Universal Edition - Blog

★★★★★ Lebrecht Album of the week: Kleiber’s Lied von der Erde

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 October 2014

Carlos Kleiber: MahlerCarlos Kleiber’s historical rendition of Mahler’s Lied von der Erde, recorded at the Konzerthaus Vienna on 7 June 1967 and performed by Waldemar Kmentt, Christa Ludwig and the Wiener Symphoniker, is Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the week.

Read the review of the recording, which “offers a rare and extraordinary portrait of a celebrated conductor”, on Sinfini Music.

Rattle brings dark dreams to New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 October 2014

Photo: Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Priska Ketterer

The US première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams takes place tonight, 6 October, at Carnegie Hall in New York with Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.

We’ve prepared a two-minute audio excerpt, an interview between Georg Friedrich Haas and Karsten Witt and also the full digital score for you.

Watch an excerpt of dark dreams:

The Examiner reviews Rihm’s Harzreise im Winter

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 October 2014

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein - Goethe in the Roman Campagna, from Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

Stephen Smoliar of the Examiner has reviewed the North American première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Harzreise im Winter by baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber. The two of them had premièred Rihm’s musical setting of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Harzreise im Winter earlier this year at the Mozartfest Würzburg.

Read about the evenings programme, which “amounted to a journey through Goethe’s poetic achievements”, on the Examiner.

Watch live: Arabella Steinbacher plays Berg’s Violin Concerto

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 October 2014

Star violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the NDR Sinfonieorchester (cond. Thomas Hengelbrock) will perform Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “To the Memory of an Angel” tonight at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg. Watch the whole concert on the website of Arte – the broadcast begins at 20:00:

Arabella Steinbacher (c) Sammy Hart

Read a German interview with Steinbacher on the Violin Concerto on Arte.

The Violin Concerto is part of Universal Edition’s Listening Lab – Materials for communicating music series. Here are sample pages of the bilingual publication:

Our latest Newsletter is out:

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 October 2014

Universal Edition Newsletter 14-10-01We’ve just sent out our latest newsletter, here it is:

- Simon Rattle brings dark dreams to New York

- The Arditti Quartet and Johannes Maria Staud celebrate their 40th birthdays with a string quartet

- Ronnefeld’s Nachtausgabe is performed at the Semperoper Dresden

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Leopold Brauneiss: Another look at Tintinnabuli

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 October 2014

From 29 September to 3 October, Leopold Brauneiss, a recognized Austrian musicologist and expert on Arvo Pärt’s compositional techniques, will give a special seminar about Arvo Pärt’s music titled “Another look at Tintinnabuli: An introduction to aesthetics and compositional technique.” The seminars take place at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. You can register for the seminar on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.

Find out more about Arvo Pärt on our Blog titled Arvo Pärt in his 80th year.

Leopold Brauneiss


Arvo Pärt on Hyperion

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 September 2014

Arvo Pärt’s music is simple in its means, and powerful in its effect. It has its own very distinctive personality, one that could hardly belong to any other living composer. He is as close to being a ‘household name’ as any classical composer in this lower-brow century can hope to be. (Meurig Bowen)

Today, 29 September, Hyperion Records releases a new CD with the choral music by Arvo Pärt performed by Polyphony (cond. Stephen Layton).

Listen to excerpts of the 12 works and read texts and liner notes (which are available in three languages) on Hyperion. A download of Peace upon you, Jerusalem for female choir a cappella is available for free.

Arvo Pärt: Polyphony (c) Hyperion Records


20 Years in Style – the Prague Philharmonia

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 September 2014

Kate Royal (c) Esther Haase/EMI ClassicsCelebrating their 20th anniversary, soprano Kate Royal and the Prague Philharmonia will perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 together with Joaquín Rodrigo’s Cuatro madrigales amatorios and Maurice Ravel’s Bolero on 28 September at the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum.

Find out more about the Prague PHilharmonia’s “20 Years in Style” festivities the Prague Daily Monitor.

The concert will be broadcast live on ČT Art.

Dulwich Piano Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 September 2014

Dulwich Piano Festival

Dulwich Piano Festival Trophy (c) Lou SmithOnline entries have opened for the Dulwich Piano Festival, which will take place on 7 June 2015 at the James Allen’s Girls’ School. Based in South London, the Dulwich Piano Festival is in its fourth year and has around 130 competitors of all ages taking part.

View the Dulwich Piano Festival’s Syllabus online.

To pay homage to Arvo Pärt, Für Anna Maria has been chosen for the Set Pieces class for an Open Class, which will be adjudicated by pianist Frances Wilson.

Find the Dulwich Piano Festival on Facebook.

Dada Masilo’s Carmen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 September 2014

I began with the idea of unravelling Carmen the woman… to find the vulnerability beneath the cold, heartless exterior. In the process of research, there was so much to unravel: I searched for Bizet and found Shchedrin. (Dada Masilo)

After her successful tour with Swan Lake (which featured Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel), Dada Masilo returned to the stage earlier this month with her ballet Carmen. Again the music of Arvo Pärt will be present in her ballet, this time she choreographed Lamentate for piano and orchestra.

A live stream of the performance on 28 September at the Biennale de la danse will be available on ARTE at 20:00. Watch the live stream.

The composer on Lamentate:

With respect to its form, however, the composition cannot really be described as a typical piano concerto. I chose the piano to be the solo instrument because it fixes our attention on something that is ‘one’. This ‘one’ could be a person, or perhaps a first-person narrative. Just as the sculpture leaves the viewer with a light and floating impression in spite of its overwhelming size, the piano, as a large instrument, allowed me to create a sphere of intimacy and warmth that no longer seems anonymous or abstract.

Read more.

Watch a trailer of Carmen:

Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 by Camerata RCO, ensemble mini and Kammermahler

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 September 2014

Camerata RCO, Gutman RecordsFollowing the rave reviews for Pierre Audi’s scenic world première of Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder, we have more great news from Amsterdam: after a successful crowdfunding campaign on voordekunst, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in the arrangement for chamber ensemble by Klaus Simon was released today by Camerata RCO on Gutman Records. Congratulations!

Conductor Gustavo Gimeno and the ensemble earned high praise from arranger Klaus Simon, who writes in the booklet of the recording that “the result is truly breathtaking. Thank you all so much for this amazing work!”

Find out more on the website of the Camerata RCO.

ensemble mini, Ars ProduktionHowever, Camerata RCO is not the only ensemble who has recently recorded Simon’s arrangement: earlier this month, ensemble mini and Joolz Gale released their own much anticipated rendition of Mahler’s Ninth on Ars Produktion. The Berliner Zeitung wrote about the ensemble:

“ensemble mini has often enchanted its audience by performances of historical adaptations of Mahler’s music... This is where mini-Mahler, thanks to the superhumanly beautiful and concentrated play of its protagonists, makes the impossible indeed possible: to transfer Gustav Mahler’s symphonic cosmos to the world of chamber music whilst still leaving the tonal reproduction of its universe.”

Watch a trailer for ensemble mini’s Symphony No. 9 on YouTube.

We’d also like to mention a third recording of the Ninth, which was released by Caleb Young and Kammermahler earlier this year: find out more on Kammermahler, who are also responsible for the USA première performance of Simon’s arrangement, which was held at the Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana on May 11th, 2014.

ARD and ARTE visit UE

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 September 2014

Wolfgang Schaufler at Universal Edition

World War I and its impact on the world of music are the subjects of an upcoming TV documentary that will be seen in two years on ARD and ARTE. Last week a film crew visited us on the premises of Universal Edition for the documentary, promotion manager Wolfgang Schaufler was interviewed on how the war affected UE composer Alban Berg and his opera Wozzeck.

Steve Reich receives the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 September 2014

On Sunday, 21 September, Steve Reich was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 58th International Festival of Contemporary Music of the Biennale di Venezia.

From the website of the Biennale Musica 2014:

Steve Reich (c) La Biennale di Venezia“Steve Reich is the charismatic exponent of a new and original way of understanding music that has been embraced enthusiastically by a vast audience and has had a powerful influence on younger generations in America and abroad. His language, vibrating with a rhythmic pulsation that carries a powerful emotional impact, has been enriched over time, thanks to his refined and cultured experimentation, by experiences borrowed from various musical traditions that have inspired compositions now considered as contemporary ‘classics’.”

Previous UE composers who have received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement include Luciano Berio (1995), Friedrich Cerha (2006), György Kurtág (2009), Wolfgang Rihm (2010) and – most recently – Pierre Boulez (2012).

“Mahler 9 – reduced yet memorably rendered”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 September 2014

Argento Chamber Ensemble (c) Sabrina Weisz

“But there is a concomitant gain in the clarity of the line, and the Symphony No. 9 is an endless line. Galante formed and followed it with exceptional shape and focus.”(George Grella, New York Classical Review, 16.09.2014)

With the New York Times calling it a “wonderfully committed and beautifully executed performance”, Michel Galante’s rendering of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 last Monday was a clear success. The Argento Chamber Ensemble and the JACK Quartet built an ambitious program around the symphony, which was performed in Klaus Simon’s arrangement for ensemble.

Furthermore, we’d like to draw your attention to two (!) recent recordings of Simon’s arrangement, one by Ensemble Mini (cond. Joolz Gale) and the other by Camerata RCO (cond. Gustavo Gimeno), but more on that soon.

View the full score of the Symphony No. 9 for ensemble.

UE Newsletter mid-September 2014

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 September 2014

UE NewsletterWe just sent out our latest newsletter, covering the following topics:

Arvo Pärt in his 80th year

Scenic world première of Gurre-Lieder in Amsterdam

Foerster’s opera Eva rediscovered

Rihm’s Sextett premièred in Amsterdam

Klaus Simon’s arrangement of Berg’s 4 Pieces for clarinet and ensemble in Rovaniemi

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