conductor Hans Zender celebrates his 80th birthday today, 22 November 2016.

The works which he entrusted to Universal Edition between 1979 and 1990 reflect certain important facets of his intellectual world: the interest in music theatre (his Joyce opera Stephen Climax), the allure of Japanese culture (for example the flute concerto Loshu V), the importance of the voice and, with it, of literature (settings of Mechthild von Magdeburg and Henri Michaux).

We extend our warmest congratulations!

A selection of works by the composer will be performed at this year’s Wien Modern festival on 28 and 29 November:

Hans Zender at Wien Modern