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New Kairos release: Vykintas Baltakas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 June 2016

Kairos: Vykintas Baltakas

Vykintas Baltakas' new album will arouse interest by analytical and also programmatical listeners. The piece Pasaka retells the mythological version of genesis and (co)ro(na) represents a fully composed fermata. Baltakas is successful in turning enigmas of musical aesthetics into tones and creates a musical experience which is both diversified and homogeneous at the same time.

Kairos’ new CD features 8 works by Vykintas Baltakas, recorded by artists such as the Tokyo Sinfonietta, Lithuanian Ensemble Network, Chordos Quartet, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and Emilio Pomárico.

You can download the full booklet and order your copy in the Kairos web store.

ensemble mini: Mahler for chamber orchestra

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 June 2016

Gustav Mahler (c) Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft

“It should be one’s sole endeavour to see everything afresh and create it anew.” (Gustav Mahler in H-L. La Grange: Mahler)

Tonight the ensemble mini will perform Michelle Castelletti’s chamber arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 10 at the Musikbrauerei in Berlin.

Read Caselletti’s preface to the score

Zemlinsky’s “Chamber Concerto”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 June 2016

Alexander Zemlinsky  (c) Universal Edition

Peter Keuschnig and Ensemble Kontrapunkte will première Alexander Zemlinsky’s Chamber Concerto – after the Trio Op. 3 for clarinet, cello and piano – in Richard Dünser’s arrangement for small orchestra tonight at the Musikverein in Vienna.

View the full programme

Pärt’s Greater Antiphons premièred in L.A.

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 June 2016

Arvo Pärt, Gustavo Dudamel (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Pärt’s orchestration is exceptional and delves subtly into colors within the limited palette, for instance using open strings and harmonics to create shining, single-note highlights. The performance was a good one, breathing and luminous. (Timothy Mangan, The Orange County Register, 29 May 2016)

Together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel performed the world première of Arvo Pärt’s Greater Antiphons for string orchestraon 28 May at the Mozart & Pärt festival in Los Angeles.

Read Timothy Mangan’s full review in The Orange County Register.

Fennessy’s Sweat of the Sun at the Münchener Biennale

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 May 2016

Sweat Of The Sun (c) Florian Ganslmeier

“It seems like the further one sinks inside the text, the further one becomes removed from the particulars of the story and instead gets involved with something deeper and more ambiguous to do with the inner experiences of a protagonist who is searching for … something.”

Rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Sweat Of the Sun are underway – the music theatre, which is based on German director Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless, will be premièred by the Münchener Kammerorchester on 28 May at the Münchener Biennale.

David Fennessy on Sweat of the Sun

Erik Satie (17.5.1866 – 1.7.1925)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 May 2016

Erik Satie, public domain

Eric Satie was born 150 years ago today –joyeux anniversaire!

Rihm’s conquest in Cologne

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 May 2016

“Artaud’s theatrical work is not a historical drama; it is a phantasmagoria about ambivalence” (Wolfgang Rihm on Die Eroberung von Mexico)

In case you’ve missed the Oper Köln’s [German] introductory trailer for Wolfgang Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico, you can watch it here:

Alejo Pérez conducts Peter Konwitschny’s production, which has already been shown at the Salzburg Festival. Further performances take place on 13, 20, 26 and 29 May.

View the full score

Korzhev plays Krenek

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 May 2016

Ernst Krenek: Krenek: Piano Concertos 1-3

Read Graham Rickson full review of Mikhail Korzhevs and Kenneth Woods’ “Krenek: Piano Concertos 1-3” on the arts desk.

Inside the Score: Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 April 2016

Inside the Score

This lecture-recital, accompanied by projections from the stage, will read between the ledger lines and unlock the secrets behind one of the Second Viennese School’s most passionate scores.

On Tuesday, 10 May, writer and broadcaster Gavin Plumley, the Quatuor Tana and soprano Julia Sitkovetsy will present Inside the Score, a lecture-recital that explores Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite.

Tickets are still available – or you can watch the live stream from the comfort of your own home.

Inside the Score: Berg’s Lyric Suite


80 years “In Memory of an Angel”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 April 2016

Alban Berg (c) Universal Edition

It’s been 80 years to the day since the world première of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “In Memory of an Angel”.

Alban Berg: Violinkonzert – listening labIn February 1935 Alban Berg was approached by the American violinist Louis Krasner with a request to write a violin concerto. The resulting concerto – the last work that Berg completed – was first performed on 19 April 1936 by Krasner and the Casals-Orchestra in Barcelona.

The first issue of the Universal Edition listening lab is dedicated to Berg’s Violin Concerto:

Find out more about our listening lab

Kimbo Ishii conducts Egon Wellesz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 April 2016

Egon Wellesz (c) Universal Edition

Man hat es hier nicht mit einer Symphonie oder Suite zu tun, in deren Orchester auch ein Klavier verwendet und gelegentlich solistisch bevorzugt wird: Das Klavierkonzert von Wellesz ist ein richtiges Konzert, der Part tritt hervor und lebt sich in Toccaten-Sätzen aus.” (P. Stf., Musikblätter des Anbruch, 1934)

Kimbo Ishii leads the Oldenburgisches Staatsorchester in two performances of Egon Wellesz’ Piano Concerto (William Youn, pno) on 17 and 18 April at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater.

View the full score

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Münster

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 April 2016

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Münster (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Standke

Ulrich Peters’ production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was premièred on 9 April and is currently being staged at the Theater Münster.

Find a [German] review on Münstersche Zeitung:

Das große Fressen endet tödlich

Mauricio Kagel composer portrait in Vilnius

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 April 2016

Mauricio Kagel (c) Lietuvos Ansamblių TinklasThe pseudo folkloristic character of some movements in Kantrimiusik, their double-hearted, vague folklore, should certainly not lead to double-hearted presentations. The piece purposely doesn't claim any authenticity with regard to sources, it rather works up the usual apocryph music. Every accurate musical interpretation ought to make clear how much parody and caricature or substantiated seriousness it contains. (Mauricio Kagel)

Under the motto “20 years of bilateral collaboration between Belgium and Lithuania” Vykintas Baltakas, the Het Collectief ensemble and LENsemble will be presenting a composer portrait of Mauricio Kagel. For more information and the full program book visit the website of Vykintas Baltakas.

Among the works performed will be Kagel’s Kantrimiusik:

Find out more about the piece

Jenůfa returns to Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 April 2016

Jenůfa and Katya and Makropulos are constructed like what I’d call in English “a well-made play”. They are linear stories with three acts: a beginning, a middle, an end. (David Pountney)

Tonight David Pountney’s production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa (cond. Ingo Metzmacher) returns to the Wiener Staatsoper.

Read the full interview with Pountney on our MusikSalon

135th anniversary of Béla Bartók

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 March 2016

Béla Bartók (c) Universal Edition

It is obvious that if there remains any hope for the survival of folk music [...] an artificial erection of Chinese walls to separate peoples from each other bodes no good for its development.

A complete separation from foreign influences means stagnation: well assimilated foreign impulses offer possibilities of enrichment. (Béla Bartók)

Béla Bartók was born today 135 years ago.

The quote above is taken from a text by the composer on “race purity in music” – read more on our MusikSalon.