Universal Edition - Blog

The impact of Spiegel im Spiegel

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 January 2015

I feel that whenever I play Arvo Pärt’s music I do begin to go deeper within myself in order to try to create something of this spirituality that his music contains. So it’s almost as if you go inside yourself and you question who you are and how this music is bringing out different aspects.

The piece of music that I have almost the least to do is the Spiegel im Spiegel, but what I have to do is almost let go of myself. I think that being a vessel for this piece is a good way of describing it. (Tasmin Little)

In August 2011, BBC Radio 4 published a show exploring the impact of Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel on listener’s lives.

BBC Radio 4 has recently uploaded the full programme to SoundCloud, listen to it here:

Arvo Pärt 80

30 Years of the ECM New Series

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 December 2014

In 1984, ECM brought “a new sound into the musical world” with the release of Arvo Pärt’s “Tabula rasa”, the first album on the label’s New Series imprint which was subsequently rereleased as a special edition CD.

Tyran Grillo has written a short text on the history of the series for Sequenza 21. The full text is available here.

Follow our #ArvoPart80 blog.

ECM New Series: Tabula Rasa



Mona Lisa in New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 December 2014

Mona LisaSo what is this piece? This is a piece on Mona Lisa. It was premièred in 1915 and had well over 2000 performances between 1915 and 1933 – it was hit! It was a hit for well over a decade. We haven’t discovered this from some dusty shelf.

Leon Botstein brings Max von Schillings’ Mona Lisa to New York: the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bard Festival Chorale will perform a concert performance of the opera in 2 acts on 20 February at Carnegie Hall.

WQXR’s Elliott Forrest has recently interviewed Leon Botstein about Mona Lisa, watch the interview on YouTube:

UE Newsletter December 2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 December 2014

UE Newsletter, December 2014

Here’s our latest digital newsletter:

– The Cleveland Orchestra salutes Boulez

– Rihm’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Washington

View the newsletter online: German | English

Subscribe to our newsletter: German | English

Zemlinsky among The Guardian’s list of best classical CDs of 2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 December 2014

Alexander Zemlinsky: String Quartets

The Escher String Quartet’s recording of Alexander Zemlinsky’s String Quartets Nos 1 and 2 (we blogged about it earlier this year) has made it to The Guardian’s list of best classical CDs of 2014.

Find out more on The Guardian.

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Works for Percussion

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 December 2014

Stockhausen’s early percussion music is among the most visionary of the percussion repertoire. This unique collection features some works which are almost impossible to find elsewhere. (Mode Records)

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Works for PercussionMode Records has recently released “Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Works for Percussion”, which includes the UE works Mikrophonie, Zyklus, Refrain and Schlagtrio.

Among the performing artists are Steven Schick (percussion and director) James Avery, Pavlos Antoniadis, Katalin Lukács and the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

The recording is available as 2-CD set or as a DVD, featuring a full video performance and interviews with Schick.

Boulez to receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 December 2014

Pierre Boulez (c) Peter Fischli, Lucerne Festival


The Recording Academy has announced its Special Merit Awards recipients: among this year’s honorees is Pierre Boulez.

A special invitation-only ceremony will be held during Grammy Week on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.

Now available: “an explicit, yet chilly” Lulu

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 December 2014

Walk up, walk up! and spend a pleasant hour,
Fair ladies, noble gentlemen, with me;
Inside my tent you'll thrill – and chill – to see
The beasts I have in my menagerie
Tamed by superior force of human power.

Krzysztof Warlikowski’s production of Lulu at La Monnaie in Brussels was recently released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques. Find out more here.

Barbara Hannigan gives everything she’s got and then some to the title role. Charles Workman is the finely lyrical Alwa; Dietrich Henschel, never bettered, the troubled Schoen. It’s nicely conducted by Paul Daniel, too.

Read Tim Ashley’s review of the DVD on The Guardian.

Arvo Pärt interviewed by The Telegraph

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 December 2014

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

“Music says what I need to say. And it is dangerous to say anything, because if I’ve said it already in words there might be nothing left for my music.”

John Allison of The Telegraph has published an interview with Arvo Pärt. Find the full text on The Telegraph.

Teresa Stratas to receive Opera News Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 December 2014

Teresa Stratas Opera News has announced that Teresa Stratas will be among five recipients of the tenth annual Opera News Awards. Congratulations!

To the right: Teresa Stratas in the première of Boulez’ and Chéreau’s production of Lulu (in Friedrich Cerha’s orchestration).

Betrothal in a Dream by Hans Krása

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 December 2014

“It is deeply shocking that the musical decisions of the Third Reich should continue to influence the programming of today’s cultural institutions. But what other explanation is there for the relative obscurity of Verlobung im Traum?” (Financial Times, Shirley Apthorp, 26.10.2014)

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the murder of Hans Krása in Auschwitz, the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe hosted a new production of the long-thought lost opera Verlobung im Traum [Betrothal in a Dream]. Almost two months after its première, Ingo Kerkhof’s production now returns for a second season in Karlsruhe.

Find the full programme on the website of the Badisches Staatstheater.

Hans Krása: Verlobung im Traum
opera in 2 Acts | 135'
12.12.2014, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe; Agnieszka Tomaszewska, Sina; Martina Borst/Dana Beth Miller, Marja Alexandrowna; Sofia Mara, Barbara; Badische Staatskapelle, cond. Justin Brown
Further performances: 17.12.2014, 6.1., 15.1, 21.1.2015

60 miniatures from the straw case

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 December 2014

Studio Dan & Agnes Heginger; Friedrich Cerha: Eine Art ChansonsTogether with HK Gruber, Hans Kann, H. C. Artmann, Gerhard Rühm, Fritz Wotruba and many others, Friedrich Cerha was a frequent guest at the Viennese Strohkoffer [straw case]. In 1987, he finished the 60 miniatures of Eine Art Chansons, most of which are based on texts by members of the Viennese Group.

Agnes Heginger and Studio Dan will present a selection of Friedrich Cerha’s Eine Art Chansons at the Sargfabrik in Vienna on 14 December. After having been encouraged by the composer to record the pieces, this will be a preview of their upcoming CD.

Martinů’s Gilgamesh: a unique, modern and monumental adaptation

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 December 2014

Brno Philharmonic: The Epic of Gilgamesh

Bohuslav Martinů: The Epic of Gilgamesh

Tonight the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra will present the world première of the new critical complete edition of Bohuslav Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh, a unique, modern and monumental adaptation of a seminal work from the dawn of Babylonian history.

Although this musical work employs the text of the world’s oldest surviving piece of literature, its treatment of the questions of friendship, love and death remains topical to this day. The performance, involving more than a hundred top musicians, will be in English (with Czech surtitles) and semi-staged, as originally conceived by its composer Bohuslav Martinů.

Find out more on the website of the Brno Philharmonic and the Bohuslav Martinů Institute.

Vítězslav Mikeš, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra Programmer, on The Epic of Gilgamesh:

The Epic of Gilgamesh consists of three parts of almost equal length: Gilgamesh, The Death of Enkidu, and Invocation. It is scored for soloists (soprano, tenor, baritone and bass), narrator, mixed choir and orchestra. Martinů wrote it for Paul Sacher’s chamber orchestra, a fact reflected in the score. Although Martinů said that he “would need to express himself with greater orchestral might”, the sound of Gilgamesh is monumental.

The work was premiered in January 1958 in Basil, Switzerland under Sacher’s baton. Before the premiere, Martinů presented his idea of semi-staging the work to the conductor, desiring to “animate” Gilgamesh, to create “an illusion of action”. However, Sacher rejected the idea and performed the work as a concert oratorio. The Brno performance will be an attempt to revive this forgotten idea of Martinů on the stage; this task has been entrusted to Radim Vizváry, a striking figure of contemporary mime theatre.

Bohuslav Martinů: The Epic of Gilgamesh
Oratorio in 3 parts | 50'
after the text of the new critical complete edition
world prem. 11.12.2014; 12.12.2014; Janáček Opera House, Brno; Brian Caspe, narrator; Adriana Kohútková, s; Martin Šrejma, t; Jiří Hájek, bar; Adam Plachetka, bar; Czech Philharmonic Choir choir, cond Petr Fiala; Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Aleksandar Marković

CHROMA premières Bedford

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 December 2014

CHROMA; Luke Bedford: Falling Falling

Luke Bedford’s Falling Falling for clarinet, horn, violin and violoncello will be premièred on 14 December by CHROMA, who commissioned the piece.

Find out more about Luke Bedford.

Luke Bedford on stages of composing:

Luke Bedford: Falling Falling
for clarinet, horn, violin and violoncello | 4'
world prem. 14.12.2014, Kings Arms, Berkhamsted; CHROMA

Happy 60th birthday Beat Furrer!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 December 2014

Beat Furrer (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Daniel Ender: Metamorphosen des Klanges; Studien zum kompositorischen Werk von Beat FurrerHappy Birthday Beat Furrer – composer, conductor, educator, and founder of Klangforum Wien and, together with Ernst Kovacic, “impuls” academy – and once more our warmest congratulations for winning the prestigious Grand Austrian State Prize [Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis]!

Also we’d like to make mention of Daniel Ender’s brand new book “Metamorphosen des Klanges”, a study of Beat Furrer’s compositional oeuvre that was presented on 4 December 2014 in Vienna.

Ö1 recently dedicated a programme titled “Beat Furrer - Der Alchemist” to the composer. Listen to almost 7 hours of music, most of which was composed by Beat Furrer, on Ö1.

Find out more about Beat Furrer on his website.