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Ingo Metzmacher on Franz Schreker

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 September 2013

Speaking of Franz Schreker: here is an interview we did with Ingo Metzmacher in March 2011, in which the conductor talks about the music of (and the renewed interest in) Franz Schreker.

The interview is in German, but an English translation of the transcript is available here.

“Play more Schreker in Vienna”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 September 2013

Franz Schreker, Der Schatzgräber (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Laila StandkeHere are some visual impressions from the performance of the reduced version of Franz Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber [The Treasure Hunter] on 17 September at the Tabakfabrik in Linz.

Reviews of the long-lost opera were consistently positive, especially regarding the Israel Chamber Orchestra and Alexander Kaimbacher’s performance of the fool. In a previous post, we have already written about Der Standard’s plea to “play more Schreker in Vienna”.

View the score of the reduced version.

Sawer’s Flesh and Blood “reminiscent of Britten at his most inspired”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 September 2013

Flesh and Blood, world prem. (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Laila Standke

Paul Conway reviewed this spring’s world première of David Sawer’s Flesh and Blood in the latest issue of the Tempo journal. Ilan Volkov conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with mezzo-soprano Christina Rica and baritone Marcus Farnsworth.

Sawer’s vocal writing was assured and character-driven […] It is a measure of his achievement that the eloquent and vivid treatment of certain key words such as ‘clung’ and ‘fret’ were reminiscent of Britten at his most inspired. […] Flesh and Blood was a darkly dramatic work in which David Sawer impressed by his innate sense of drama and his refreshingly unhackneyed approach to instrumentation. I hope this passionate and directly communicative score will soon be set down in a recording studio so that its many felicities may be more readily appreciated on CD.

Tempo, vol. 67/265, July 2013, Paul Conway

View the full vocal score of Flesh and Blood.

The Wooden Prince in Berlin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 September 2013

Alan Gilbert’s performance of Witold Lutosławski’s Symphony No. 4, Leoš Janáček’s Putování dušičky and Béla Bartók’s Der holzgeschnitzte Prinz [The Wooden Prince] with Thomas Zehetmair and the Berlin Philharmonic was impressive. The concert took place on 13 September at the Berliner Philharmonie, here is a snapshot from the evening:

Gilbert, Berlin (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Laila Standke

Reviews of The Treasure Hunter

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 September 2013

Universal Edition, Der SchatzgräberStefan Ender of the Austrian newspaper Der Standard reviews Entarteopera’s production of Franz Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber [The Treasure Hunter] at the Tabakfabrik in Linz: find the (German) review on Der Standard. Ender’s final appeal: “play more Schreker in Vienna”.

The Wiener Zeitung states that the Der Schatzgräber is the “most fascinating opera production of the city”, praising the effectiveness of Werner Steinmetz’ reduced arrangement.

Franz Schreker: Der Schatzgräber
opera in 1 prelude, 4 acts and an epilogue | 145'
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, cel, harm, pno, vln, vln, vln, vln, vla(2), vc(3), cb
reduced version; arranger: Werner Steinmetz
17/9/2013, Tabakfabrik, Linz; Israel Chamber Orchestra, cond. Martin Sieghart

Happy Birthday David Sawer

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 September 2013

David Sawer

Happy Birthday David Sawer!

Read more about David Sawer, listen to excerpts from his works and find background information and reviews of his works.

From the reviews of this year’s The Lighthouse Keepers, which premièred on 4 July in Cheltenham:

It is a superbly atmospheric piece with sympathetic portrayals of father and son by William Oxborrow and Thomas Howes. The 11-strong ensemble under Martyn Brabbins’ fine direction demonstrated that you don’t need a huge symphony orchestra to conjure up a storm.
Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International, 5 July 2013

Sawer’s music is often brilliantly inventive, evoking the gathering emotional and physical storm, and mingling live sounds with their distorted echoes. The two actors Thomas Howes and William Oxborrow did all they could to loosen the work’s joints and make it speak.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 5 July 2013

Fratres in New London

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 September 2013

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschThe United States Coast Guard Band performs Arvo Pärt’s Fratres for chamber ensemble this Sunday, 15.09.2013, for free at the Leamy Concert Hall, New London.

Find out more on their homepage.

Arvo Pärt: Fratres
for chamber ensemble | 10'
1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0 - perc, str(1 1 1 1 1)
15.09.2013, Leamy Concert Hall, New London; United States Coast Guard Band

Simon Rattle and the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 September 2013

On 11 August, Simon Rattle performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at the Salzburg Festival.

“When I first conducted the Infantil Orchestra 3 years ago in Caracas, I could not believe that children as young as 9 and never older than 14 could not only play all the notes, but also could make such wonderful music. […] This is, quite simply, the future of music. Those of you lucky enough to hear the concerts will see why” (Simon Rattle, Salzburg Festival)

And here it is, a live recording of the full concert at the Felsenreitschule – to quote Rattle once more (from his interview on Haas’ in vain): “Thank God for YouTube”.

Happy Birthday Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 September 2013

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschHappy Birthday Arvo Pärt!

Arvo Pärt - Tabula Rasa, Universal EditionToday, 11 September 2013, the composer celebrates his 78th birthday, and Tõnu Kaljuste and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra dedicate a birthday concert to him at the end of the Nargenfestival’s Arvo Pärt days.

Among the works performed will be Tabula rasa, which had its world première more than 35 years ago in Tallinn (with Alfred Schnittke on the piano) and Spiegel im Spiegel for violin and piano.

Arvo Pärt: Orient & Occident
for string orchestra | 7'
Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel
for violin and piano | 10'
Arvo Pärt: Tabula rasa
for 2 violins, string orchestra and prepared piano | 27'
Arvo Pärt: Trisagion
for string orchestra | 12'
11.09.2013, Tallinn; St. John's Church, Harry Traksmann, vln; Robert Traksmann, vln; Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, pno; Leho Karin, vlc; Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, cond. Tõnu Kaljuste

110th Anniversary of Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 September 2013

Jeremy J. ShapiroHorkheimer and Adorno in April 1964

Theodor W. Adorno, sociologist, music theoretician and composer, was born 110 years ago on 11 September 1903, in Frankfurt-am-Main.

His mother, a singer, early on established for her son a musical background. Until 1921 Adorno studied philosophy, psychology, sociology and musicology in his town of birth, and from that time began his occupation as a music critic. In 1925 he went to Vienna, where he undertook composition studies with Alban Berg. Adorno was a member of the editorial staff for the music journal Musikblätter des Anbruch in which he covered the circumstances of the modern idiom in countless articles.

Universal Edition has issued articles by Adorno in the following publications (all in German):

Musikblätter des Anbruch – facsimile edition on CD-Rom (UE 45014)

Studien zur Wertungsforschung:
Volume 1 - Symposion für Musikkritik (UE 26801)
Volume 2 - Essays: Konzeption eines Wiener Operntheaters (UE 26802)
Volume 12 - Adorno und die Musik (UE 26812)

Cerha’s Eine Art Chansons at the Dominican Church, Krems

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 September 2013

Agnes Heginger (c) Maria FrodlParts of Friedrich Cerha’s Eine Art Chansons will be performed on 13 September at the Dominikanerkirche Krems as a side event to Marianne Maderna’s exhibition Humanimals. The concert is for free, but one has to register for the event, which is organized by Zeit Kunst Niederösterreich.

Friedrich Cerha: Eine Art Chansons
for chansonnier, percussionist, piano and double bass | 65'
13.09.2013, Dominikanerkirche, Krems; Agnes Heginger, v; Rainer Keuschnig, pno; David Christopher Panzl, perc; Josef Pitzek, cb

Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire released on Stradivarius

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 September 2013

Pierrot lunaireA new recording of Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire and Evangelisti’s Die Schachtel has been released on the Italian label Stradivarius, featuring soprano Livia Rado and the Ensemble Prometeo under Marco Angius. In his recent review on The Guardian, Andrew Clements argues that it is hard to “think of a better, more lucid recording of Pierrot Lunaire currently available on CD”.

Stradivarius offers quite a few excerpts of the recording.

In March 1912, seven months before the première of Pierrot, Schönberg wrote in his diary: “And I am unconditionally approaching a new kind of expression – I can sense it. The sounds now are virtually becoming a bestially direct expression of sensual and intellectual feelings – almost as if everything had been directly propagated.”

Britten at the Proms

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 September 2013

Paavo Järvi (c) Chris ChristodoulouTim Ashley of The Guardian reviews the Prom 67, which was “subtle, electrifying and attain[ed] a tragic nobility”: Paavo Järvi conducted the Orchestra de Paris, with Arvo Pärt’sCantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten and Britten’s Violin Concerto – followed by Berlioz and Saint-Saëns – on the programme.

The full review is available on The Guardian.

New study score for Cerha’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra online

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 September 2013

Friedrich Cerha: Konzert für Schlagzeug und Orchester ScoreWe just uploaded an updated version of the study score of Friedrich Cerha’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra. You can find the full score here.

Upcoming performances of the Concerto:

Friedrich Cerha: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra
for percussion and orchestra | 35’
3 2 3 3 – 6 4 4 2 – timp(2), perc(4), hp, cel, sop.sax, str(14 12 10 8 6)
10/9/2013, Lübeck, Germany
15/9/2013, Lucerne, Switzerland
17/9/2013, Frankfurt, Germany
18/9/2013, Cologne, Germany
Martin Grubinger, perc; Vienna Philharmonic, cond. Lorin Maazel

Further peformances:
prem. 20/9/2013, Helsinki; Martin Grubinger, perc; Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. John Storgårds
prem. 25/10/2013, Casa da Musica, Porto; Martin Grubinger, perc; Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Musica, cond. Eivind Gullberg Jensen
24/11/2013, Philharmonie, Munich; Martin Grubinger, perc; Munich Philharmonic, cond. Lorin Maazel

UE Newsletter: Lucerne Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 September 2013

UE Newsletter: Lucerne Festival

Here is our latest newsletter, focusing on this year’s Lucerne Festival (16.08.–15.09.):