Universal Edition - Blog

50 years of Passaggio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 May 2013

Luciano Berio, Stockhausen, Berberian, Nono, 1956 (c) Otto TomekLuciano Berio’s Passaggio (for soprano, two choirs and instruments) was performed for the first time fifty years ago, on 6 May 1963 at the Piccola Scala in Mailand. The concert caused a scandal when it premièred: “I knew the audience would lose their heads so I briefed the choir accordingly. I told the choir that they should join in as soon as the audience starts shouting, echo the last word and improvise on it. And that’s exactly what happened. Some people shouted ‘Buffoni’. The choir echoed the word immediately, sped it up, whispered it, lengthened the ‘o’ and turned the improvisation into part of the performance. The audience became completely hysterical because they had lost their chance to protest.”

(Luciano Berio)

View the full score of Passaggio:

Lothar Zagrosek and Talia Pecker Berio in Porto

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 May 2013

Zagrosek, Berio (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang SchauflerConductor Lothar Zagrosek and Talia Pecker Berio after a stunning performance of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia on 26 April at the Casa da Música in Porto.

harmonia mundi: CD reviews for Rihm's Symphonie “Nähe fern”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 May 2013

Symphonie Nähe fern - harmonia mundiThe first reviews for James Gaffigan’s recording of Wolfgang Rihm’s Symphonie “Nähe fern” with the Lucerne SO and Hans Christoph Begemann, bass, are out:

The subtitle, Nähe Fern (“distant closeness”), exactly describes the feel of the orchestral movements, which never quote directly from the Brahms symphonies but seem constantly haunted by them – in their harmonic tints and textures, and in the melodic shapes that wander elusively through them. (Andrew Clements, The Guardian)
This is an excerpt, read the full review on The Guardian.

It's a strange, but not unsatisfying work: in the second piece, the furtive manner suggests an animal tentatively considering a new beast in its habitat, while the final piece involves a more deliberate distancing, by having the trumpets departing to play the closing section offstage. (Andy Gill, The Independent)
This is an excerpt, read the full review on The Independent.

Fleming sings Wellesz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 May 2013

Renée Fleming (c) Javier del RealOn the last night of Renée Fleming’s Perspectives series, Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet will perform Egon Wellesz’ “Mir scheint, das Angesicht der Welt verging”, No.5 from Sonette der Elisabeth Barrett-Browning, Op. 52.

Other highlights of the Perspectives finale, which is entitled “Vienna: Windows to Modernity“, are Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht and his Cabaret Songs.

Egon Wellesz: “Mir scheint, das Angesicht der Welt verging”
for soprano and string quartet
4/5/2013, Carnegie Hall, New York;
Renée Fleming, s; Emerson String Quartet

Tom Service on Alfred Schnittke

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 April 2013

Tom Service, Guardian

“What constitutes musical truth? Is there really such a thing as musical authenticity (by which I don't mean using period instruments, or playing without vibrato) in the sense of giving voice to an absolute sincerity of emotional or expressive utterance? […] The huge output of Russian composer Alfred Schnittke raises these sorts of questions – and some even more profound ones about musical meaning and historical signification.”

Tom Service writes about the music of Alfred Schnittke.

Read the full article.

UE on the Radio: composer portrait: Georg Friedrich Haas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 April 2013

Radio Newsletter 2013-05

We just sent out our radio newsletter 05/2013, featuring a broadcast of Ligeti’s Apparitions from 26 April, a special on Luciano Berio, the world première of Georg Friedich Haas’ Introduktion und Transsonation and a composer portrait of Georg Friedrich Haas.

Find more radio broadcasts.

World première of Saxordionphonics in Witten

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 April 2013

The world première of Saxordionphonics for saxophone, accordion and chamber orchestra takes place today in Witten.

Vykintas Baltakas on this work:

Vykintas Baltakas (c) Marion KalterSaxordionphonics is founded on two structural principles. The first is a strictly rhythmical construct of two to three permuting notes which paces through the entire piece, forming a structural basis, with temporal distensions and condensations, dynamic and colorific variations. The other is a freer level which reacts musically to the first. It is especially scored for solo instruments; it is here where the musical development takes place, the relationship between the levels playing a dramaturgical part. They influence each other, the stronger one transforming the weaker one, when they are not actually rivalling.

For me, it was as if I were observing a shadow-play in space; depending on the time of day, the direction and strength of the light, perception of the space changes, as if the walls and the strict architectonic structure were mobile.

Vykintas Baltakas: Saxordionphonics (2013)
for saxophon, accordion and chamber orchestra | 15’
2 2 3 2 – 2 1 1 0 – perc, str
world prem. 28/4/2013, Witten; Marcus Weiss, sax; Teodoro Anzellotti, acc
WDR SO Köln, cond. Emilio Pomàrico

In tempore belli

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 April 2013

Today, the Spanish première of Cristóbal Halffter’s In tempore belli, Schachnovelle's interlude, takes place at the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Here is an interview with Cristóbal Halffter on his upcoming opera Schachnovelle:

In tempore belli (2012)
for orchestra
Spanish première, 26/4/2013, Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, cond. Georg Fritzsch

Happy Birthday Luke Bedford

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 April 2013

Luke Bedford (c) Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Manu Theobald Happy Birthday Luke Bedford!

Tonsättarweekend with Victoria Borisova-Ollas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 April 2013

Victoria Borisova-Ollas (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Standke

Some visual impressions from the very successful “Tonsättarweekend” at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, where Victoria Borisova-Ollas was honoured with a composer portrait from 18 – 21 April.

Tonsättarweekend with Victoria Borisova-Ollas in Stockholm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 April 2013

Victoria Borisova-Ollas, StockholmWe just caught sight of this poster in Stockholm. The first day of the Tonsättarweekend with Victoria Borisova-Ollas at the Konserthuset went well, tomorrow the composer portrait continues with performances of Angelus, Open Ground and Wunderbare Leiden. 

View the full programme of the portrait.

Neither in Bern

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 April 2013

Today the Swiss première of Morton Feldman’s only opera (or anti-opera) Neither takes place at the Stadttheater Bern. Stefan Schreiber conducts the Berner Symphony Orchestra with soprano Hélène Fauchère.

You can listen to an audio excerpt of the piece or read a work introduction by former interpreter Emilio Pomárico on our dedicated page. There’s also a fascinating article regarding the ‘co-elaboration’ between Feldman and Beckett available at The Modern Word which you shouldn’t miss out on.

Morton Feldman - Neither, Piano Vocal Score, (c) Universal Edition

Opera in 1 act | 55’
3 3 3 4 - 3 3 3 1 - perc(4), hp(2), pno, str
Swiss première, 19/4/2013, Stadttheater Bern; Hélène Fauchère, s; Berner SO, cond. Stefan Schreiber

Haas, Baltakas, Sotelo, Bedford

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 April 2013

Like a Tragicomedy in Madrid

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 April 2013

Nicholas Collon with Gertraud and Friedrich Cerha after the performance of Like a Tragicomedy at the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid on 7 April. As you can see, they were very happy with the performance.

Gertraud and Friedrich Cerha, Nicholas Collon (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang Schaufler

You can read about – and listen to an excerpt of – Like a Tragicomedy on our homepage.

UE at the Frankfurt Music Fair

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 April 2013

Greetings from the Frankfurt Music Fair. Come and see us in hall 3.1 C42.

Musikmesse Universal Edition