Universal Edition - Blog

Jakob Lenz in Amsterdam

Posted on 29 February 2012

Jakob LenzDutch Radio’s ZaterdagMatinee continues its series of Wolfgang Rihm concerts this Saturday with a concert performance of the 1979 opera Jakob Lenz.

Emilio Pomàrico conducts musikFabrik. Thomas Möwes, Johannes Schmidt and Daniel Kirch sing the lead roles.

Listen live on Dutch Radio 4.

The picture left shows our promotion leaflet from 1979, with Richard Salter in the lead role at the world première in Hamburg.

Staud at the Biennale Musiques en Scène in Lyon

Posted on 29 February 2012

Johannes Maria Staud

At the 2012 Musiques Biennale en Scène in Lyon, Johannes Maria Staud’s work for string quartet and orchestra, Über trügerische Stadtpläne und die Versuchungen der Winternächte (Dichotomie II), is given its French première.

Pascal Rophé conducts the Arditti Quartet and the Orchestre National de Lyon (1 March).

Berio’s Accordo in Reykjavik

Posted on 28 February 2012

Luciano Berio

Conductor Ilan Volkov’s new music festival Tectonics takes place in Reykjavik this weekend.

On the programme is a rare opportunity to hear Luciano Berio’s Accordo, a monumental work for four wind bands.

It looks like just about every young musician in Reykjavik will be taking part.

For the Italian speakers among you, here is Berio’s original programme note.

per quattro gruppi di bande (1980-1981)

Accordo, per quattro gruppi di bande con un numero illimitato di suonatori, non è forse un pezzo da suonare in concerto. È però tante cose diverse: è un incontro, una struttura di gesti, un accordo che prolifera e genera situazioni sempre diverse; è la combinazione e la messa in prospettiva, mobile, di elementi musicali estremamente semplici e familiari; è un piccolo tributo a un grande desiderio di pace nel mondo; è una parafrasi; è un Festival dell’Unità; è una trasformazione acustica; è una melodia; è un omaggio ai suonatori delle bande, che trovandosi assieme la sera dimenticano la stanchezza di una lunga giornata di lavoro. Accordo è anche un’opera sperimentale nella quale cerco di mediare contraddizioni tra dimensioni musicali apparentemente inconciliabili; è una trasfigurazione, dunque.

Accordo è forse difficile da organizzare ma facile da suonare; è fatto di discorsi semplici e concreti per interlocutori ideali che vorrebbero abbracciare il mondo; ha una speranza, dunque ...

L. B.

Happy Birthday Roman Haubenstock-Ramati

Posted on 27 February 2012

Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (c) Charlotte Till-Borchardt

Happy Birthday Roman Haubenstock-Ramati! (27.02.1919—03.03.1994)

Here’s one of his famous graphical scores, Multiple 1 for 2 players:

Click image for full resolution

Photo © Charlotte Till-Borchardt

Our recent blog posts in glorious technicolor

Posted on 24 February 2012

Blog wordle

Our latest blog posts, jumbled up and in glorious colour, courtesy of Wordle. Give it a try.

Wonderful Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale Reviews

Posted on 22 February 2012

Wonderful Two-Headed NightingaleThe first reviews of the Scottish Ensemble’s world première of Luke Bedford’s Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale are in.

Kate Molleson in The Guardian calls it a “bold, dense and arresting blast of a composition – a work that forcefully reiterates Bedford’s voice and brilliantly showcased its fine set of players.” ****

Juliet Williams at Classical Iconoclast writes, “The soloists seem at times to be ‘joined at the hip’ but at other times to be locked in a power struggle.”

Kelly Apter in The Scotsman explains, that “offering no comfort, it made me sit up in my chair and listen, as Morton and guest violist Lawrence Power battled with each other, then came together in harmony, just as the conjoined twins who inspired the piece must have done.” ****

Alan Coady of writes “The dramatic tension in this piece derives from two solo lines which follow equal mindsets: striving to break free from the other; reunited and more happily resigned to the status of being a twin.” ****

And some goosebumps:


BBC Radio 3Tomorrow’s performance at the City Halls in Glasgow
is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Rules are rules

Posted on 22 February 2012

From the UE archives:


This looks like a fine concert programme from 1930, conducted by Paul von Klenau with works by Paumgartner, Wellesz, Toch, Hauer, Schmidt and Kienzl.

But what struck our eye was the notice on the right hand border of the programme:

“By official decree ladies are ordered to remove their hats!”

(Über behördliche Anordnung sind die Damen verhalten, die Hüte abzunehmen!)

Rules are rules!

Gawain’s Journey to Munich

Posted on 17 February 2012

Stefan Asbury

Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawains Journey is performed by the RSO Munich tonight, conducted by Stefan Asbury. The concert also includes a new work by Enno Poppe and Charles Ives’ Robert Browning Overture.

Gerald Larner wrote in The Guardian that Gawain’s Journey is “a dramatic concert piece and a bruising but exhilarating experience for the audience.”

Happy Birthday Friedrich Cerha

Posted on 17 February 2012

Friedrich Cerha (c) Eric Marinitsch

Happy Birthday Friedrich Cerha!

(Another anniversary for the 17th February is the world première of Mahler’s Das klagende Lied, which took place in 1901)

Vexations in Vienna

Posted on 15 February 2012

Klangforum Wien (Photo: Lukas Beck)

We’re off to the Konzerthaus in Vienna tonight for the latest concert in Klangforum Wien’s IKONEN series.

Under the title Vexations, Klangforum presents a rich programme of UE works:

Pierre Boulez: Mémoriale | ( ... explosante-fixe ... Originel)
Morton Feldman: Instruments 2
Beat Furrer: Time out 1 and 2
Friedrich Cerha: Bruchstück, geträumt

as well as Olga Neuwirth’s ... miramondo multiplo ...

Jean Deroyer conducts, Eva Furrer and Anders Nyqvist are the soloists.

Arvo Pärt: Summa for Guitar Quartet

Posted on 13 February 2012

Watch on YouTube


Buy the CD of this beautiful arrangement here.

Buy the sheet music here.

Visit the Dublin Guitar Quartet website.

Staud live in Munich

Posted on 10 February 2012

Mariss Jansons (photo: BR-Klassik)

Listen live to Johannes Maria Staud’s new work for orchestra tonight on Radio BR Klassik (8pm Berlin time).

Mariss Jansons conducts Maniai with the RSO Munich at the Herkulessaal in Munich, where the world première was given yesterday.

Happy Birthday Alban Berg

Posted on 09 February 2012

Alban Berg

Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 127 years ago today.

On this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was premièred in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.

In 1949, the orchestral suite of Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod was premièred in Baden Baden by the Radio Orchestra.

20 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexiko was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted. Here’s a German introduction on the Deutschlandfunk radio website.

And on the same day in 1992, Arvo Pärt’s And One of the Pharisees ... was given its world première by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices.

An Austrian evening – in two very different styles

Posted on 03 February 2012

Georg Friedrich Haas

If you are in Boston tonight, go and see Sound Icon perform Georg Friedrich Haas’ ethereal 70-minute in vain at the Institute of Contemporary Art (audio sample on this page).

Friedrich Cerha

If you are not in Boston tonight, listen live on BBC Radio 3 (7:30pm London time) to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra performing Friedrich Cerha’s Wiener Kaleidoskop – a romp around Vienna’s musical traditions (audio sample on this page).

For those looking for something else for a Friday evening, there’s Rihm in Saarbrücken (COLL’ARCO), Weill in Graz (Threepenny Opera), Janacek in Munich (Glagolitic Mass) and Reims (Jenufa), Schreker in Cologne (Chamber Symphony), Borisova-Ollas in Gothenburg (The Kingdom of Silence), Mahler in Bangkok (Symphony No. 9), Birtwistle in London (Linoi), Zemlinsky in Valencia (Lyric Symphony), Kodály in Arnhem (Dances of Galanta), Oldfield in Neuenkirchen (Tubular Bells), Bartók in Athens (Miraculous Mandarin), Berio in Düsseldorf (Rendering)

See the full list of today’s performances here

The Mahler Project at the LA Phil

Posted on 02 February 2012

Gustavo DudamelGustavo Dudamel’s remarkable Mahler series is fully underway in Los Angeles.

Tonight he conducts Symphony No. 9, and this Saturday Symphony No. 8 is on the programme, complete with the LA Phil, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and 16 LA based choirs.

Read more on the LA Phil website and watch our video interview with Gustavo Dudamel below, where he talks about the music of Gustav Mahler.

Watch on YouTube