Universal Edition - Blog

Baltakas: Rehearsals for Cantio in Berlin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2012

Cantio (c) Vykintas Baltakas

Vykintas Baltakas is right in the middle of the rehearsals for the January performances of Cantio in Berlin, and he let us know how he feels about them:

I’ve just returned from the rehearsals of the new production of my music theatre Cantio. The rehearsals are going great, the team is very professional and will be working on a daily basis in the following month. The new Berlin production of Cantio is not a simple repetition of the initial piece. The main text and the musical score are fixed, but there is an additional open layer, which can be interpreted in many different ways for instance by an actor or in combination with other media such as dance, film, sounds, etc. In this way each new production is given enough space for creativity and experiments. Sharon Joyce’s original text was translated by Erika Ria Otto, which is why the narrator will now be speaking in German, thus giving the work a new perspective. As you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to the premiere.

Vykintas Baltakas

Find out more about Cantio on the composer's homepage.

Texts on Cantio.

for narrator, soprano, tenor, bassbaritone, ensemble and electronics
world première of the new version, 17|19|20/1/2013, Berlin
Margret Giglinger, s; Florian Feth, t; Tobias Hagge, b; Lithuanian Ensemble Network

David Fennessy in an interview with the London Sinfonietta

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2012

David Fennessy (c) Eric Marinitsch, Universal EditionThe London Sinfonietta has asked David Fennessy 5 questions – in their blog, the Irish composer talks about sources of inspiration, his favourite projects and his musical background. Find the full interview on the London Sinfonietta’s Blog.

Fennessy's latest piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun) for 4 samplers and electric guitar premieres on 12 December at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam.

Arvo Pärt receives honorary doctor

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 November 2012

Arvo Pärt (c) Eric Marinitsch, Universal Edition

Arvo Pärt is awarded the honorary doctor of the Faculty of Theology in Lugano, the celebrations take place on Saturday, 1 December. Congratulations!

Find the full programme online.

Happy Birthday Hans Zender

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 November 2012

A Link to a guide to Morton Feldman's music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2012

Tom Service BlogSomething strange starts to happen when you listen to American composer Morton Feldman's long, long – and I mean long – late chamber pieces. I'm talking about the 80-minute Piano and String Quartet, the four and a half hours of For Philip Guston (which you can hear live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival on 21 November 2012) or the biggest of them all, the five-hour Second String Quartet.

This is how Tom Service starts his latest blog entry, in which he writes about Morton Feldman, providing a nice introduction to the composer, his music and his contemporaries. The full article is available on The Guardian.

Vykintas Baltakas' Pasaka at Instants Chavirés

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 November 2012

(c) Céline LoryVykintas Baltakas' Pasaka will be performed on 15 November 2012 in Montreuil at the Instants Chavirés by Brussels-based musician Stephane Ginsburgh. The composer has described the text of the piece, which was written between 1995 and 1997 and has been described by critics as “obsessive and astonishing”, as being “based on different parts of Indian mythology - creation of the world, creation of the night, born of the death, Markandea's visions, etc. But the relationship beetween them, succession, presence of the speaker, evolution in the music create a new dramaturgic level - which is not less important as the basic story.”

for piano and tape | 8‘
15/11/2012, Montreuil; Stephane Ginsburgh, pno

György Kurtág receives prize for composition

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 November 2012

(c) Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest, Judit KurtágGyörgy Kurtág won this year's prize for composition of the Finnish Wihuri Foundation. Congratulations!

Georges Lentz: New Release

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 November 2012

Lentz timpaniGeorges Lentz' pieces Guyuhmgan, Monh and Ngangkar have been released on a new CD on Timpani, Emilio Pomarico conducts the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and Tabea Zimmermann.

 The critic Omer Corlaix wrote an enthusiastic review: „Je n’ai qu’un mot, sublime! Emilio Pomarico et l’Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg sont parfaits. La qualité d’enregistrement est à la hauteur du projet.“

Listen to his conversation with Emilie Munera on france musique.

World première of Yukiko Watanabe's ver_flies_sen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 November 2012

Yukiko WatanabeIn 2011 Yukiko Watanabe won the Ö1-Talentebörse-Kompositionspreis, a cooperation of ORF/Ö1 Talentebörse, Oesterreichische Natöionalbank and Universal Edition. We are happy to announce that the world première of her piece ver_flies_sen will take place here in Vienna on 10 November at the Radiokulturhaus.

The young artist describes the music of the piece as being “in constant motion, sometimes losing its shape inscrutably, like tiles in the water or vague old memories as one looks back on them.”

On 10 November at 19:30 the concert will be streamed live from the RadioKulturhaus.

for violin, violoncello and piano | 15’
10/11/2012, Vienna; David Frühwirth, vln; Friedrich Kleinhapl, vc; Anika Vavic, pno

UE on the Radio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 November 2012

The Austrian radio station Ö1 will stream various concerts of Wien Modern (live broadcasts as well as recordings), including the world premières of Friedrich Cerha's two new pieces for organ.

Listen to the live streams of the following concerts on Ö1:

György Ligeti: Atmosphères
live broadcast
5/11/2012, 19:30; ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, cond. Susanna Mälkki 

Jay Schwartz: Music for Orchestra II
recorded on 28 Oct, Wien Modern
6/11/2012, 23:03; Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, c. Bradley Lubman

Georg Friedrich Haas: 2. Streichquartett
recorded on 2 Nov, Wien Modern
12/11/2012, 23:03; Arditti Quartet

Beat Furrer: Aer
recorded on 3 Nov, Wien Modern
13/11/2012, 23:03; Klangforum Wien

Pierre Boulez: Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna
live broadcast
16/11/2012, 19:30; ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, cond. Cornelius Meister

Friedrich Cerha: 9 Präludien
Friedrich Cerha: 9 Inventionen

recorded on 3 Nov, Wien Modern
20/11/2012, 23:03; Martin Haselböck, org

All times are Central European Time!

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World première of Schönberg's Chamber Symphony op. 9 for orchestra

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 October 2012 (comments: 2)

Composed in 1906, the Chamber Symphony op. 9 for 15 solo instruments represents a point of culmination in Arnold Schönberg’s artistic development. The reasons that motivated Schönberg as early as 1914 to arrange this Chamber Symphony for orchestra were not only related to practical performance aspects, however (enabling performance at larger concert halls), but were also connected to the fundamental problem that originated quasi-intrinsically from its hybrid position between orchestral and chamber music. The orchestral version from 1914 was never published and is now available for the first time as completely new orchestral material. A later orchestral version, which is further from the original, was produced by Schönberg when he was already in American exile.

The world première of the Chamber Symphony op. 9 for orchestra will take place on 1 November 2012, followed by performances on the 2 and 3. Philippe Jordan conducts the Münchner Philharmoniker.

Chamber Symphony No. 1, op. 9
for orchestra | 22’
prem. 01/11/2012, Munich; Münchner Philharmoniker, cond. Philippe Jordan

The Robert Schumann Prize goes to Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 October 2012

Pierre Boulez, Venice, (c) Eric Marinitsch

Boulez will receive the award on 1 December in Mainz, Germany. Congratulations!

Szymanowski: 6 Songs of the Fairy Princess

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2012

(c) Heikki Tuuli and OctaviaBased on a series of poems by his sister Zofia, Karol Szymanowski composed the colourful and glittering 6 Songs of the Fairy Princess in 1915. The princess of the six songs remains mysteriously undefined; Love is her only, recurrent theme.

By withdrawing into internal phantasy during a time of war, Szymanowski found an opportunity to retreat into a dream-world, and composing songs remained an important part of his lifelong work; in 1933 he arranged three of the six princess songs for voice and orchestra. However, it took nearly 80 years until the Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo arranged the other three songs, so that now, for the first time, all of the Songs of the Fairy Princess Songs for voice and orchestra can be heard.

Sakari Oramo conducted the first complete performance of the six songs in April 2012; from 31 October until 1 November they will be performed at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt am Main by Anu Komsi and the hr-sinfonieorchester under Sakari Oramo.


6 Songs of the Fairy Princess
for high voice and orchestra | 15’
31/10/2012 – 1/11/2012, Frankfurt am Main; Anu Komsi, s; hr-sinfonieorchester, cond. Sakari Oramo

Tom Service on Steve Reich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 October 2012

Tom Service BlogTom Service posted another interesting and informative guide on his blog, this time it’s about Steve Reich and his music. We highly recommend it, you can read the full article on The Guardian.

New ECM release of Adam's Lament

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2012

ECM - Arvo Pärt - Adam's LamentArvo Pärt’s vocal works have always been based on their text, especially since the Credo from 1968. Broken down into its separate parts, dissected and carefully transferred to the music, the text is both the source – the germ from which the work’s entire structure unfolds – and also the goal. ECM has included predominantly more recent or recently reworked compositions by Arvo Pärt on this CD. The title composition Adam’s Lament is one of his major works. The words of the monk Silouan with the key message of love and humility occupy great strength of poetic expression for the composer.