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French première of Votre Faust

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 November 2016

(c) Frieder Aurin

When Butor and I drafted the piece in the early 60s, we dreamt of a new form of theatre that would merge the characteristics of (modern) theatre and modern music, while at the same time approaching the baroque opera, the form of the operas of Brecht and Weill, the Japanese Noh and the théâtre de tréteaux, such as the l'Histoire du soldat – while still being completely different. (Excerpt from a letter from Henri Pousseur to Universal Edition)

The French première of Henri Pousseur’s Votre Faust takes place today, 17. November, at the Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil. Laurent Cuniot conducts the Ensemble TM+.

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Bálint Varga: Der Komponisten Mut und die Tyrannei des Geschmacks

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 November 2016

Bálint András Varga (c) Marion Kalter

Mut, Angst, Verzweiflung, Tyrannei: dieses Buch versucht herauszufinden, was in den Arbeitszimmern von Komponisten vor sich geht, welcher Kampf mit dem Material, mit den eigenen Grenzen, mit den tradierten Regeln, deren Überschreitung selbst für den 90jährigen György Kurtág einen mutigen Akt darstellt – also welcher Kampf hinter den Noten steckt, die man in den Konzerten zu hören bekommt. Noten, die einem „gefallen” oder „missfallen”, je nach Geschmack, Intelligenz, Offenheit, Neugier und Erfahrung.

Bálint András Varga: Der Komponisten Mut und die Tyrannei des GeschmacksBálint András Varga’s latest book of interviews Der Komponisten Mut und die Tyrannei des Geschmacks has recently been published by wolke. View the full table of contents and the preface here – among the interviewees are UE composers Vykintas Baltakas, Friedrich Cerha, Paul-Heinz Dittrich, Georg Friedrich Haas, György Kurtág, Wolfgang Rihm and Johannes Maria Staud.

You can still listen to Bálint András Varga’s conversation with Albert Hosp on Ö1:

Ö1 extra with Bálint András Varga

Wien Modern opens with das kleine ICH BIN ICH

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Oktober 2016

das kleine ICH BIN ICH (c) Nurith Wagner-Strauss

Es hätte kaum ein besseres Sujet gefunden werden können als das kindliche Dramolett um das Finden der Identität, um Wien Modern in diesem Jahr einzuleiten – aber auch um jene Kinder zu begrüßen, die noch nicht so lang in Österreich sind. (Daniel Ender, Der Standard, 31 October 2016)

Wien Modern has opened with the scenic première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ das kleine ICH BIN ICH.

Read the full review 

Great Hall of the Philharmonie de Paris named after Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 Oktober 2016

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition

The great hall of the Philharmonie de Paris has been named for its ‘spiritual father’, Pierre Boulez. The inauguration ceremony took place on 26 October in attendance of French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.

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Bedford shortlisted for British Composer Awards

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 Oktober 2016

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

“Ideas in this piece are torn apart by a strange energy and reform in new, dynamic relationships. There is a constant tension between growing and collapsing. That which seems durable can vanish in an instant.” (Luke Bedford on Instability)

Congratulations! Luke Bedford’s Instability for large orchestra has been shortlisted for this year's British Composer Award. We’ve uploaded the full study score for you:

View the score of Instability

Pallas Athene weint in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Oktober 2016

Neue Oper Wien, Wiener Kammerchor (c) Armin Bardel

Pallas Athene weint (c) Neue Oper Wien[Ernst Krenek] saw parallels between McCarthyism and the development of Nazism in Germany. Having survived the Hitler menace in Austria and now, shortly afterwards, living with McCarthyism in the USA, his adopted country, was a great shock to him! Krenek had always been interested in social problems and having just lived through various crises in regard to these problems he turned to writing about them in the most dramatic, illuminating medium for him – opera. […] Pallas Athene weeps is more timely today than ever! (Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek, 16 October 2013)

The Neue Oper Wien’s production of Pallas Athene weint [Pallas Athene weeps] by Ernst Krenek premières on 25 October at the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. Walter Kobéra conducts the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich.

Further performances take place on 27, 28 and 29 October.

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dark dreams in Tallinn

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 Oktober 2016

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Substantia Jones

The orchestra takes over the melody: the whole orchestra begins to sing. (Georg Friedrich Haas on dark dreams)

Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams for orchestra will receive its Estonian première today, 21 October, at the AFEKT International Modern Music Festival in Tallinn. Michael Wendeberg conducts the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

We have prepared the full score for you:

View the full score 

Krenek’s Der Diktator at Carnegie Hall

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Oktober 2016

Leon Botstein (c) Richard Termine

Ernst Krenek’s 1926 Der Diktator plainly rejects the lush romanticism of Wagner, the sentimental beauties of Puccini. In their place we find a brevity, a condensed sense of time, and a transparent mix of neo-classical and romantic musical rhetoric articulated with new sonorities in a drama made up of fleeting episodes. (Leon Botstein)

Ernst Krenek (c) PfeiferOn 19 October the American Symphony Orchestra presents concert versions of two one-act operas with strikingly different reactions to tyranny: Ernst Krenek’s Der Diktator will be performed together with Richard Strauss’s Day of Peace at Carnegie Hall. Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony Orchestra.

Krenek composed Der Diktator in 1926, three years after Hitler’s unsuccessful putsch in Munich and two years after Mussolini gained a two-thirds majority in the Italian parliament. Der Diktator urgently highlights the dangers of fascism and predicted the tragedy of National Socialist dictatorship.

Bologna Modern

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 Oktober 2016

Bologna Modern

Bologna Modern runs from 14 to 23 October at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Universal Edition is strongly represented, with performances by Georg Friedrich Haas, Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha and Alban Berg.

View the full programme

Pasión Tango in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 Oktober 2016

Diego Collatti (c) Diego CollattiOn Friday, 14 October, Diego Collatti, his ensemble Minimal Tango and Uruguayan guitarist Ignacio Giovanetti bring a homage to Astor Piazzolla and Jorge Luis Borges to the stage of the ORF RadioKulturhaus.

Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo will be performed, as well as compositions and arrangements by Collatti.

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Staud receives the Coup de Coeur des Jeunes Mélomanes

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 Oktober 2016

Johannes Maria Staud (c) Priska Ketterer

Congratulations to Johannes Maria Staud, who was awarded the Coup de Coeur des Jeunes Mélomanes for his work Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) on 4 October by the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco.

The work is dedicated to Midori, and was premièred by the renowned violinist and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in 2014 at Lucerne Festival.

Midori will perform the work’s Japanese première on 19 October at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Sylvain Cambreling conducts the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. The Austrian-Korean Philharmonic (Soyoung Yoon, vln; cond. Chungki Min) will soon tour Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II), for more information visit our performance calendar.

View the full score of Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) 

Steve Reich turns 80

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 Oktober 2016

Steve Reich (c) Ian Oliver, Wikipedia; Johannes Feigl

Steve Reich turns 80 today – Universal Edition wishes him a very, very Happy Birthday!

Le Vin herbé in Chicago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 September 2016

Photo: Frank Martin (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

This work belongs on every stage. (Eleonore Büning, FAZ)

Frank Martin’s secular oratorio Le Vin herbé – based on Joseph Bédier’s novel Romance of Tristan and Iseultwill be performed today and on 1 and 9 October at the Chicago Opera Theater.

After its first staged performance at the 1948 Salzburg Festival a critic of the Neues Österreich newspaper described the work as “A Tristan with a difference”. The concert version had already been premièred six years previously in Zurich. In its more than 60-year history Le vin herbé has enjoyed countless concert performances and several staged productions. 

Le Vin herbé at the Chicago Opera Theater

Victoria Borisova-Ollas nominated for an MPA Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 September 2016

Musikförläggarnas Pris 2016

Victoria Borisova-Ollas (c) Universal EditionCongratulations to Victoria Borisova-Ollas, whose work Vinden som ingenting minns has been nominated for this year’s Swedish Music Publishers Association Prize in the category “Classical Music Award of the Year – orchestra/opera”.

Victoria Borisova-Ollas has previously received Swedish MPA Awards for The Ground Beneath Her Feet (2008) and Golden Dances of Pharaohs (2010), her work Open Ground was nominated in 2007.

The award ceremony will take place on 11 November in Stockholm.

View the full score of Vinden som ingenting minns 

the greatest happiness principle in the BBC Music Magazine

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 September 2016

BBC Music MagazineDavid Sawer’s orchestral piece the greatest happiness principle is featured on a new CD included with the October issue of the BBC Music Magazine, titled “Best of British: Modern masterworks commissioned by Radio 3”.

The work was inspired by the utopian ideas of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and by his application of the panoptic principle to prison design.

It was recorded by Mark Wigglesworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Read David Sawer’s full work introduction