Universal Edition - Blog

Viva la Mamma in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 Januar 2015

Viva La Mamma (c) Volksoper Wien

Rolando Villazón’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma premières tonight at the Volksoper Wien. For this occasion, Daniel Ender has recently interviewed conductor Kristiina Poska. Find the interview on the website of the Austrian newspaper

Pierre Boulez, The Cleveland Orchestra: 90th Birthday Salute

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 Januar 2015

Pierre Boulez, The Cleveland Orchestra: 90th Birthday Salute

Tonight, on 15 January, the Cleveland Orchestra presents a special musical celebration to salute Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday, featuring his own music and works he has led to acclaim in performances with the orchestra.

Joela Jones’ performance of 12 Notations will be followed by Notations I-IV and VII. Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland Orchestra.

Watch the Cleveland Orchestra’s 90th birthday celebration concert preview on YouTube:

Get the score of 12 Notations

Forsythe’s workwithinwork with Berio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Januar 2015

On 17 January the Ballett Zürich’s triple bill Strings with works of William Forsythe, Christian Spuck and Edward Clug will premiere. Among the works performed: William Forsythe’s workwithinwork, which uses 26 of Luciano Berio’s 34 Duetti.

Watch an excerpt of workwithinwork, performed by the Compañía Nacional de Danza:

Braunfels’ Te Deum in Prague

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Januar 2015

The New Year has started with three sold-out and highly acclaimed performances of Walter Braunfels’ Te Deum on 7, 8 and 9 January.

The work was performed by soprano Simona Šaturová, tenor Dominik Wortig, the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Czech Philharmonic (cond. Manfred Honeck) at the Rudolfinum in Prague. It was the first time that the Czech Philharmonic played a work by Braunfels.

Work details

Czech Philharmonic


Morton Feldman in Darmstadt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 Januar 2015

Today Morton Feldman would have celebrated his 89th birthday.

As a small gift from our archives, here is an excerpt from his Darmstadt Lecture, which he held on 24 July 1986 at the 33rd International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt:

Nous sommes Charlie

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Januar 2015

Yes Speak Out Yes

Taken from Yes Speak Out Yes (UNO-Cantata) by Spanish composer Cristóbal Halffter and American poet Norman Corwin, which was premièred at the 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1968.

4th year running: Arvo Pärt is the world’s most performed living composer

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Januar 2015

Arvo Pärt with Dennis Russell Davies at the rehearsals for Symphony No. 4 ‘Los Angeles’ (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Placing 38th in the overall most performed composers’ ranking of 2014, Arvo Pärt is the world’s most performed living composer for the fourth time in a row.

Find the 2014 Classical music statistics on bachtrack.

There’s also an infographic of 2014 available.

The Guardian reviews Stockhausen’s early works for percussion

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Januar 2015

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Works for Percussion

“fascinating percussion works, meticulously performed” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 7.1.2015)

Andrew Clements of The Guardian has reviewed Mode Records recently released “Karlheinz Stockhausen: Complete Early Works for Percussion”, which includes the UE works Mikrophonie, Zyklus, Refrain and Schlagtrio.

Find the full review on The Guardian.


Capuçon and Rihm rehearse Gedicht des Malers

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Januar 2015

Renaud Capuçon, Wolfgang Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang Schaufler

Renaud Capuçon with Wolfgang Rihm rehearsing for the world première of Rihm’s Gedicht des Malers, which will premièred by Capuçon, Philippe Jordan and the Wiener Symphoniker this Friday, 9 January, at the Wiener Konzerthaus. A second performance of the orchestral work will take place on Saturday, 10 January.

The composer said that he imagined Max Beckmann portraying Eugène Ysaÿe when he composed the work (Beckmann had portrayed Max Reger one year after the composer’s death).

The soloist virtually embodies the painter’s brush as it moves across the canvas in sometimes faster and sometimes more deliberate ways.

Marital hell – Tim Ashley's opera guide

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Januar 2015

Bluebeard’s Castle; wood engraving by Gustave Doré, public domain

Alban Berg: Wozzeck (c) Universal EditionAll five operas, significantly perhaps, were first performed within a relatively short period – 1887 to 1925 – when the nature of marriage as an institution was under scrutiny right across the arts: think of the plays of Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov and Shaw, and the fiction of Henry James, Proust and DH Lawrence. (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 6.1.2015)

In his final opera guide, Tim Ashley of The Guardian picked five operas that explore marital hell. Three of these picks are UE works: Leoš Janáček’s Katya Kabanova, Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck.

Read the full article on The Guardian.

From our archives: Universal Edition 10 years ago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 Januar 2015

Dear reader, dear Mozart-programmer,

we would like to thank you for the numerous positive reactions to our Newsletter's new format. They confirm our belief that there is a need for concise and clearly structured information on the music, composers and activities of UE.

It may surprise some to find themselves reading about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the editorial of this second volume. But Mozart's 250th anniversary in 2006 is of twofold importance to UE: firstly due to the results of the latest research on Mozart interpretation (Wiener Urtext Edition), and secondly thanks to all the new, exciting and highly individual ways in which our composers continue to deal with the phenomenon of Mozart. You can read more about Mozart - viewed and heard anew on page 18 -19.

The editors

Find our newsletter from 2004/2005 online and read the aforementioned feature on Mozart on pages 16 and 17 – yes, as the attentive reader might have noticed, we had the page numbers wrong.

Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten in Lyon

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 Januar 2015

The Opera de Lyon will host a new production Franz Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten [The Stigmatized] under the direction of David Bösch on 13 March. Further performances take place on 17, 20, 22, 26 and 28 March.

View their teaser online:

The impact of Spiegel im Spiegel

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 Januar 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 Dezember 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 Dezember 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: