Universal Edition - Blog

Michael Haas: Forbidden Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 March 2013

Michael Haas - Forbidden MusicMichael Haas’ book Forbidden Music will be published next month by Yale University Press. Michael Haas was producer of London/Decca's recording series Entartete Musik and is presently research director of the Jewish Music Institute for Suppressed Music, SOAS, University of London

“This is not a book about Nazis but about the composers who were lost, and the musical trends they established before being banned, murdered and exiled. It also examines the tragic postwar developments that kept them on the margins long after the fall of Hitler’s Reich. As such, this book lays out how Jews saw themselves, and how they were seen by non-Jews. It tries to contextualise the discrepancy that often emerges from these different perceptions and to evaluate the music written by Jewish composers, much of which remains unjustly neglected.” – from Forbidden Music by Michael Haas

Renée Fleming, soprano and musical ambassador, on Forbidden Music:

“After working with me as producer on several recordings, Michael Haas led me to this rich and largely unknown body of repertoire. Forbidden Music by Michael Haas shines a spotlight on musical treasures that would otherwise have been forgotten, a legacy of fascinating works, careers, and lives thwarted by history. Haas's diligent research, and interviews with survivors and primary sources, have rescued a generation of musical invention and brilliance from obscurity. His work has directly led to artists like me performing and recording previously unknown works as well. Now Forbidden Music will aid new artists and audiences, incorporating a generation of lost music into the mainstream repertoire. We owe Michael Haas’s scholarship and dedication a debt of thanks.”

Review: Boulez conducts Mahler and Berg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 March 2013

Pierre Boulez: Mahler, Berg, Deutsche GrammophonIn his recent review of Pierre Boulez's recording of Gustav Mahler's Das klagende Lied and Alban Berg's Lulu-Suite with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Andrew Clements concludes that Boulez's rendition of Das klagende Lied has “both spaciousness and finely focused detail”, and that the Lulu-Suite is “even more remarkable, for there's an emotional breadth to Boulez's approach now that just wasn't there in his earlier, pioneering performances.”

Read the full review here.

Tom Service: A guide to György Kurtág's music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 March 2013

Tom ServiceTom Service's latest blog-entry is about the music of György Kurtág. In one of the comments, a reader compares Kurtág to Pierre Boulez - calling them “the last surviving link[s] to the great composers born in the 1920s.” What do you think?

The RIAS Kammerchor wins the Prix Caecilia 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 March 2013

Wolfgang Rihm - AstralisCongratulations to the RIAS Kammerchor for winning the Prix Caecilia 2013 for their recording of Wolfgang Rihm’s Astralis – choral works under Hans-Christoph Rademann.

You can listen to excerpts and order the CD here.

Happy Birthday Wolfgang Rihm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 March 2013

Wolfgang Rihm

Georg Friedrich Haas receives the Musikpreis Salzburg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 March 2013

Congratulations again to Georg Friedrich Haas for winning the Musikpreis Salzburg 2013! For our German speaking readers: here are two reviews of yesterday’s event:

Land Salzburg

Salzburg -

Live transmission of the world première of ... wie stille brannte das Licht for soprano and piano

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 February 2013

GEORG_FRIEDRICH_HAAS (c) Lucerne Festival_Priska_KettererTomorrow, 28 February 2013, the world première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ … wie stille brannte das Licht for soprano and piano takes place at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. The concert starts at 20:04 and you can listen to a live transmission of it here.

Sarah Wegener, whose enormous vocal range and incredible facility with precise microtonal intonation inspired Haas to write the part as if tailor-made for her, sings soprano.

Happy 60th Birthday Todd Brief!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 February 2013

Othmar Schoeck's Notturno in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 February 2013

Eröd, Adrian (c) Nikolaus Karlinský; Aron Quartett(c) Julia Wesely

Adrian Eröd and the Aron Quartett will play Othmar Schoeck's Notturno on 26 February 2013 at the Musikverein in Vienna. Furthermore, Alexander Zemlinsky’s String Quartet No. 4 and Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade will be performed.

In his 45-minute work, the Swiss composer set to music poems of mourning, loneliness and despair by Nikolaus Lenau, as well as a fragment by Gottfried Keller. Schoeck chose the title Notturno for a reason: it matches the dark underlying character of the music, which expresses the pain, the lamentation and the resignation of the narrator in a late-romantic style.

Happy Birthday György Kurtág

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 February 2013

Kurtag (c) Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica BudapestHappy Birthday György Kurtág

Mahler: World première of the new arrangement

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 February 2013

Kaplan: Symphony No. 2 (c) Wolfgang Schaufler

This picture was taken after the first performance of Gilbert Kaplan's new arrangement for chamber orchestra of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.

Although performed by a smaller-than-usual orchestra, it was still an impressive experience.

Happy Birthday Friedrich Cerha

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 February 2013

Friedrich Cerha (c) Philipp

We wish you all the best!

Find out more about Friedrich Cerha.

Gilbert Kaplan conducts Mahler

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 February 2013

Gilbert Kaplan (c) Adrian Bradshaw
Marlis Petersen (c) Yiorgos Mavropoulos

The inextricable link between Gilbert Kaplan and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 is familiar to just about every music lover. The arrangement for chamber orchestra of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 by Gilbert Kaplan and Rob Mathes makes it possible for chamber orchestras to perform this piece, for which usually more than 100 musicians are needed.

The world première of the arrangement takes place on 17 February 2013 at the Wiener Konzerthaus, with Gilbert Kaplan conducting the Wiener KammerOrchester, the Wiener Singakademie and the soloists Marlis Petersen, soprano and Janina Baechle, mezzo-soprano.

Symphony No. 2
for soli, mixed choir and small orchestra | 80‘
2 2 2 2 - 3 3 2 1 - timp, perc, hp, org, str
17/2/2013, Konzerthaus, Vienna; Marlis Petersen, s; Janina Baechle, ms; Wiener Singakademie; Wiener Kammerorchester, cond. Gilbert Kaplan

The Sound and the Fury

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 February 2013

BBC Four - The Sound and the Fury

BBC Four’s The Sound and the Fury: A Century of Music, a three-part series focusing on the revolution of music in the 20th century, starts tomorrow, 12 February 2013. Among others, Arvo Pärt takes part in it.

The series will be continued on 19 and 26 February.

Happy 30th Birthday Yukiko Watanabe

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 February 2013

Yukiko Watanabe (c) Yukiko WatanabeHappy Birthday Yukiko Watanabe!

The winner of the Ö1 Talentebörse – Kompositionspreis 2011 on her work ver_flies_sen:

This piece's German title has three meanings, all of which are phonically unrelated in English: Fliese (= n.: tile), fließen (= v.i.: to flow, to stream) and verfließen (= v.i. pass by).

I had started writing the piece when I saw the beautiful picture O Hungaro (The Hungarian) by the Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão, in which she depicts a tiled swimming pool. The tiles – all of them of identical - seem to be contorted, due to the water.

That became the inspiration for my piece. First, I built the fundament – nine invisible layers, all of them moving in different tempi; then I placed suitable notes overtop.

The music is in constant motion, sometimes losing its shape inscrutably, like tiles in the water or vague old memories as one looks back on them.